Baptist International Missions, Inc.

Alaska - Far North

Also known as "The Last Frontier", Alaska is by far the largest of the 50 states which make up the United States. Alaska's size is equal to one-fifth of the total land mass of the continental United States, and is 2.5 times larger than the state of Texas.

Alaska is referred to by some as the "United States of Alaska" because so many different types of scenery, climates, and landscapes can be experienced within this one state. The Aleutian Islands are made up of about 150 islands which stretch westward approximately 1,100 miles. The Aleutians are best known for their windy weather and frequent earthquakes.

The southeast panhandle of Alaska is a narrow strip of land dividing British Columbia, Canada and the Pacific Ocean. This area of Alaska is made up of countless islands, waterways and mountains, where many, if not most of the towns are only accessible by boat or plane. This lack of roads would also be true of Juneau, the capital city of Alaska. As one can imagine, this can make the task of church planting time consuming and very expensive .An adventurer at heart is needed to serve in this great land.

The South Central part of Alaska is the fastest growing area in the state. Anchorage, Alaska's largest city is located here with a population of approximately 300,000 people. A popular scenic attraction located in South Central Alaska is the Alaska Range which includes Mt. McKinley, the tallest mountain peak in North America.

Traveling the Parks Highway northward from Anchorage, allows for the opportunity to see many little towns and villages on the way to the interior of Alaska. Fairbanks, the second largest city in the state, is part of the Alaskan interior, and has a population of over 32,000 people.

The final area of Alaska to be mentioned here is the Arctic Region of Alaska, which has no large cities, but numerous little towns and villages. A quick glance at a map shows the many miles between the towns located in the Arctic; which along with the very extreme weather conditions can make missionary work in this area very difficult.

The population of Alaska is estimated to be approximately 736,000 souls, made up of nations from around the globe. Approximately 15% of Alaska's population is made up of those whose ancestors were its earliest inhabitants — Tlingits, Haidas, Athapaskans, and Eskimos, just to name a few. Many of these people still follow the native religious practices which have been passed down through many generations. Many other religions also have a major stronghold in Alaska, such as the Russian Orthodox Church. However, humanism and an attitude of self sufficiency may be one of the greatest obstacles to overcome as a missionary strives to plant a church in "The Last Frontier".

In order for the Gospel light to be spread throughout the entire state, a great number of missionary personnel is required. Many towns and villages have no Gospel witness, and certainly have no Independent Baptist Church to be a shining light in their community. The missionary who goes to Alaska must be willing to endure the extreme conditions that will certainly confront him on a daily basis. Despite the hardships, Alaskan missionaries can rejoice in the fact that God will reward their faithfulness.

Missionaries in Alaska:

John P & Kenzie Jones Sr

Far North Director & Media Director

Tony & Paula Bulawa
Read more about the Bulawas.

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