The opportunities provided by our Lord to the Institute for Creation Research never cease to amaze us. ICR experiences this on a continual basis in a multitude of areas. Whether they are new opportunities to speak, new educational programs to teach, or the personal testimonies we receive of lives transformed for Christ, we are blessed and humbled by God's guidance. Perhaps His guiding hand is especially seen in His gracious provision for us, which oftentimes springs forth from the most unexpected places.
Such was the case when ICR received most welcome help earlier this year from several longtime supporters in Alaska. At the time, we felt compelled to visit these fellow laborers to personally thank them for their generosity, but did not have the opportunity to make such a trip. So this was made an item of prayer, and "in due season" (Galatians 6:9), the Lord was faithful to provide a way. And not only did He present the chance for a group from ICR to fellowship with these supporters in Alaska, He also opened doors to visit many other partners that were spread across four additional states! Truly, His "thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways [His] ways" (Isaiah 55:8)! By the time this article goes to press, we will have returned, Lord willing, from our long trek, which began in San Francisco at the kick-off meeting for ICR's Yosemite Creation Tour, and then moved to sites in Oregon, Alaska, Washington, and Colorado.
A trip of this magnitude requires much planning, and our research brought to light several fascinating aspects related to Alaska in particular. Naturally, we were struck by the utter immensity of this great state--our home state of Texas (huge in its own right) would easily fit inside half of Alaska. And the vast distances that lie between our Alaskan supporters, many in remote locations, were also astonishing. ICR counts it a privilege to send materials to subscribers in Dutch Harbor (of Deadliest Catch TV fame) on the southern tip of the Aleutian Island chain, to Point Hope on the northwestern coast inside the Arctic Circle, and all points in between. The good news of our Savior's message, as seen through the study of His majestic creation, has indeed spread to the "uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
And yet, the most surprising discovery was that a significantly higher percentage of Alaskan subscribers support ICR financially than subscribers in the "lower 48" states. Statistically, Alaska is one of the least religious states in the U.S.,1 but nearly 40 percent of our individual subscribers and a remarkable 62 percent of our church subscribers in that state partner with ICR to see that our ministry continues. Granted, as one of the least populated states in the U.S., the number of Alaskan subscribers is not large to begin with, so this could certainly be an anomaly. But this naturally begs the question....why does this group support ICR's work in higher percentages than good, God-fearing, Bible-believing Christians in other locales?
Unlike Scripture, derived statistics can never provide a sure answer. But we suspect that our Alaskan supporters may possess a more focused perspective on things of eternal value--the byproduct of which is a sensitive mindset for ministries like ICR that uphold the authority of God's Word. What are you doing to further His Kingdom on this earth while He tarries? May I suggest joining your Alaskan brothers and sisters by investing in our ministry? I believe they would wholeheartedly agree.
- Alaska, Denominational Groups, 2000. State Membership Report. Posted on thearda.com. According to statistics collected by the Association of Religion Data Archives, only about 39 percent of Alaska's residents were members of religious congregations.
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Insitute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2009. Ministry Mindset in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Acts & Facts. 38 (10): 21.