Alaska? What Am I Doing Here?


Much to my own surprise, life’s often interesting path has brought me to Alaska. For those of who wonder what in the world I am doing in a place like Alaska, let me explain.

It all started last summer when an old friend from college visited me in Minneapolis and told me of his plans to teach at Alaska Bible Institute in the fall. Knowing of my love for teaching, he invited me to come up in the winter and to teach a few of his classes for a couple of weeks. Although I thought it more desirable to visit Alaska in the summer, it seemed that the opportunity to teach the Bible was well worth the trip.

I tentatively planned to go up to Alaska sometime in February. By February, however, it seemed that the trip wouldn’t work out and I decided that I would have to try to go another time. My dear mother strongly encouraged me to go and everything seemed to be working out, so I changed my mind and decided to go after all.

I greatly enjoyed my first two weeks in Alaska. It was much warmer than I expected, (warmer than Ohio at the time that I left). Homer was a quaint little town that seemed like a great place to be. And I felt very much at home with teaching the Bible again.

A few days before I was supposed to fly back to Ohio, I sat in on the leadership meeting of a ministry called The Verge, also based here in Homer, Alaska. As I heard them talk about the kind of website they wanted to have, it occurred to me that maybe I should volunteer some time to help build such a website. On what should’ve been my last night in Alaska, I decided to offer to help with the website and to extend my flight two weeks if they wanted me to stay. They readily agreed and this is how the process began whereby I am now stuck in Alaska.

The site was not finished in two weeks so I delayed my flight again, for only one more week, at the end of which I assured everyone that I was going to go home this time. During that last week, however, I was offered a job as a graphic designer and asked to design an enormous website. Then my buddy Eric Rozeboom unexpectedly got a two-bedroom apartment with place for a roommate. Opportunity and circumstance, or God as I see it, opened the door for me to stay in Alaska for the summer.

The final delay in my return to the rest of my life came this summer when Alaska Bible Institute offered me an opportunity to teach Church History for the coming school year. This was an unexpected offer because the current Church History teacher was highly regarded as a great teacher so I did not think that this class would open up. When he agreed to teach another Bible course I had about two weeks to decide what to do. Although I had originally planned to go to seminary in the fall, this seemed like a great way to prepare for seminary, learning by teaching. I am enjoying the time of study and look forward to teaching in the fall.

My summer in Alaska has been full of opportunity and great experiences. It has all been so unexpected but that is how God seems to work in my life so I am just going to enjoy the ride!

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