"Hi, This is Todd Roeske with Alaska Mission for Christ. I am looking for lay ministers to lead worship and preach at Cooper Landing and Sterling. You are a trained lay minister and I want to know if you would be willing to drive down some weekend this Fall." I ask these men to drive between 130 and 180 miles each way in their own cars. I offer these men no money for gas or food. They lead two services for groups of up to 10 to 15 believers. From the world's stand point, it doesn't make any sense. It is not cost effective. Yet, I get a lot more "yes-es" than "no-s". Since the pastor that was serving these two small groups of believers retired last Summer, we have only had one Sunday we could not find a volunteer to lead services for these folks. Lay Ministers are incredible, committed, selfless Christians who know that they are called to serve in places that otherwise would not be served.
We know that we will not be able to cover these congregations forever with weekly lay ministers, but we also know the Lord will not leave his people unattended. I have already talked to several people who are thinking of coming to Alaska to serve these congregations for 3 months or more. None have made a final commitment, but I have seen that the LORD is working on people's hearts.
Alaska is a challenging place because of the vast distances, the small population and the harsh weather. Yet our Lord is up to the challenge and he is providing his word for those who need it in places like Cooper Landing and Sterling.