Standing in the Gap

(written in December of 2015)
So much has happened over the past six years.  You know most of the story, but there has been a story-line which we could not share… until now.  

Why now?  Well, we have been in God’s crucible of growth and change.  Quite frankly, it has been hard to see all that God was up to and we did not to feel safe enough to share or be vulnerable. (Only our sending church’s missions committee and a few close friends and family had the full story.)  But now we are feeling happier and healthier than ever.  It is like a fog has lifted from our spirits.

Think back and you will realize that we have been in flux and experiencing one change after another ever since we felt called to Ukraine in 2007.  This roller coaster ride all started with a God conversation in the midst of that Ukraine decision.

On the morning of July 4th, 2007 my brother David took his life.  After the funeral, I had a conversation with God about ‘why’.  With tears in my eyes, I asked why God did not answer all the prayers I lifted up on David’s behalf over the years.  We all knew that David had deep struggles.  I did all I could to help, but I knew that wasn’t enough.  I had prayed for years that God would bring someone into his life that could help him.  So in the pain of my loss, I demanded to know what happened.  Did God call someone who stubbornly refused?  Did David rebuff those whom God did send?  I was asking questions which couldn’t be answered.  However, God did ask me a question in return.  This question, which popped into my mind, so shocked me and was so unexpected that I knew it was God.  The question was simply, “will you stand in the gap for someone else?”  My answer, “Yes, but I do not know how.  You need to teach me.”  In a nutshell, that lesson is what God has been up to in the past six years.  Please let me share the fascinating way he unfolded this training, and then I will share briefly on where we go from here.

Fast forward one and a half years after that prayer.  Annika is born and Ukraine support was not coming together.  In early 2009, Laura and I felt called to do a liquid fast for 40 days to discern God’s leading.  In this time  I discovered a unique Biblical counseling technique that struck a chord.  I was able to get a little training/personal counseling with those tools and God started some powerful healing in my life.  We were walking through all of this with our small group in Peoria.  God made it clear through feedback from that group of friends that these tools were going to be a part of what he was doing.  But how?  No answers, just a call by God to go back to Alaska.  We knew this was His leading even though we didn’t know how it was all going to play out.

2010 was the hardest year of ministry we had ever experienced.  By that December, when it was decided that the radio ministry would be broken into independent stations, Laura I moved into the media role of SEND North.   That year humbled us and pummeled our emotions like a butcher tenderizes a steak.  God used that time to bring us to the end of ourselves.  Right after we transferred to the media role, God showed us where I could get that Biblical counseling training online.  Over the next two years I received four certifications in these tools while I developed SEND North’s social media presence.   One of those certifications was in advanced life coaching.

Fast forward to 2013, when we had to go part time with SEND.  We believed God was leading me to start a coaching business.  I had the privilege of coaching several people with these tools and watching God bring deep healing to their lives.  People were set free from suicidal thoughts, alcoholism, food addictions, stage freight, fear of flying, insecurity, and poor interpersonal communication.  Even with all of this tansformation, it was not enough to financially provide for our family.  I had to close that business down as God opened up the work with the Alzheimer’s Association.

I am amazed at how God has been fulfilling his call for me to be one who stands in the gap for others.  He used all those trying circumstances to root out the insecurities and obstacles that stood in the way of His plan for us.  We took so many blind leaps of faith, and many times it felt like we landed flat on our faces.   Without a doubt, all of this was confusing for our supporters.  In reality, it was God who was orchestrating each lesson that built one upon the other.   God answered my prayer to teach me how to stand in the gap and bring his deep healing into people’s lives.

Given all of this, here is how I see our current situation.  My work with the Alzheimer’s Association puts me into the lives of people who are struggling with one of the worst diseases.  I can stand in the gap and help prepare people to care for loved ones who will slowly dwindle away because of the effects of Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  My work with SEND North has me standing in the gap between two cultures to expand his Kingdom.   I bridge the communication gap which is very hard to do.  The reality of social media marketing and the real need for privacy in SEND North ministry are very hard to reconcile!  The training I’ve received helps me to be better at both of these jobs.  I am also able to help people directly and coach whomever God brings my way.

Moving forward

There is no doubt that we are exactly in the right place.  This ministry and job are perfect for our family right now.  However, I know this is NOT the end of our ministry road even though it may be this way for a while.  Whatever God has next, I believe it will directly involve the coaching tools He has given to me.  I want to be used of God to unleash the potential of believers to release a flood of Jesus’ Cross-Like-Love which overwhelms the Gates of Hell!

I am content to labor, learn, and love in this situation.  God has us right in the palm of his hand.

Thank you so much for your prayers and/or financial support.  You are a key part of our lives and keep our family on solid ground as we serve and as God prepares the next step for us to take!

“To God be the Glory, great things he has done”

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