Winter season has started in Finland

57th Arctic Rally & Snowmobile ministry news

The winter came early this season. It is very rare that you can get out on the frozen sea with your snowmobile in December but we did our first ride on the ice December 9th. Last time I remember doing that was when I was a kid. This has made it possible for us to be out with the snowmobiles for over one month already.

January 6th we loaded the bus, put our snowmobiles on the trailer of the rally hearse and drove up to northern Finland. We did some outreach as well as served in a few churches. I have to admit that it was a bit chilly to stand outside and play the guitar and talk about Jesus in front of our Volvo rally hearse when it was -11 degrees Fahrenheit out. After two songs the cold fingers were not just cold anymore, it was more like pain but thinking about the pain Jesus took on Him made it pretty easy.

We were also out on the snowmobiles on the safari routes around the Arctic circle for a couple of days. We met some people and we had good talks with people.

The highlight on our trip was the 57th Arctic Rally that is one of the competitions in the Finnish rally series. This was the second year in a row we were there representing Team RFC. Compared to last year it was different as last year there were no spectators. This year they allowed spectators and this meant more people to meet and to talk too. To be wearing our winter uniforms (jackets) opens up doors for discussions. Not to forget the Volvo rally hearse. That is a key to deep discussions with people about eternal life and we know that there is only one way to eternal life in heaven and that is through Jesus Christ.

We were at the start at the Lordi Square in the heart of Rovaniemi. This year the weather was not that cold during the rally so we did not really get to freeze as last year. The mild days during the rally also brought people our way for discussions and prayers.

The rally is very spread out so we could not make all the tracks but we made the tracks SS1, SS3 and SS7. Thanks to the promoters for another rally adventure.

Now we have done some changes in the snowmobile ministry. We sold our snowmobiles and replaced them with some old school snowmobiles. This makes it possible for us to actually race as well in the future. Now we have been test riding the 1984 Maxi-Ski 340 and the 1980 Arctic Cat Panther. We are still working on getting our 1972 Winha’s (Made in Finland) to run. These are the ones we hope to do at least two races with this winter. We are very excited for this change. It is not as fast but it is lots of fun. After some hours on the snowmobile you smell like a man because of the heavy mix of two stroke gasoline. Our plan is to be back up north mid February to the end of the month. In March we are attending an event in Salla, Northern Finland hosted by the Vintage snowmobile club of Finland and the first weekend of April we are going to be on a race in Rovaniemi at the Arctic Circle hosted by Vintage veikot. God willing we will be on the last race of the season as well end of April.

It is wonderful to be part of all this. Team RFC is very new on all these scenes over here and some people are surprised over us being there. To us it is a privilege to represent Team RFC and our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep us in your prayers. We have spent some funds on making this possible. Our ministry bus Gospel Express took a lot of funds but now we do not have to worry about expensive hotels anymore. Also gas- & diesel prices are ridiculous here. I think we are up in over $8 / gallon for both gasoline and diesel. This means it takes around $500 in only diesel to get up there and back home.

God Bless you all!

Pontus J. Back
Chaplain Europe

Johan Sebastian Back
Field Staff Europe