GOD has poured His love into the hearts of Arctic Barnabas men, compelling them to reach out to those who bring the love of Christ to Alaska’s remote villages. Seeking to thwart the Enemy’s efforts to drive people into isolation and despair, Arctic Barnabas gathers men to stand together against enemy onslaughts.
This past March anticipation ran high when many ministry men signed up to attend the Ministry Men’s Retreat. The morning of the retreat, all but four men canceled due to sickness or other reasons. At such a point, do we resort to blaming ourselves, the men, the Enemy or even God?
While Christ’s love compels us (2 Cor. 5:14) to gather these men in the first place, we resist despair and blame. We simply trust God’s heart, lean not on our own understanding, acknowledge his perfect plan and watch him direct our path (Prov. 3:5-6).
Our speaker, seasoned village pastor Don Ernst, discussed the need to “look up” instead of “look at our current trials.” Fellowship grew around meal times, while bacon at each meal added to the camaraderie. These men also needed down time, which we provided through skeet shooting, a .22cal challenge competition, and Nerf gun wars. Some guys also really got into Lego creations.
We look back today with gratitude for God’s faithfulness. The smaller numbers this time provided for deeper conversations about each man’s life and ministry. God used the time, the speaker and the connections for His glory when the men shared their lives with one another. They returned to their isolated villages looking to Jesus with more courage and a deeper commitment to bring God’s love to their people.