To understand what the Lord has called us to do, one needs to understand a little about the country and culture of Greenland. Remoteness and isolation are realities of life for Greenlanders and contribute greatly to the people's incredible resilience. It's a small population in a vast country that can be -30 or more, much of the long winter. Additionally, threats of polar bear attacks, frozen or icy waters and severe snow storms are real and constant most of the year.
Villages are located mainly along Greenland's west coast, accessible only by helicopter or boat. Because of the many fjords along the coast, villages can be hundreds of miles apart, and fueling points are few. In short, Northern Greenland is an almost unreachable people.
Greenland is the world's largest Non-continental Island. It has a population of approximately 56,000 people on a landmass about one quarter the size of the United States, making it the least densely populated territory on earth aside from Antarctica. About 80% of the country is covered by an unlivable ice cap. All the towns and villages of Greenland are situated along the coast, with most concentrated along the west coast. No roads connect the towns. More than half the country lies above the Arctic Circle.
Qasigiannguit, where we (Daniel and Solveig Kinda) have made our home, is located about 300 km above the Arctic Circle. The top of Greenland is the closest landmass to the geographic North Pole. It is hard to find reliable statistics on Northern Greenland, so it is difficult to know exactly how many people live in the small towns and villages north of Qasigiannguit , but a good estimate is about 8,000 to 10,000 people. Most villages in the north range from 50 to 200 people, on average.
This may seem like a small number, however, the heart of the Lord is to go after the one who is lost. As Jesus taught in the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15: 3-7), there is great rejoicing in heaven over the repentance of even one.
There are no roads between these towns, so to travel from village to village requires a boat or helicopter. Through Light of the World Aid International, we have acquired a boat.
The very first official written Greenlandic language was published around 1851 and then a new written Greenlandic language became official in 1973. Consequently, there are many in Greenland that can't read, or can't read very well. Part of our ministry as we travel to different villages is distributing the Bible in Greenlandic wherever we go. Since some don't read we are working on putting the Bible on audio, to be able to distribute as well, Lord willing.
Greenland has the highest suicide rate in the entire world. Out of the people committing suicide, almost half are under the age of 30. The reasons for this alarming statistic can be summed up in a single word -- hopelessness
There are many diverse reasons for this sad fact, but we are in Greenland to share the love and hope that we have in Christ. There is hope in Christ Jesus and His Word, the Bible. With the Lord's help we hope to bring this Scripture to life: The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined... For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:2, 6. (KJV)