Dave & Marsha West
Serving in the Far North
Missionaries to the Native People of Northwestern Québec, Canada
We came to live here in Northwestern Québec on April 10, 1981. We came to love the Native people for Christ's sake and to minister to them (John 3:16). Though we do speak French, our ministry in Northwestern Québec is mostly in English with English-speaking Algonquin and Cree Indians and Inuit. Though the province of Québec is French-speaking, Native people here usually prefer English over French.
Our main work is with our church in Malartic, a French-Canadian town of about 3,500 people. A community of Native people lives in Malartic among the French-Canadian majority. We have Algonquin Indians, Cree Indians, a Blackfoot lady, and one non-Native (white) family besides us that attend. We have Sunday Morning Service, Sunday School, Bible Club after school on Wednesday afternoons, and Prayer Meeting on Wednesday evenings. Our attendance is between 10 and 30 with more on special occasions. We visit in town, in the bush, and in the hospital; have a jail ministry every week; and distribute tracts, literature, Gospels of John and Romans, and Bibles in Malartic and the surrounding area. In each part of our work we use the Source of Light (Parole par Poste) Bible correspondence courses.
We conduct activities for the young people and adults, conduct Vacation Bible School in town and in the bush, and take kids to camp every summer (a 600 mile trip, one way). Other activities we do are soul winning, teaching typing or piano, cutting firewood, helping people with gardens, construction, filling out government and business forms in French, tutoring math, English, or French, and doing anything else that we can do with the people here.
We also visit the Pikogan, Winneway, and Lac Simon Algonquin Indian Reserves which are located in the area. We did have a regular service at the Lac Simon Algonquin Reserve. However, that had to be terminated because of problems with alcohol.
More people have trusted Christ among the children and young people in our church than in any other part of our work. Two of our former young people have graduated from Bible College, Praise the Lord! Also, we have had a good number of people repent and trust Christ in the jail ministry. Some former inmates continue taking our Bible lessons even after getting out of jail.
Our overall goal is to win souls, baptize and disciple converts, train local leadership, and to allow Christ to work through us to start local, indigenous New Testament, fundamental, independent Baptist churches. When we first came here we felt we could start our first church and have it functioning on its own in five years. We could then leave and start another. Now we are certain that planting a real, indigenous church here will take many, many years, possibly a generation. May God help us to faithfully continue doing His will, even if the work here is slower than we had first imagined it would be! (1 Corinthians 4:2; 15:58, Galatians 6:9)
23 MAR 2016
David H. West