The communities of small town Canada are often viewed through rose-colored lenses as idyllic places immune from troubles.
This nostalgic perspective of rural communities still lingers in many peoples’ minds. Whether it be reinforced by our culture or media, small towns are either idealized as sanitized and carefree, or overlooked as insignificant. Sometimes both.
But reality is bit more complicated.
Without a doubt, making a small town your home offers many joys. You gain a strong sense of community with others and a slower pace of life, to name a few.
Another Side to Small Town Canada
But, a dark side remains invisible to many. Namely, that small towns are often host to a plethora of struggles, the same ones you would find in any city. The defining difference is that while urban areas frequently receive an abundance of attention and resources, rural areas often have insufficient or no access to help.
And in some instances, struggles in small towns are worse than their urban counterparts.
These are very real problems that affect millions of rural Canadians every day. Broken homes, dysfunctional families, addictions, poverty, depression…the list could go on and on.
And while the outside world may not see and know about these problems, God does. He sees small towns, every person who lives there, and what struggles they are going through. While rural communities are often neglected and disregarded, He hasn’t forgotten them.
Vulnerable, But Seen
Village Missions sees small places, too. We believe they deserve the hope of the gospel and a vibrant church as much as any other place. Village Missionaries not only willingly step into people’s spiritual problems, but also into their life problems.
It is often in these vulnerable moments that people see their great need for Christ.
Over the next few months, this blog series will go through several hidden struggles that many rural communities across Canada face, but may be largely unknown to the wider population. I will explore topics ranging from healthcare to education, poverty and mental health.
Our prayer for this series is that by understanding the needs of rural areas better, we will have more compassion for the people in these forgotten places. Let us not just see and know their struggles, but in empathy and the love of Christ, let us also act.
Rural ministry can be messy and difficult, but Village Missions believes that small places are worth investing in. So, please join us on this journey as we learn more about this vast mission field, its many hidden struggles, and how God is using Village Missionaries to make difference.