Much has happened since we first stepped foot onto Alaskan soil (or snow!) on January 13th. Upon our arrival here, we quickly began to get our home ready to live in. With cleaning supplies, paintbrushes, rollers, and tools in hand, the rooms started taking on a better look. It was a joy to set up house together, picking out everything from mattresses to couches, dishes, towels, and much more. Our closeness deepened as we sought to make frugal decisions together.

After around 2 weeks of daily progress, we began to see a break from the painting and working. We were excitedly anticipating getting to a place where we could begin the ministry opportunities we felt that God had led us here for. During his personal devotions one morning, Dad felt a distinct commission from Lord to begin the ministry that very day. (Deut. 2:31) He visited with the homeless at the Soup Kitchen and then went on to the Native Hospital. This day was the first of almost every day since that he has had the opportunity of ministering to the hopeless and hurting.

We have enjoyed our time around the dinner table and family devotions where he has shared the experiences God has given him in ministry to the people.

One of the stories that stood out to me was a girl in her early twenties. She burst into tears when she saw Dad come into the room. She then proceeded to tell him that she had been praying that God would send someone to pray for her. He was the answer to her prayers. There are many more stories of God’s intervention in lives. To God be all the Glory!

Julie and I have greatly enjoyed our involvement at the Women’s Shelter. We usually go twice a week from 9pm- 12am. Our main job description during that time is to organize the showers and do the laundry. Our favorite thing about being there is the interaction with the ladies. The longer we have been there, the more they have opened up to us and shared the depth of their needs. It has been a joy to point them to Jesus Christ as our only Hope!

One of the ladies we met at the Shelter said to me, “I got to the place I would isolate myself from people because I thought all people was icky. And then I met you, and your love has helped increase my faith in God. I now want to love other people because we are all God’s children.” By her testimony and others, God’s love is what is making the difference in our outreach endeavors.

We are seeing the need more everyday to do as Momma would say almost everyday, “We must seek for God’s love!” We greatly desire to be a representation of God’s love to these precious people.

We look forward to sharing in the future more of what God has done during this time of being here in Anchorage, Alaska.

— Joanna Martin