Joel & Sarah Oyoumick
Joel Oyoumick is from Unalakleet, Alaska. He is married to Sarah (Leitch) and they have three boys: Jonas, Lucas, and Marcus.
Joel grew up in rural Alaska and knew he wanted to be a pilot when he was very young. He gave his heart to the Lord at North River Bible Camp in Unalakleet while in junior high. Then God placed a missionary aviation family from Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC) in his village, and God opened up the door for Joel to be trained and encouraged by Don Irvine and other pilots with MARC. Eventually Joel went to Soldotna and stayed at the hangar as he was trained and received his private pilot's license at MARC. Joel knew then that God was calling him to be a missionary pilot. While at MARC, he saw how important it was for him to also be a mechanic. After he graduated from high school, he attended Covenant Bible College in Canada. He then returned to Alaska and continued pursuing his education in the aviation field. By 2001 Joel had earned his commercial, instrument, and multi-engine ratings.
During the fall of 2001 he met his lovely wife Sarah on a college retreat in Talkeetna, Alaska. She was teaching in Noorvik, Alaska, and serving as a lay youth pastor. God had called her to missions, and she knew serving Native people was her heart's passion.
Joel and Sarah married in 2003, and Joel earned an associate degree in aviation maintenance in 2005. He worked as an aircraft mechanic for a commuter airline in Anchorage for a year and half until God opened the door for Joel to fly with a local cargo company out of Unalakleet.
Joel and Sarah have been serving children, youth, and their church, as well as raising their two boys, for the last 5 years there. Being in Unalakleet, Joel has also been able to continue to fish and hunt in some of the subsistence lifestyle that he was taught as a young boy. It is a necessity in rural Alaska to help keep the cost of living to a minimum. The bounty of the land is also a blessing from God.
In 2012 Joel felt very strongly that God was reminding Him of what He had called him to as a young man. He saw the need for his community and other Alaska Native communities to see Native men serving the Lord with their whole heart, mind, body, and soul. In February of 2013, Joel and his family went to Soldotna to finish the application process of serving with MARC in Alaska. Joel and Sarah have reached 100% of their support raising, and were able to start full time service with MARC in preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration which was in September 2014.