Chris: January 18
Carole Ann: December 29
Christopher Jr.: July 30, 2001
Anna: February 18, 2003
Emilia: November 18, 2005
Jonathan: May 24, 2007
Mattaliina: March 15, 2011
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Mike Gangemella
100 Bracken Ave
Wilmington, DE 19805
A Brief History
We are the Shull Family, missionaries to Greenland. We arrived to Greenland in April of 2007 after waiting years for Greenland to open up. We had been living in Iceland for two years with the hope of gaining Nordic citizenship after 7 years, but God miraculously opened up the door to Greenland sooner! We now hold a resident permit to start a Baptist Church in Ilulissat, Greenland. Ilulissat is located 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and has a population of 5,000. The sledge dogs in our town outnumber the people with an estimate of around 7,500. There are about 100 towns and villages along the coast of Greenland. There are no roads connecting the towns, making air travel a vital part of everyday life.
The native people are the Inuit or Eskimos, but they prefer to be called Greenlanders. There are many dialects of the Greenlandic language. Danish is the second language and spoken by most of the Greenlanders. Since our arrival we have been studying both languages without any formal training. Recently, there has opened up a night class and Chris is attending three times a week. Please pray concerning the languages. We desire that every soul in Ilulissat will hear a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their native tongue.
Since we are pioneer missionaries, there is no one to help us get things up and running. We have had to figure things out on our own as well as cut through a lot of red tape. Upon arrival, we experienced firsthand the high costs of everything, the dropping value of the US Dollar, were informed that we had to pay a 40% income tax, as well as learned of a tuberculosis outbreak. Coupled with the fact that we have three small children and Carole was 8 months pregnant, things looked impossible. We are sure glad that we serve a God Who can do anything!
Since the midwives felt they were not equipped to handle a high risk pregnancy, Carole was flown 350 miles south to Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland. After a long month in Nuuk, Jonathan Elliot was born. The bill for lodging and meals for our family came to over $6,000, but we found favor in the eyes of the hotel manager. She marked our bill Paid in Full!
Getting our sonâ€s US citizenship without a US Consulate became another challenge for us, but not for the LORD. The State Church wanted our baby baptized in order to issue a birth certificate. We couldnâ€t do that because of our Bible Convictions! Again the LORD intervened on our behalf and our son was issued a birth certificate. The US State Department gave us special permission to apply for our sonâ€s US citizenship from Greenland. The flight to the US Embassy in Denmark alone would have cost upwards to $10,000.
Housing in Greenland has been another testing of our faith. There is a housing shortage in town with a four year waiting list. We found someone willing to rent us a house for four months. We searched and searched for housing, but to no avail. The four months were up and we had to move out, but there was nowhere to go! After much prayer, we realized that we had to either live in substandard conditions or leave Greenland. We chose the former and agreed to live in a one room apartment with no bedrooms, no oven, and no plumbing. Our toilet was a bucket with a bag. Veteran missionaries from the Canadian Arctic have termed it, the Honey Bucket. Each night we would open up the sofa bed and lay sleeping bags on the floor for the children. In the mornings, we would transform the room back into a living€ť room. The family became real close! After six months of that, the LORD provided a comfortable 968 square foot house for us with PLUMBING! Now we are getting settled and trying to remember how â€śnormal peopleâ€ť live.Â Â We have finally gotten our container with all our belongings and have had fun unpacking it. It almost feels like Christmas all over again.
We have been holding services every week in our home. We have been practicing Danish, but our pronunciation and Grammar have been lacking. We have had some young Greenlandic teens and children to attend. The Greenlanders are a very shy, but very friendly people. We have been invited into several homes and have entertained others in our home. Though we have not seen any saved or many coming to the services yet, we have built up a testimony in our town. The people know who we are and what we are doing here. They have commented about our still being here. We are being watched everyday and are building up relationships with many people in town. There is still much to be done, but we are here and are finally settled! Please pray that the LORD will give us increase and that we will see a harvest reaped.
His Ambassadors to Greenland,
The Shull Family
Chris, Carole Ann, Christopher Jr., Anna Grace, Emilia Faith, & Jonathan Elliot