Kyle & Ellen Braband
Kyle and Ellen were both raised in Christian homes in Wisconsin. They both came to know the Lord as very young children and grew up serving in the church with their families. Having known each other since they were two years old, they have no memory of ever "meeting" each other. They became very close friends in middle school and were married two years out of high school in 2003, after Ellen completed her degree in Early Childhood from Waukesha County Technical College. Kyle had begun working as an auto glass technician after graduating from high school, but they both knew they wanted to serve in full-time ministry. They just didn't know what God wanted them to do. Both had been on missions trips in high school, which God used to call them into full- time service; but it was during their first year of marriage that He first put missionary aviation on their hearts.
Kyle had never thought about being a pilot before, but was a very gifted mechanic. So they looked into schools and felt Moody Aviation would be the best training for what they felt called to.
Their daughter Bailey (4/21/05) was three months old when they packed up and moved across the country to Spokane, WA, to begin what would be 5 ½ years of schooling. They were blessed with their son Owen (12/10/07) during their time at Moody as well.
Kyle graduated in 2010, and as a graduation requirement, had to go on an 8-week aviation internship with a mission organization. As a family of four, they were looking for the most practical and economical location for their internship. They contacted a mission in Mexico and also Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC), since both were within driving distance. During their time at Moody, they had never felt God's clear direction to a specific country to serve in, and always told people that they were willing to go wherever He called them.
Interestingly, they had never thought seriously of Alaska. But MARC responded first and most positively, so they drove there at the end of the summer of 2010 for their internship. While there, God began tugging on their hearts as they learned more about Alaska and the ministry of MARC. By the time they had been there four weeks, they were seriously considering asking the director if they could apply with MARC for full-time ministry.
Much to their delight, he said "yes", and their internship was quickly turned into a candidacy and technical evaluation visit. They were accepted as MARC missionaries and are so thankful for God's direction and provision for their family as they seek to serve Him.
Following deputation, the Braband family arrived in Alaska in November 2011. Kyle is now serving as a mechanic in the MARC hangar, as well as taking on the role of lead flight instructor. Kyle serves as a MARC line pilot as well. Ellen has been serving as a trainer and mentor for new staff families raising ministry support in order to join MARC.