ABM Summer Activity Update
- April 8-13, Ministry Director Dave and Career Staff member Jeffrey traveled to Bethel to scout out work projects for the summer. They fellowshipped with the ministry families while lending a hand with some of their project needs. They connected with Moravian Pastors, the VFCM radio station, and the Covenant Church. Afterward, Jeffrey continued to Mt. Village to join the Covenant staff for their annual conference. He helped out wherever needed and took the time to invest in the village children through a game of basketball.
- Associate Staff members Bill and Susan took a week to travel to Ross River, Canada, to visit a ministry family’s high school graduate. She invited them personally, calling Bill and Susan her “Alaskan grandparents.” While there, they connected with several other ministry families. They took advantage of the drive and stopped in Whitehorse, Tok, Glennallen, and Wasilla to visit with and encourage ministry families all along their route.
- May 20-24, Mike, Director of Resource Development, went to Iliamna to help prepare a foundation for a hangar. After his second trip to the village, everything was ready for the multiple teams scheduled to erect the structure over the summer months.
- June 4 a team arrived from Winnie, TX to assist Kenai First Baptist Church with their VBS program. The team blessed one of our local churches during the week. Mission trips like this always bless the volunteers too and this trip helped connect a group of servants from one church that didn’t know one another well before the trip.
- June 5-14 a team from Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Alabama traveled to Galena to help a ministry family. One of several projects was to place additional insulation into the walls of their home. Now, that family’s son won’t worry about a glass of water freezing on the floor of his bedroom during the winter!
- Jason, Anita, and family interned during June and joined Aviation Manager Paul and Career staff Jeffrey on a work project in Bethel June 12-14. Paul and Jason helped the Christian radio station VFCM rebuild part of their residence. Permafrost rotted the old deck and stairs, so they built the new set attached to the building rather than the ground to alleviate the permafrost concerns. Jason and Anita spent most of their time in the Covenant Church. Antia offered free haircuts to some locals–many came.
- June 24 to July 1 Jeffery and one of his sons spent time in Bethel and Hooper Bay. They visited many ministry families. Jeffrey’s son’s visit especially blessed many of the children of those families. They helped with a variety of jobs, including painting, digging a drain system for the hangar, fixing windows and water leaks, replacing an oil tank, and increasing some dining room space.
- July 6, Ministry Director Dave and his family drove to Glennallen to serve in Gulkana Community Chapel’s VBS and to check-in with the local missionaries of that area. The VBS was a huge success and brought the children much joy. Children were shuttled in from Glennallen and other surrounding communities. The church leaders expressed this may have been the best VBS they’ve had in 12 years.
- July 10, Aviation Manager Paul flew his wife, Sara, and their twin boys out to Port Alsworth–the boys enjoyed their first camp experience at Tanalian Bible Camp. Sara helped prepare breakfast in the camp kitchen. Sara also visited and encouraged several ministry women in that village.
- Executive Director Jim, HR Leader Dan, and Director of Resource Development Mike and their spouses traveled to Oshkosh, WI for the 2019 EAA AirVenture event–the world’s largest gathering of airplanes and aviation enthusiasts. For the first time, ABM had a promotional booth in the mission area. They worked hard all week to spread awareness, recruit, and develop new relationships with people entering mission aviation and others looking for new opportunities to serve. They networked with leaders of other mission aviation organizations like MAF, JAARS, Moody, and SMAT. Throughout the week, Jim, Mike, and Dan had opportunities to promote ABM’s ministry in churches, community meetings, and on the radio. Mike and Ranada also met with some of their support partners in Wisconsin.
- During the last half of July, Mike and Jeffrey utilized ABM’s boat and took several ministry families out on the Kenai River to dipnet for red (sockeye) salmon. The abundant return of reds blessed several families with a supply of fish to last into next spring.
- July 30, Jeffrey accompanied a pastor from a remote village to Anchorage and spent the day supporting him during a significant doctor appointment. The pastor told Jeffrey several times how thankful he was for the fellowship and support.
- July 31, Associate Staff members Marylil, Gloria, and Gloria’s cousin flew out to KAKO for the Ladies Berry Picking Retreat. The ABM ladies covered housework, which freed up the local women to pick berries while they lasted. Bad weather limited opportunities for safe flights, but on August 6, the ABM ladies safely returned with giant smiles and delightful stories of the women they served.
- August 5-9, Career Staff Jeffrey traveled to Togiak to assist a ministry family level their house–this is a common need for homes built on the tundra. During the outbound flight, they stopped briefly in Dillingham to connect several area pastors for future fellowship and encouragement. Jeffrey’s time in Togiak blessed the family. Their son assisted, and the foundation got replaced and the house leveled in about a day and a half. As a result, they had more time for other projects and a day on the river with the family.
- Associate Staff members Gary and Margo left for Ross River on August 25 to fill in while the ministry family went on leave. They worked in The Hope Centre and shepherded the church and community into September.
- April 11-13, Paul flew out to Nenana to help a ministry family complete the annual inspection on their Cessna 206. These inspections are tedious but critical to ensure flight safety. Paul’s knowledge and assistance blessed this family.
- Nearly every weekend throughout the summer, Aviation Manager Paul provided flights for children traveling to Kokrine Hills Bible Camp and a camp hosted by McGrath Community Church. During those flights, Paul visited several area ministry families. Near the end of summer, intense smoke from all the forest fires shortened camp weeks. Smoke made flying difficult, and Paul made several unexpected flights bringing people safely to their destination.
- Ministry Director Dave made several trips to Port Alsworth and transported bags of cement and other building supplies for a ministry family building a new home in that village. Housing options are limited in small villages like this one, and this family looks forward to a home of their own.
- Paul delivered needed supplies into McGrath and many other villages throughout the summer. The empty legs of those trips allowed many ministry families to travel in and out of the villages for meetings, grocery runs, doctor appointments, and many other necessary trips.
Happenings at Home Base
- Career Staff members Conrad and MarJean announced their retirement from ABM after fourteen years of service. On August 12, ABM held a retirement celebration with the Peters in Soldotna. God blessed the occasion with delightful weather. Guests shared food as everyone fellowshipped, shared memories, and poured love into Conrad and MarJean. The ABM team will miss them.
Welcome to the Team!
- Shortly after interning with ABM this past summer, Jason and Anita began the application process to join ABM’s work in Alaska. On September 9, ABM officially welcomed Jason and Anita as Career Staff Appointees.