Mike and Ranada Hassemer became acquainted with bush ministry on a family vacation to Alaska in 1999. They had participated in several mission ministry projects before, but the trip to Alaska solidified their passion for missions. Since that trip, Mike and Ranada returned to Alaska every year but one and organized or led many work teams as well. Some trips involved work projects, some provided VBS programs, and all encouraged the Arctic Barnabas team. A number of people who participated in these trips with them now serve full-time in ministry.
As they watched Arctic Barnabas grow to the current staff of sixteen families, Mike and Ranada helped with home projects and worked alongside the ABM staff. When God called them to join Arctic Barnabas as official career staff appointees, they began the arduous process of raising support, a test of faith more difficult than serving. Mike now leads the Resource Development Team as they strive to connect ABM support and prayer partners with the blessings, joy, and eternal reward of being the expression of Christ to the nations.
Now working full time with Arctic Barnabas, the Hassemers focus entirely on the ministry of encouragement and support of pastors and missionaries on the front lines. Mike’s experience and gifting involve him with the many and varied hands-on, practical needs projects so desperately needed for pastors and missionaries to live and work more effectively in the villages. Mike also helps plan retreats, such as the annual Ministry Family Retreat held each fall, and he manages the ABM hangar and office facility in Kenai, AK. Ranada assists with a focus on the wives, coordinates the greeting card ministry, and helps Mike with shopping and meal planning for some of the work team projects.
Both Mike and Ranada were born and raised in Wisconsin. Mike graduated from UW Milwaukee with a degree in Medical Technology. He managed a clinical laboratory and then started a cabinetmaking business. Ranada graduated from Silver Lake College with a Special Education degree and taught learning disabled students for many years, with time off to raise their children. Their son Aaron and his daughters Brooklyn and Jacklyn, and their daughter Carolyn, her husband Nathan Punt, and their children Lucas and Lauren all live in Boise, Idaho.