Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Almost 18 years ago, my bride and I stepped off an airplane in Nuuk, Greenland for our honeymoon / survey trip. We ventured into a land of unknowns. We knew no one and had no other missionaries to contact, yet we were excited and full of anticipation of seeing this pioneer mission field. 
Those bright-eyed dreams of those two young kids have been tempered with the reality of Arctic Missions, yet the knowledge of God´s sustaining grace through over a decade in Greenland leaves us in awe of all that He has done and in anticipation of what He will continue to do! 
Many times we´ve felt like God has called us to do the impossible, but He reminds us that He is the God of the Impossible!
Tomorrow, a young couple called to Greenland is visiting Greenland for the first time on their survey trip. Guess what? There will be a missionary waiting to pick them up at the airport and to show them the mission field of Greenland! They will have a nice place to stay, fellowship and someone to answer all their questions about ministry in Greenland. To God be the Glory!
After serving 11 years in Greenland alone, a missionary family will be arriving in July to work with us and another couple is just starting out on deputation!

With God All Things Are Possible! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

The "Wright" Way

Another "First!"

Right now, I am working on paperwork for the Wright family to come to Greenland!  How exciting!  The only way for other Baptist missionaries to get into the country is through us. 

Years ago when we first applied, we were denied.  But through a series of miraculous events, not only did we get into Greenland as missionaries, but we were also given the authority to invite other missionaries into this country. 

Several years ago, Immigration informed me that the only way other Baptist missionaries can come into the country was if I, as pastor of the Baptist Church, invite them into the country by written contract. 
I do not take this God-given responsibility lightly, but am humbled that God has allowed us to be the gatekeepers of this pioneer mission field. 

A lot has changed over the years and Immigration has only gotten stricter.  We know of two other “Baptists” who have tried to get into Greenland without the proper paperwork, but were denied. 

As I look back, I praise God for giving us the fortitude to stick it out through so many difficult times.  For the first time, I am actually excited about doing governmental paperwork! 

We don’t anticipate any problems getting the Wright family into Greenland, but we know that the Devil is a powerful foe and does not want any more missionaries in Greenland.  Please keep this matter in prayer and pray that everything goes smoothly and in a timely manner. 

Ilulissat, Greenland

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A Few Thoughts from our Furlough Fill-Ins (Part 3)

During our three months in the States we had three different couples fill in for us. We asked them to share on here their experiences in Greenland. We thought you all would enjoy seeing Greenland through a different set of eyes!

Our trip to Greenland began with our second flight cancelled and an overnight stay in a Greenlandic airport hotel.  This change in plans resulted in passing the Lossing’s in that same airport the next morning.  Our plan was to have them show us around and get us settled in before their departure.  But God’s plans are always best and exactly what we need.  When arriving to Ilulissat, the Jeep was waiting on our family and we quickly were able to find our way around the town and to the house.  Brother Shull had made out a ten page outline of things to know, which came in very handy.  

Missionaries Scott and Jennifer Suttle and Family
Our first activity was the Wednesday evening children’s club.  It was such a blessing to share some things from the Bible and hear them quote a Bible verse in Greenlandic.  It was also a blessing, despite the language barrier, to be able to enjoy some games and see the smiles on their faces.  A few of them understood my attempts at communicating in Danish and it was some good practice for us.  We also enjoyed Sunday services and getting to know a few of their people.  Our interpreter was a great help to us with the Greenlandic language barrier and it was a blessing for Jennifer and I to have had the privilege to spend some quality time conversing with her about some needs in her own life.  On a side note,  we asked her if she had ever been to Denmark. She said, “Twice, but I didn’t like it, it was too warm there!”  We thought to ourselves, “You think Denmark is too warm.”  It was eye-opening to see how people love the place they call home.

We had just a few days before the heavy snow began to fall and enjoyed some sightseeing around the area.  Greenland is an absolutely beautiful country.  It is probably one of the most unique places I have ever travelled to around the world.  Also, soon after our arrival, the temperatures began to drop.  Let me emphasize that Greenland is not only beautiful, it is also COLD!  Brrr!  While there, our two youngest, Lydia and Joanna, enjoyed playing in the snow and children’s club and our son, Nathan, enjoyed making a new friend, Nanu, as it was his responsibility to feed and take care of the family dog.

It was a great honor to be asked to fill in for the Shull family.  Greenland is truly blessed to have such a family laboring in that part of the world.  They have carved out a life in a very rugged place and are truly content with where God has put them.  Brother Shull has been diligent in not only learning one, but two languages - Danish and Greenlandic.  

As I close, let me mention from a missionaries perspective a few things that I observed that would help you better pray for the Shull family.  One thing is the isolation.  It may be something you don’t think about until you’ve been there.  You fly to the town and there are no roads leading to other towns.  It is a place of 5,000 people.  There are a few stores but nothing like most of you are accustomed to.  We were only there for three weeks and got just a taste of being isolated from a lot of people and things that we grow used to.  Pray for them but also pray for more laborers to join them in the field for help in ministry and others to fellowship with them.  Second, is the area of finances.  Brother Shull and I did not sit down and discuss his finances, but I was able to observe how expensive things are there.  Everything has to be shipped into Ilulissat.  A single cucumber was priced at 28 Danish kroner.  That is 4 1/2 US dollars for one cucumber!  You are not going to eat a lot of salads like that.  We thought it was expensive in Denmark, and it is compared to the US, but Greenland is more expensive in many ways.  Lastly, we observed the people.  They are much like the people of Denmark in the sense that they are content in not knowing about God and the Bible or are deceived by their religious traditions which steer them away from the Bible.  Please help the Shull family and pray that many eyes would be opened to the truth and many souls would turn to Jesus.

