For those of you who do not know. My husband and I serve as missionaries in Alaska. What does that look like? Well, our specific job is more of a support role. Kylor flies kids from rural Alaska into camps in the summer and work teams and supplies into rural Alaska throughout the year. Also, he helps run the parts room so we can provide discounted parts for the ministry planes we work on. We live in Soldotna Alaska, which in population is somewhere between 3000-4000 people (and twice that amount in the summer! Its a zoo). We have Fred Meyer, Safeway, Sportsmans, Joanns, and many other stores in town. There are a lot of good churches around. All this to say, life here isn’t too different from life “back home”. We serve with many awesome families at our organization and we go to an awesome church. We received ten plus meals when our third child was born and many, many gifts. We are BLESSED. If Kylor is away on a trip I always have multiple people tell me to call if I need anything. I get to share prayer requests and pray with fellow missionary wives once a month over brunch (this is the best). Between work, church, and supporters back home we are triple insured. I have felt the arms of God wrap around me as we have been loved on by the body of Christ. This picture of Christ has made it even more clear to me what my purpose is as a wife, mother, and fellow sister in Christ: to show the love of Christ and his servant hood of coming to us as a baby, dying on the cross for our sins and raising to life again and giving the spirit to me so that I, too, may live. As of now I may not have to suffer through cultural differences, rarely seeing family, loneliness, and many other things “normal” missionaries endure. I feel blessed to be being filled up to overflowing so that I can bless other. Most of the pastors and missionaries in rural Alaska that we support thru our flying face spiritual attacks, loneliness, and discouragement on a daily basis. Please pray for them! We help them with their ministries by moving people for them or bringing work teams to help them. But they are on the “front lines” and face serious spiritual darkness. January and February are physically dark and depressing months up here. Suicide is expected. Pray for armies of angel to fight for these workers. God is mighty and good. It is a privilege to know him and serve him.
Hosea 6:3 says, "So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn, and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth."
As I look outside I long for the sun to shine bright. I honestly miss the sun! So as I read this verse today I thought it should go like this "... and He will come to us like the sun, like the high summer sun bringing light to the earth."
Oh how a day filled with light would make me so happy! Yet I forget so easily that seeking the Lord and meditating on His word is more refreshing than the sun or rain. When I press on to know the Lord, regardless of the day, good or bad, I can have joy. Joy that comes from the Lord. Not "joy" that I try to muster up.
May you have joy this Christmas and joy in the new year. Joy that comes from spending sweet time with our savior and meditating on His word.
I fail miserably at this and I want my relationship with God to be more than a winter day in Alaska. I want my relationship to be a summer day in Alaska. Shining God's light all the time.
When people think of MARC, generally the first thing that comes to mind is transporting kids to Bible camps, flying different ministries to the villages, or supporting Alaskan pastors and missionaries through aviation maintenance. But not many people think of the parts department. When we move to Alaska in July I expected to spend a few weeks in our parts department before transitioning into the shop. However, with Bob (our parts room manager for well over a decade), moving back to Michigan three weeks after we arrived, I wound up in the parts room for an undetermined amount of time. At first it was disappointing, but the longer I worked in the parts department the more I began to view it differently. We are the only aviation parts supplier on the whole Kenai Peninsula, that means we have lots of interaction with local pilots and mechanics in the community. Having the parts room allows us to supply parts to our ministry partners at a highly discounted rate, it also allows the local pilots and mechanics to get parts without going clear to Anchorage. It is exciting to be a part of not only ministry to the villages, but also representing Christ to the local pilots and mechanics through our interaction with them. This interaction would not be possible (at least not to the same extent) without having a parts room that brings so many people through our doors.
what a breathtaking place to live.
Here are a few things we've gathered since moving here. (this is a very light hearted post.)
I heard they were bad and I heard the bad joke about them being the state bird... But then I experienced them... Everyday... Multiple times a day! Thank goodness for the cold weather! (did I just say that?) I have never had so many bites in my life. I guess that's their way of initiation?
They were elusive when we first got here but now we see them all the time. And we love it!! I'm sure that will wear off, especially when we have our own place and they get in our garden... But for now they are a novelty kind of like the...
on a clear day they are breathtaking. Which in July we hardly had a clear day. But the last few weeks have been cold and clear and the views are endless! This will never get old.
I learned that ground beef is more expensive than a lot of other meat. Why? I don't know. Back home we had ground elk and deer coming out our ears, so maybe since I've NEVER bought it before I have no clue on prices. But that seems ridiculous. Hey, Ky is happy he gets pork chops now.
Their are quite a few things for kids to do in the community. Which I'm very excited about because I'm always looking for indoor activities. Getting outside is great and we love it, but mixing it up is nice. The library and wildlife refuge have great programs for kids and jumping junction is always fun.
I see why people like the cold. I mean really cold. Because when it is cold the skies are blue, the sun is shining and the bugs are gone! And you get snow... not rain. Which means light! Now we haven't experienced the snow here, but I've experienced snow and rain and I'll take snow for days on end over rain for days on end. Give me blue skies and sun and I'll be happy.
There are lots of churches in Soldotna. We have yet to decide on which one we will faithfully attend. But wherever we decide I am sure we will see..
Bogs, Muck, Xtratuff, whatever you choose. You see them everywhere with every kind of outfit. And for good reason. They are awesome! The weather calls for it because 85% of Alaska is wetland. And when they make them for cold weather you just might as well wear them nearly year around.
Those are just a few fun things we have discovered and I'm sure there are many more.
Some of you have been in the loop on missions and what we do since... well... before "us", that is Kylor and I (Tabitha). You see, Kylor went to to Africa after high school and then after that went to school for flight training to be a missionary. Then I joined the party and a lot has happen since then. I won't make a HUGE blog post so let's get to the point.
WHAT ARE WE DOING NOW?
In July of this year (2016) Kylor and I moved to Alaska where we now serve with Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC). Kylor is a pilot/mechanic and I stay home with our two boys. Kylor does various different things at MARC but the overall goal of MARC is to expand the reach of the gospel in Alaska.
We are excited to be apart of this ministry and feel blessed to serve along side the families at MARC. We also feel blessed to live in the BEAUTIFUL state of Alaska where vasts lands have been "untouched" by man, leaving Gods creation for us to enjoy.
Africa will always have a piece of Kylor's heart. Now, the Lord has directed our hearts here to Alaska. We are privileged to be His hands and feet.