Ron and Jean Paull
Jean and I met back in the mid-sixties. We have known each other over fifty years. Each of us has few memories without the other in them. We married on July 6, 1968. Even though we both grew up influenced by the Church, our actual “walking with Christ” began much later. Ten years into our marriage, love was nearly extinguished, and we almost lost the relationship. I was a “functioning alcoholic” if there can really be such a thing. I pursued my dream of becoming a recognized custom gun builder but at the cost of making my wife work in order to keep us afloat. Jean also had to raise our four children almost completely alone with no appreciation from me. These are some of the things that nearly destroyed our marriage after only ten years. Had it not been for God in His matchless grace pursuing both of us, we would not be together and ministering today. We have two sons and two daughters all in various stages of their relationships with the Lord—all by God’s continued grace.
Over the past 47 years together we have befriended and worked with people from many walks of life. We have also been involved in many vocations and adventures including tough times that put an edge on the adventures. Jean was my faithful partner when I served in the military, law enforcement, and various fields of employment such as laborer, custom American Longrifle maker, painting contractor, hunting guide and motorcycle evangelist. I have dragged Jean from our birthplace in New England to Kentucky, Florida, Utah, Montana, Washington State, Colorado, Montana again, and finally Alaska. In all this she has remained my constant and uncomplaining companion and fellow laborer for the cause of Christ.
I wanted to join the Army right out of high school, but my parents made me commit to giving Bible college a try for at least a year. I attended Practical Bible Training Institute in New York for a year and was asked not to return. My father didn’t consider that a fair shot, so he made me try again at a small Bible school in Vermont. I was ‘invited’ to leave after only three months. There is a lot of history in between, but at age forty God gave me another chance along with the desire—an important but missing component the first two go-arounds!—to attend Bible college at the school now called Moody Bible Institute Spokane. I graduated four years later and went on to Denver Seminary where I earned a master’s degree in counseling, certifications for addictions counseling, and a certificate in Prepare/Enrich marriage counseling. It’s amazing what God can do with a person who willingly follows Him!
The whole time I had my nose in the books Jean was working to keep us going so that I could finish my programs and get back to Montana and into active ministry. Jean became part of my counseling ministry, and we worked at that exclusively for a number of years. After suffering a nearly world-class case of burnout, we took a break and re-entered ministry as a pastoral couple. At first it was interim work, then full-time until just recently. God has given us both many happy and fulfilling times in ministry such as recently reconnecting with a woman just entering the mission field in Alaska who had been one of our “kids” in our first pastorate. God has also walked with us through many deep waters and hot fires and taken us safely through every time. For more than six years, the hands He used to hold ours through these times were those of the Arctic Barnabas team. There were others as well.
At age 69, we felt God impressing on us a desire to use the experiences He has brought us through to encourage and counsel other northern ministry leaders. We are excited that God has led us to join the staff of Arctic Barnabas Ministries. Our hearts’ desire in this new role is to equip others to stay in the fight until their part of the battle is done, longing for the day when Jesus welcomes us all home with “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter the Joy of your Master!”