In September 1951, five missionaries working in Alaska came together to form Alaska Missions Incorporated. The mission quickly grew as more and more people saw the great need for the gospel to spread to unreached regions of the (then) territory, and felt the call to go themselves.
Over the years the name of the mission changed to Arctic Missions and then to InterAct Ministries. But while the name has changed the goal has not. We are still committed to seeing disciples made in Alaska.
Much has been accomplished in the last sixty-five years. Through the ministries of places like Victory High School, Victory Bible Camp and Arctic Bible Institute, many Alaska Natives have come to Christ, have been discipled and sent out to further the work. Churches have been planted in villages that continue to meet today. And Native believers are now reaching out to their own people with the gospel.
With all that’s been accomplished, the question could be asked, “Why is InterAct still in Alaska?” The answer is that there’s still much to be done.
Alaska has over 150 villages with populations of less than 1,000. Most of these villages are not on the road system and are only accessible by plane, or in some cases, boats when waterways are not frozen over. But probably more surprising than any of these facts is that nearly 100 of these villages have no regular Christian fellowship or gathering. And many have yet to hear the gospel contextualized in a way that makes sense to them.
Recently InterAct’s Alaska team members gathered for their annual conference on our Lazy Mountain Campus in Palmer to discuss and pray about the next steps God would have us take in Alaska. From this meeting a vision emerged to focus both on unreached Native rural villages and “urban villages,” communities of Native peoples that have moved to the cities from the more remote regions.
To accomplish this task InterAct is focusing on recruiting and equipping people to three missionary roles:
Pioneers - Those who will take the gospel to the villages where there is no regular Christian fellowship and people still need to hear the gospel.
Partners - Those committed to walk alongside Native believers, disciple people and help establish Native-led churches.
Promoters - Those who have been gifted to support pioneering and partnering ministries through the tasks of administration, logistics and other jobs that are critical to the work.