Saturday, October 12, 2013

Internship Adventures- Part 1

Screenshot Of Our Intern Pic On The Arctic Barnabas Website.
  The transition from school life to “regular life” was hardly the slow down we had momentarily expected.

     Graduation in May, complete with visitors, gifts, love, support and finding out we were expecting the fourth incredible gift and responsibility of parenting a brand new little person bolstered our spirits as we were thrown into the harrowing last four weeks of commercial. With a lot of hard work, a mega dose of supportive prayer and an overflow of favor and grace, Nathan finished the weeks and weeks of preparation with an intense four hours of oral testing, two hours of flight testing, and several hours of paperwork wrapping up on the very last day of the semester! Several weeks later Nathan's commercial pilot license came in the mail, a much valued reward for the hard work he'd put in over the years. A smile of accomplishment and a huge sigh of relief as a significant chapter of our lives came to a close and the next one began. Soon I will be posting a reflection on many areas of the blessing and lessons that our time at Moody has offered us.

     In an incredible show of provision Nathan was kept working full time between the National Guard and Moody Bible’s IT department to carry us through our summer; A summer that brought us many beautiful family memories– weddings, reunions, birthdays, babies and building relationships.

     Earlier, during the spring, we had spent time researching internship options to fulfill the 8-week cross-cultural missions requirement to put the finishing touches on Nathan’s Bachelor of Science in Missions Aviation Technology. After meeting with a few different missions reps we were reminded of Arctic Barnabas Ministries (ABM) in Kenai, Alaska whom we’d heard of in passing multiple times during our time at Moody. We began pouring over their website and watching many of their online videos and found ourselves very excited by their mission and ministry.

Off to Anchorage!

      ABM’s goal is to strengthen and encourage pastor and missionary families in rural Alaska. Alaska has among the highest rates in the country for child abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, suicide and the like (suicide rates for 2010 were twice the national average.) In an area steeped in spiritual darkness, the isolation of rural villages, most of which are not on the road system, is a huge factor. Many families have committed their lives to ministering in any way possible to the needs of these nearly unreachable communities. Rural pastors and missionaries and their families give so much of themselves as they commit their lives to this task; sometimes as natives to the area with a passion for their local community, sometimes by moving into a foreign culture and learning to become part of a community of people with whom they may even start out with very little in common with. These ministry families often find themselves needing outside resources and encouragement. ABM has committed itself to partnering with sending organizations to provide an extra layer of support to these families; supporting the frontline missionaries by putting on retreats and kid’s camps, repairing snowmobiles and helping fix houses, flying in grocery deliveries (especially fresh fruits and veggies which are hard to come by) and filling many other needs, some big and some small, but all significant in a way that many of us take for granted.
       For us, one of the most important considerations of the 'where' of internship was being able to go as a family, another was interning with an organization that closely aligned with what we feel God is calling us toward. Arctic Barnabas fit both of those goals beautifully.

Working On Their AK Survival Skills!
      During the non-stop summer season with the active support of our local church family and immediate families we began praying toward and preparing for a potential internship with ABM. It wasn't until early September that we had finally finished all the required paperwork and got the final approval. In four short months, our local piece of the church, comprised of around 70 people (children included) raised an incredible $3,300 toward our internship! On top of that many of our local friends and strangers supported us through either donating to or purchasing from our craigslist/yard sale fundraiser during which we raised another $2,000 for a grand total of $5,300! Our cost projection, including flights, rent, car insurance on a loan car, living expenses like gas, food, diapers, and of course covering extra costs for the ministry portion came to $7,500. The flight to Anchorage was relatively inexpensive so after some prayer we decided to step out in faith and purchase our tickets up, though we have not yet raised the money for our return. It has been a bit nervewracking, but this particular faith walk of putting our financial needs in God's hands has become significiantly easier over the past six years as we have seen it evidenced that God prepares us and equips us so perfectly for the things He has called us to.

     We arrived in Alaska a little over a week and a half ago (and will be writing a separate update with our initial impressions and experiences since there were too many to detail here!) and are busy helping prepare for the Ministry Family Retreat that will be taking place at Victory Bible Camp in Sutton, AK next week. We are excited to go out and spend some time ministering to the heart needs of the families who have devoted their lives to a very difficult, very worthwhile cause, bringing light into one of the darkest corners of the world. Update on that next weekend!

      We will be sending updated e-mails, and updating our blog frequently in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Answers to prayer over the past few months:
  • Direction and a lot of our funds for internship!
  • Survived through graduation! J
  • Work through the summer!

Prayer requests:
  • Most importantly, that God will use our time and service here to the very fullest potential- that we will learn all the things He has for us to learn and give of ourselves the very best for this ministry and the people here.
  • We still need to raise $1,700 for our internship, including our return home!
  • Provision of income when we return to Spokane in December as Nathan has no guaranteed full time work.
  • Finally, that during these coming months God would give us a long-term vision!
Our contact info:

Nathan Cell: 509-850-2744
Kellyn Cell: 509-389-5449

Address for correspondence here in Kenai (Ourselves, as well as our children, would love to hear from you!)

C/O Arctic Barnabas Ministries
135 North Willow
Kenai, Alaska

For those of you who have expressed interest in financially supporting us and the ministry here at ABM as we serve these next two months, a tax-deductible option is up on our blog:

As we send this we are spending time praying over each of you on our list this weekend; that God would pour His favor and blessing out on the people who have brought such joy and blessing to our lives!

All our love and gratefulness for your prayers,

Nathan, Kellyn, Elisha, Zechariah, Eden and Baby Avi

“ I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I want to be encouraged by yours...I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit.” (Romans 1:11-12,13b)

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