I see the Bakken as the new little America…it’s how I picture New York must have been like way back in the day when people were coming from all over to this new land of opportunity. It was a chance for people to try and escape their past and maybe past mistakes and start something new and fresh for themselves. The Bakken seems to be just that. It’s overwhelming the amount of people that I meet who have had some kind of disaster in their lives that led them to try something new and move here. Many people are running scared over all the new faces showing up in this area.
I’ve noticed there is an overwhelming “Beware of the Bakken” mentality. It seems that the media has given this area a pretty bad wrap. And I will be honest that before I moved here, I was a little sketch about what Big T was asking me to bring our 5 littles into. Doesn’t he know that the crime rate has increased dramatically there?! At least that’s what I’ve heard from the news reports.
But after moving here I have a completely different perspective. From my personal experience I’ve found that there are significantly more males in this town than females. However, that’s only because oil field jobs tend to draw in men, instead of women. And those men that have moved to the Bakken are more often than not, here to work and I have found them to be VERY respectful.
I began to wonder if maybe I was missing something. I mean clearly the media knows more than I do about what is going on in this area, right?! And I feel extremely safe in this town, more so than I ever have before. So I decided to do a little of my own research…
According to cityrating.com the crime rate in Dickinson, North Dakota is still very much below the National crime rate…boom, there you have it folks. This is not a metropolous for all your harden criminals. While sure, we have a significant population of transients and it would be nice for those people to find homes to live in, instead of our of their cars. I actually know a “homeless” man.
Let’s call him “Ed.” Ed came out to the Bakken about 2 months ago. He is in his early 60’s and has taken a job in construction. He left his wife and family back in Washington State, and drove out here in his little truck with a topper to make a go at supporting his family. Ed doesn’t say much, but what he does say means something. His wife is going back to school to get a degree in theology. And Ed is very much in love with her and wants her to be able to go to school without having to work. So here he is, working 13 hour days in the heat to make it happen. You want to know where Ed lives? In his truck. You want to know where Ed takes a shower? At the community center. Currently he is parked across the street from my home because promised not to call the cops if he sleeps there. He is just trying to make a way, when it seemed there was no way to be made. I respect Ed and his commitment to his family and his drive to work hard to better their lives.
It makes me wonder what God has in store for this place. Something big, I know that much. And it seems that there are two different groups of people that I interact with on a daily basis, those who don’t know they need a Savior but know they are missing out on something and are trying desperately to find out what it is. And the second group is those who know they need a Savior and want so desperately to bring glory to His kingdom. Knowing that they have been given much and so much is required of them to give. And they are so happy to do so…and when these two groups of people meet…I just don’t even have the words, but something happens. Lives are touched on both sides and I see Christ move hearts.
So the Bakken can be a scary thing. Just like anything that you don’t know is scary. But I tell you what; God didn’t give this Jesus Girl a spirit of fear. And while there is something very oppressive over about the community, it’s not something of this world. It’s the battle of the unseen that is being fought. I don’t know the specifics of this battle, but I do know who wins. I’ve read The Book. I know that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. But they WILL get better. And in the meantime…prayer makes things happen.
We ask that you join us in prayer for this Battle in the Bakken. Pray for the guys like “Ed” that are ALL over this community, and pray for hearts to be softened to moving to the Bakken and reaching out to be the hands and feet of Jesus.