Joel Caldwell was a missionary bush pilot where there aren't many bushes—rural Alaska. But in keeping missionaries stocked with food and supplies, he noticed a constant shuffle of unfamiliar faces. "So many pastors and missionary families were leaving the field discouraged and worn out with the difficult living conditions," he told the [Kenai] Peninsula Clarion. And short-term missions don't work in the area, he says. "In order for someone from the outside to be effective in a village, it requires living in the area long enough to earn the right to be heard." So now Caldwell runs Arctic Barnabas Ministries (arcticbarnabas.org), devoted wholly to encouraging and counseling about 50 Christian workers and their families across the state. "We spend a lot of time on the phone, but there's no substitute to being there in person and bringing out pizza and fresh produce," he says. That mission has just become a lot easier as the ministry raised funds to buy its own plane.
The Kenai Peninsula Clarion article, "New purchase has ministry flying high," is available on its website.
The website for Arctic Barnabas Ministries offers more information on the group's work.