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Far North It makes a difference… By Tom Talley Perhaps you have heard the story of the man who often walked along the beach picking up starfish that had become stranded out of the water. One day as he was doing this, another man approached him to ask what he was doing. The first man replied, “I'm rescuing starfish that might die.” The second man, questioning the value of this exercise, said, “What difference will that make? There are thousands of those things stranded on beaches every day.” The man who rescued starfish simply bent over and picked up another starfish and flung it back into the ocean. Then he turned to the scoffer and said, “It makes a difference to that one.” That is exactly how Cathy and I feel about the ministry to which God has called us in northern Canada. We do not minister to millions or even thousands. As a matter of fact, we live in a semi- remote community of about 1,000 people. But, for each person who has been rescued from eternal death through the sharing of the Gospel, we can say, “It has made a difference for that one!” Some may question the cost of keeping a missionary couple in such a small town for more than 30 years or the hours of toil and effort expended for just a few people or the “waste” of man-power and resources on an out- of-the-way place. I once met with the missions committee of a large church in the South. After a few questions about where we worked and what it was like, their comment was, “Well, our missions program seeks to support key men in key places.” What they were telling me was they had no room for us in their missions outreach since we were in such a small place. Our ministry did not fit into their missions philosophy. We are truly thankful not every church feels that way. God has given us a faithful group of supporters who have “stuck” with us and enabled us to continue the work God has given us to do. These churches and individuals believe enough in what we are doing to keep right on giving, praying, and encouraging us to stay faithful to God's work in northern Canada. For sure, the believers in South Indian Lake do not feel our efforts have been wasted. In a recent testimony time at Waastew Baptist Church, one of our ladies thanked the Lord for sending someone with the Gospel message that delivered her soul from spiritual darkness. Others have often expressed that same gratefulness. These folks are saying with glad hearts, “It made a difference for me!” I would like to share the story of one particular family. Early in 2013, while still grieving from the loss of an adult son to suicide, Lawrence and Thelma Dumas asked us to come into their home and explain to them how to be saved. This is rare and it turned out to be a very unusual experience. When we came into their home, we were directed to the kitchen where five out of six family members were seated in a semicircle with one chair placed facing all of them. I was given that chair and for the 6