Wednesday, August 8, 2018

From 3rd Year in Alaska to 2nd Year at BSSM!

Dear Friends and Family,

I’m back from my third year working with sockeye salmon in Naknek, Alaska and setting my sights and my heart toward the second year of BSSM.

This year in Alaska was very different from the previous two, but God’s grace was more prevalent than ever. Even though I did not get the specific position I had been looking and hoping for, God did have a promotion in store. I moved from working as a processor in the Roe (salmon eggs) department to working in Quality Assurance up in the main plant. I was primarily in the Packing department (which meant I went from the quietest, warmest department to the loudest and coldest one! We were in and out of giant freezers all day), but got cross-trained in every department in the plant and got to learn the whole process from start to finish of what we do up there.

BSSM homework in Alaska with a BSSM recruit and roommate
(Alaskan roommate, that is)!

Another big difference this time around from years past was the strong presence of a Christian community. A friend from high school (it was his third year in AK as well) and I decided to form a prayer and Bible-study group each night during the “pre-season” (the time before we started working 16-hour shifts). Between the five of us who had grown up in Jordan together, the four students I had recruited from BSSM, and other Christians we connected with while we were up there we had quite the group that was gathering every night for two weeks - we couldn’t pass unnoticed, and a lot of people started to ask questions and even stop in to get prayer.

We were spread throughout every department in the plant, and one of my favorite things was just to hear the testimonies of how God used each person to encourage others, lift the atmosphere, bring healings, and spread the Gospel. One non-believer who had his shoulder healed couldn’t stop telling others about it, and another guy gave his life to Jesus! Hallelujah!

Nightly gatherings for prayer were a highlight 
Summers with Leader Creek (the company I work for) are always hard yet rewarding, and I would never trade them. One of the most definitive things this particular Summer was the tutelage of the Holy Spirit. Every day felt like “lessons with God” as he taught me about about a variety of topics, including leadership (specifically in the workplace), excellence, working for legacy and what I can’t see, wealth, and favor. God gave me favor in the eyes of my leaders, and it was clear to me that it had very little to do with anything I did (other than a general good work ethic and desire to do well) and very much to do with his workings. At the end of the season I even had the great privilege of getting to prophesy over two of my leads, neither of whom are Christians!

These are just a few of the ways God was working while we were up there.

God’s provision was great, between a long season and many hours (six weeks total, and almost 500 work hours in just five of those!), and various little raises and bonuses here and there. However, even so, the money I made still fell short of what I was able to make between the last two seasons combined, almost all of which went to the single year of BSSM (tuition + rent). So there’s still a need, as I can’t pay for my tuition and my rent this year with just the money I made in Alaska and the money I’ll make from my part-time job during the year. But God’s a lot bigger than that need! If you feel led to be a part of an answer to prayer and sow financially into the things God’s doing in and through my life this next year, you can give through this link, where you can also see the updated amount I have left to pay on my tuition - At the time of this writing it’s at $4,275 that I need to pay. That’s all that’ll need to be paid if it’s paid in full by August 14th (just under a week from the time of this writing). If it’s not, I’ll owe another $225 (because of missing the early-bird deadline), and $2,250 will be due by August 22nd (two weeks away).

The next couple of weeks I’ll be finishing up my Summer homework assignments, spending some time with family in Santa Cruz, and spending a lot of time in the Bible and prayer - seeking the word of the Lord for this next year, seeking what he’s planning to do in and through me, so that I can partner with that as best as I know how and get all that he would have for me out of this second year at Bethel.

A last short testimony - due to some misunderstanding, the housing I had set up before going to Alaska for this next year fell through. However, in just a very short amount of time God opened the doors for a great situation, locationally, relationally, and financially for this next year, and I got everything set and in order just two days before moving back to Redding!

Thank you for all your prayers and support, financial and otherwise! They are powerful.


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