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OIL PATCH MISSIONARIES
Missionaries say finding followers in the oil fields is every bit as challenging as overseas

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Saturday, April 26, 2014 12:13 PM EDT
WILLISTON, N.D.


When the oil and natural gas boom took off, tens of thousands of workers flocked to North Dakota for jobs, and missionaries soon followed.

Many of them now say the work is every bit as challenging as seeking converts in Africa or Asia — because of the roughnecks' transient lifestyles, their exhausting round-the-clock shifts and the fact that many work camps simply do not allow visitors.

Most workers are in the oil fields on a short-term basis, which creates an environment in which everything seems temporary.

Missionaries say that's both an opportunity and a hindrance, because people are more receptive to religious messages when they're going through changes. But it also means missionaries have less time to build relationships with potential followers.










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