Currently there are over 73,000 people living in Southeast Alaska. Over half of that number reside in Juneau. The other half of the population are spread out over an area roughly the size of Florida. The only way to reach these people is by boat or plane. To our knowledge, 4 Independent Baptist Church are ministering to over 32 cities, towns, and villages in the region. The simple fact of the matter is that the job is huge.
Imagine living in a place where you had to travel 200 miles by boat or plane to go to church. There are doubtless hundreds if not thousands of people in this region who have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel. This is the burden that God has laid on our heart.
Our method for reaching into these areas will take time. Everything in Alaska moves slower. The first step is to get established in the area. We will be based out of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Juneau waiting for the Lord's leading. The reason for this is so that we can "learn the language". Now it's true almost everyone in the area speaks English, but I am referring to the culture and the way things are done.
I believe this time will help us to gain some credibility in the region as well as help us get acquainted with people from the towns and villages. Some of the methods I am looking into and praying about are prison ministries, hospital/nursing home ministries, and orphanage type works.
Any one of these type of ministries would help us to get to know people from the smaller more rural areas. From those relationships we would hope and pray that we would be invited to come to a town or village to start a church. The goal would be to have God provide a pastor for that work while we move on to the next work. Now all of this is speculation as to the will of God. These are our thoughts and prayers but the Lord is going to get His work done and I don't want to out-think God.
I believe the most cost effective way to be able to reach into several different areas is by boat. We could use the boat as a tool to help locals in their day to day needs, build relationships, do extended surveys (figure out where churches are and where they are not), evangelize, and hold circuit ministries in several villages.
Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:24