It is hard to believe the time has come for everyone to return back to the Lower 48 (or “Outside” as some Alaskans would say it). It has been a joyous and fulfilling endeavor to set up long-term residence there in Anchorage. We have been asked of our favorite things about Alaska. For some it would vary, but other than the amazing opportunities of ministry, our favorite thing has been the laid-back atmosphere of Alaska. It’s hard to believe it’s still the US by the difference in the culture and daily lifestyle. We have enjoyed having the time set aside for family interaction. Our meal time and devotions have been especially meaningful as we have shared different aspects of our days with each other. Our closeness as a family has deepened over this time for which we are very thankful.
The ministry with the homeless and hospital patients has been so fulfilling. Daddy enjoys the daily routine of having devotions as a family in the morning prior to him going to the Downtown Soup Kitchen and Native American Medical Center. God has opened many hearts to the Gospel through one-on-one interaction and in a group setting! On one occasion at the soup kitchen, God’s presence was so real while the girls were singing Amazing Grace that most of the eating stopped as the people started crying and worshipping. Another Monday at the Soup Kitchen, a lady came up to Daddy after he had shared some scriptures about salvation. She was crying as she expressed the bondage that alcohol had on her life and how much she wanted to be free from it. As Daddy prayed with her, she experienced hope that things could change. She shared how she felt so much peace inside. This is only a couple of the many stories we could share. There will be more to come!
Julie has taken on several new opportunities. She is now a volunteer at the Native American Medical Center twice a week. She serves the patients as they take Chemotherapy. She has dealt with very sad cases, yet with each of them she looks for ways to bring a brightness to their difficult days. She is also actively involved at the Women’s Shelter, which is possible to pick up even more after her return to Alaska in July 2016. Jalisa, Jordan, and Joy have greatly missed their friends and family back in the Lower 48. As you can imagine, the adjustment of a new residence has been easier for some more than others, yet God has given abundant grace.
There are two significant events that brings the family home for this length of time during the summer. On Friday, the twenty-second of June, Jamin received his 4 year diploma with honors from Ozark Bible Institute. We are so proud of him and the diligence he has exemplified in applying himself to the study of God’s Word. Congratulations, Jamin, on your tremendous accomplishment!
The next exciting event in the Martin family will be held on June 24, 2016 at First Baptist Church in Mt Vernon, TX where I, Joanna Martin will be joined in marriage to the Love of my life, Derek Rich! We are joyfully preparing for this blessed day! Soon after the wedding, Bro Martin, Julie, Jalisa, Jordan, and Joy will be returning to Anchorage, Alaska where they will continue the ministry there.
Please keep us in your prayers as we seek to be lead by the Lord each step of the way.
We hope you enjoy these pictures.
Bro Martin, Julie, Jordan, & Joy about to fly out from Anchorage, Alaska.
It’s Dinner time at the Downtown Soup Kitchen
Our new residence in Anchorage, Alaska
A powerful move of God at the Downtown Soup Kitchen
The Martin family at Jamin and his girlfriend, Allison’s graduation party.