Thanks again for the privilege to help in Greenland,
Scott, Jennifer, Nathan, Lydia and Joanna Suttle

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Times are Changing!

Today is an exciting day for us! Ilulissat now has unlimited Internet usage! I know many of our missionary friends will appreciate and understand this! 

When we first arrived to Greenland 10 ½ years ago, the only way we could contact the US was through a pay phone outside one of the grocery stores in town. We had to keep feeding it coins, so we would not lose our connection. It cost well over $4 / minute back then to call the US or for anyone to call us from the US.

Once we got settled, we had to get someone to wire Internet to our apartment. The Internet was very slow and very expensive. Back then, we only had 1 GB usage per month and then had to pay extra for going over. The base fee was $100 per month. When we talked on Skype, it would almost use our entire month’s usage up in one sitting. We stopped using Skype, because it was just too expensive.

Over the last decade, we saw the Internet speed get faster and the monthly usage go up. We remember when the government-run Internet Company turned up the speed, but did not tell anyone. That 1 GB was used up in minutes and people were sent bills of thousands of dollars. Our bill was several hundred dollars. The Internet Company did end up lowering the bills for that month. Each time the Internet would get faster, we would just sigh in frustration knowing it would just end up costing us more money.

Then the usage went up to 9 GB / month. It felt like Christmas when the usage went up to 15 GB / month. Then to 20, then to 50 and then to 100 GB! We thought we would never go over our usage. However, the speed kept getting faster. Visitors from the US would joke at how fast our satellite Internet was compared to theirs in the US. Unfortunately, many visitors would unknowingly run the Internet up!☺︎And just the other day, I was checking our devices turning off automatic updates, because our Internet usage was being used up quickly. Then yesterday, the Internet company announced that we now have unlimited Internet usage!

It's always fun to look back and see how things have changed so much in one decade in Greenland!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Few Thoughts from our Furlough Fill-Ins (Part 2)

During our three months in the States we had three different couples fill in for us. We asked them to share on here their experiences in Greenland. We thought you all would enjoy seeing Greenland through a different set of eyes!

Hello, we are Tony and Dyan Lossing. When we saw the need for three couples to take care of the Shull’s ministry in Greenland, we volunteered! This was a chance for us as a couple to go on a missions trip to experience  what it´s like to live, and minister in a different country.  Once we arrived (after 2 days of travel!) we were welcomed to Greenland by snow falling from the sky! it was quite the sight! We spent the first few days under the great care of the Missionary Family before us (the Turpins) as they guided us in what to do, and what they had learned. They were a huge blessing to us.

Tony and Dyan Lossing
After the Turpins left, we began to prepare for the Kids Club, Church Services,  and do a little touring as well. There is no place like Greenland that’s for sure! We enjoyed walking for most of our time there. I do not think there is a “Bad View” in this whole town. It is Beautiful. The colorful houses, the mountains, the Ice bergs, the dogs and many more things make this place breathtaking. We were able to walk on many of the hiking trails they have here as well. Also walking around town we got to see the people. Many people walk to and from places here. Another thing we both noticed is that many of the people like to look and smile at you! I’m assuming, it’s because they are kind people, not because I’m funny looking! They really are kind here though! Most accept gospel tracts with a smile on their face!  We didn’t feel unwelcome is what I’m trying to say.  We also noticed the great need here as well. Looks can be deceiving, can’t they? A smile can certainly cover up a world of hurt on the inside. Sadly, we experienced that many here are lost, and under Satan’s grasp. Drinking, Smoking, Murders, abuse, and a sense of hopelessness resides in this country. It was sad to see on Sunday Mornings many people pass right on by the Baptist Church, and head to a church that doesn’t teach them the way to Heaven. To us it seemed many people, especially the older ones, were stuck deep in their traditions. 

On the other hand, we both saw the great need, and potential for the kids/teens here. There are many of them! The kids seem to do their own thing apart from their parents. They, in our opinion, do not hold to the traditions their elders have, but are more interested in the fashions and interests America/Europe would have. I believe this to be a great opportunity!  We both very much enjoyed the Kids Club every Wednesday. Our interpreter was a big help to us during these times. She was able to communicate with them, and go over the verse with them. I like how even though we do not speak the language, we could still interact and have fun with the kids here. 

In our view, Greenland is a Beautiful, Friendly, yet a difficult place to live, and be a missionary. Even after 3 weeks spent here, we can understand just a glimpse of what it was like to be a missionary in such an isolated place. No outside Family, No Christian friends to fellowship with,  No quick trips to the mall in the next town, just your family and, of course God. It really does give one great respect for those who are called and go to places like Greenland.  There is a desperate need of more people to tell them of Jesus. We surely did leave with a great burden for the people here, and people of the the Arctic in general. We also have a  better understanding of what we can be praying for regarding the people who serve here. 

Going on a missions trip can be a fearful thing. Flying, the people, the language, the food, all can turn one away from doing a missions trip. But we highly recommend you put those fears aside, and trust in the Lord. You will not be disappointed! It opens your eyes and gives you a better understanding of the great need of salvation people have all over the World. 

Tony and Dyan Lossing