Twelve years ago this month, my wife Maryna and I were married in Homer. I had just finished a year of bible school at Alaska Bible Institute and Maryna had spent the last 12 years of her life in the mission field with Operation Mobilization.
Our marriage began in the mission field at Naknek, a small fishing village in Bristol Bay. I had a temporary job as a radio announcer for a Christian radio station there. Living in Naknek was a very important part of the foundation of our faith together, as we were to meet a whole different set of circumstances head on which we were not prepared for. In short, "It was exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think of, according to the power that worked in us." Eph. 3:20. The one thing that Maryna and I both agreed upon when we got married was that God had brought us together, so no matter where we ended up or what He would have us do, we could depend 100 percent upon Him for all our needs both physical and spiritual. The two months we were in Naknek really opened our eyes and mind to the unlimited possibilities that God has for all His children who believe in Him and who live according to His purpose for them.
When we returned to Homer in July, neither of us had a job waiting for us. We had about $500 to our name and a small pickup truck pulling a pop up tent trailer. We thought about looking for work, but we heard the Lord say, "Not yet." Instead, we enjoyed the rest of the summer living in our pop up tent trailer along the Kenai River and on the beach in Homer. We lived among the "Spit Rats" and enjoyed the feeling of being free spirited, living from day to day depending on the Lord for all our needs.
As time would tell, my plans to go back to Alaska Bible Institute changed. Maryna and I started praying about what God wanted us to do next. We had no clue what God had planned for us except to wait. We continued to trust in God and to pray each day for His perfect will for us.
There was a chill in the air as the early Alaskan winter was beginning to show it's self in September with termination dust falling across Kachemak Bay on top of the mountains. We were down to $50 and wondering if we should use it to buy food or put it in the gas tank. The Lord said, "Put it in the gas tank," so we did.
We eventually found there was a food bank at the Methodist church in Homer. After qualifying, we left the food bank with a couple of grocery bags full of food which we greatly appreciated. That night I could see in Maryna a deep look of wonderment. I too was feeling that feeling of wonder, "I wonder how long this food is going to last and what are we going to do next?" When we prayed later that night, I got down on my knees in desperation and cried, "Lord, we really need your help now!" Later that night, I heard a small voice in my sleep, "Apartment Manager." I suddenly woke up, it was 3 a.m. I woke Maryna and said to her, "How would you like to be an apartment manager?" She said, "What? Go back to sleep." The next day I went to the library in Homer and checked the want ads. At the top of the page was a post for "Apartment Manager." I called and the job was in Kenai. Over the phone, the owner interviewed me and invited us to come up the next day to meet him and his wife. We did and were hired on the spot.
Maryna and I went from Spit Rats to apartment managers over night. We praised God and realized that God knows our needs, just like His Word says, and if we just do our part, put our trust in Him, He will always come through for us at just the right time.
That wasn't the end of our blessings over the last twelve years. In seven years, we went from Spit Rats on the beach in Homer having nothing to having our dreams come true as owners of a prosperous fishing lodge in Sterling and living the dream ministering to folks who come from all over the world to stay with us and go fly fishing. God made it all possible for us through His unending grace and favor. All we had to do was take time to draw closer to Jesus each day, listen to the Holy Spirit and live from day to day for the glory of God. We had a lot of work to do to get here. It all started with repenting of our sins, giving our lives to Christ and then waiting on the Lord and trusting Him with our lives for his good pleasure.
We didn't do anything special to earn God's favor. We just trusted in the Lord for his grace to bless us. Anyone can be blessed by the Lord if they only knew how much God wants to love them just as we are. "My people parish for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6. St. John encourages us, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." 3 John 2. What an awesome prayer and promise God gives us, His children, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, I'd like to share from my heart that God is not a God that is far away. Our God is a God that is nearer to the heart, only a cry away. Cast your cares upon him and watch His grace and favor work in your lives. God's Word says his desire is to bring to you abundance, prosperity and good health. Everything belongs to the Lord and it is his good pleasure to give to those who draw close to him and are obedient to His Word. "Jesus Christ has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen." Rev. 1:6
Mark Conway is a Christian Evangelist along with his wife Maryna.
They live in Sterling where they operate a Christian prayer room and retreat center year around plus their Alaska Fly Fishing Adventures in the summer.
Mark can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.