How do pastors and missionaries remain in the challenging landscapes of the Arctic? One way is through a network of support they receive from outside resource ministries like Arctic Barnabas Ministries. Last month, ABM Missionary Pilot Rob Dillingham and a small team of volunteers flew to a village in western Alaska to serve a ministry family by helping them with the building of a new home that will be located near the village school. Rob wasn’t sure what to expect, but he knew his work that week might have something to do with processing trees for this ministry family to use as building materials.
Throughout the week they worked on peeling and milling logs and stacking the rough-cut lumber boards. It was hard work physically. The ABM team took late-afternoon breaks to stay out of the hottest sun, returning to work after 8:00 p.m. for a few hours.
Not only did the ABM team serve this bush pastor through millwork, but Rob also found the time to fix the head gasket on the family’s Polaris Ranger (a truck-like ATV essential for arctic bush living).
The village pastor told Rob that it hadn’t run to the dump without spewing antifreeze and overheating for two years and that his wife was going to be thrilled. The repair of the Ranger was truly a special dispensation from the Lord for just this family’s situation. Later in the week the ministry family emailed Rob this thank you:
“…your fixing the ranger is one of the best things ever. I would not have been able to do anything this week without it. I got all of the logs off of the beach in one day with it. There is now a pile of 36 8-10 foot logs and 13-16 foot logs along the trail that I will saw this fall during freeze up! Thanks again…”.
At the end of the week, it was estimated that the ABM team had milled approximately 2500 board feet of lumber, which is an equivalent of over 300 8-foot 2X6’s worth over $3000! What a privilege it is for ABM staff to SERVE pastors and missionaries in ways so practical and hands-on in order to help them remain “healthy, thriving leaders leading healthy, thriving ministries.”
To read more about missions in Alaska or begin your adventure with us as a giving Ministry Partner, click arcticbarnabas.org