Written by: Harrison Kwok
Harrison was born and raised in Whitehorse, Yukon. His parents immigrated from Hong Kong about 50 years ago. He has three daughters and is married to Kaitlyn. He pastors the Northern Collective Church is pursuing a doctorate of ministry. His research will explore various factors that contribute to the success of churches in Canada’s Indigenous communities.
This following content was originally published on Acts 29’s website, linked here: www.acts29.com/transforming-lives-in-yukon-and-beyond/
I have the unique privilege and joy of pastoring a church in my hometown in Whitehorse, Yukon. My parents moved here over 50 years ago from Hong Kong. I grew up in a home that practiced traditional Chinese spirituality.
I began attending the University of Victoria in 2006, where I grew more interested in atheism than my faith at home. But I had no understanding of any major world religions until my friend shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me in 2008. I rejected this message and the Savior he proclaimed. I dug my heels more fervently into the atheistic worldview and decided to disprove Christianity’s claims once and for all—or so I thought.
During this time of study and investigation, God was ironically using my desire to disprove him to reveal to my heart, mind, and soul that his Word is real, transformative, and glorious. In 2009, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and continue to strive to live for his glory on earth and my joy in him.
I’m grateful that my heart was transformed through the proclamation of his name as revealed in his Word. And I’m awestruck by the mighty power of the Scriptures to transform rebellious hearts to see and savor Jesus Christ.
Sharing the Gospel in Yukon
My hometown desperately needs the Word of God. I believe the Bible can inspire Yukoners to turn from their sin and embrace the King of Kings. Many families here ache for restoration, and the Prince of Peace offers mercy and love to ease their pain. I want to see families restored because they’ve experienced the mercy and love of the Prince of Peace. Despite differing ethnicities, political views, or social standing, God’s Word can bring people together to celebrate differences rather than divide over them.Despite differing ethnicities, political views, or social standing, God’s Word can bring people together to celebrate differences rather than divide over them.CLICK TO TWEET
There are still communities in our area without churches. I long to see our people passionate about proclaiming the gospel and planting churches in these places of need. Our city has some of the highest drug use and overdoses in Canada. In God’s power, I pray to see healing and peace overwhelm my city.
But how can this happen? I believe the way we’ll see a transformed Yukon is through greater comprehension and dissemination of God’s Word.
Consider three ways to better engage with the Scriptures for greater missional impact.
- Love the Word
Sometimes I get distracted by my pursuit of church growth while neglecting God’s Word. I become more of a strategist than a pastor. I need to remember that my life was transformed because I heard an ancient story of the one true God. And I’ve seen others’ lives transformed because they heard about the preciousness of Jesus through the Word. Why rely on anything else? Our love of the Word is a catalyst to all we do in ministry.
- Live the Word
As Hebrews 4:12 explains, “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” If we believe the Scriptures to be living and active, then why set our focus on the latest and greatest trends? Does living the Word happen through more vision casting, attractive Sunday services, or attending conferences? Not necessarily. Those things are beneficial, but not much compares to coming alongside a friend and reading the Word of God together.
- Share the Word
Christians have an obligation to share the Word of God. If we believe that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17), then we have some work to do in telling the world about Jesus Christ. God’s Word never returns to him empty and always accomplishes his purposes (Isa. 55:11). Sometimes I’m worried about sounding foolish when sharing the gospel, but I can rest in the truth that God’s purposes will not be thwarted.
Sharing the Gospel Beyond
As ministers of God’s Word, we must take great care of our own souls and “pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1). We are not immune to the pulls of this world, but may we rest on the unbelievably gracious promise that Christ who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). The Word of God can transform lives, and there are many people who have not been introduced to its mighty power.CLICK TO TWEET
Yukoners need the Word and so does your community. Maybe someone you know is committing themselves to prove that God is a liar, to discredit Christianity. Will you be the one to bring them to Jesus? The Word of God can transform lives, and there are many people who have not been introduced to its mighty power. Will someone in your church share God’s Word with them? May it be so, for their sake and for the sake of so many others who need Jesus.