Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Receiving The Call

 The Galena Alaska Seal
Dear Friends,

We are so excited to begin sharing with you about our mission in Alaska.  Even though we have yet to make the move, we are steadily working toward the big day.  On January 10th we will officially leave the lower 48 and arrive at our new home, Galena.

Seven years ago Shell and I made our first visit to Galena, Alaska and God began to tug our hearts North. In the last seven years, God has given us opportunities for growth and maturity.  He provided people like Dr Jeff Cook, ministries such as Church WithOutWalls , and institutions such as New Orleans Baptist Seminary, to form us, disciple us, and train us for the work of ministry. We will be forever indebted to their lessons.

Here are some things you should know about Galena:
  • The Galena Bible Church is the only protestant church in Galena and has been without a pastor for almost three years. They began praying over a year and a half ago that God would call a pastor for them.
  • The youth population is enormous.  Of the 500 people that call Galena home, more than 200 are teens thanks to the GILA boarding school located there.
  • There are no roads that connect Galena to anywhere else.  Thanks God for planes.
  •  Fun fact: Galena is on the Iditarod route every even year-that would mean we'll miss it this coming February 2011.
This past September I went up to visit family and make a moose hunt. During my visit I had the privilege of preaching at the Galena Bible Church and getting to fellowship with a number of the believers there. While hunting that week I was reminded of my heart for the village and the people of the church. I began to be pressed with the question, "Why not me, why not my family?"
So I began searching God's heart for the answers to the questions. I submitted my resume to the church council, and asked them to pray about our 'fit' for village life, and my 'fit' for leading the church. After several phone interviews and countless prayers, the Galena Bible Church voted unanimously on November 28th to call me as their Pastor. This is the first time the church has called a pastor of their own rather than simply receiving one sent by a missions organization.
 The Galena Bible Church
Days to come:

We are busy about the business of raising financial support to have a salary at the church. Our goal is to have $2000 a month raised in pledged giving by the time we make our move. We are selling most of our possessions, and tying up loose ends here in Louisiana. When we fly out on January 10th, we'll be arriving in Anchorage and plan to be in Galena no later than January 21st. We'll need the time on the "road system" to be able to purchase groceries and snow gear before heading out to Galena. Can you believe no one in South Louisiana carries arctic snow gear?! We'll also be taking the opportunity to connect with already established Galena Bible Church supporters in the Anchorage area.

Things you can be praying for concerning us:
  • Pray for our relationship with the Galena Bible Church to grow and deepen even though we are not physically there. (Philippians 1:8)
  • Pray for the conversations we are having with possible supporters. Pray that God would give us the right people to share this ministry with, and that they would respond with generosity. 
  • Pray that our home, vehicle, and other possessions will sell quickly.
  • Pray for spiritual protection for our family. Satan has already made it clear that he isn't giving up his stronghold without a fight. 

Thank you so much for supporting us and praying for us as we embark on this awesome mission together. May God bless you as you serve Him in your portion of the Kingdom of God.