Moving to Alaska

This is the letter we wrote as an update of current events and an explanation of why we expedited our marriage.

Dear Friends and family,

Thank you for your prayers and support, especially over this last year.  It has been a challenging year,  one of trial by fire in many ways.  God has shown Himself mighty in our lives and in the lives of those we love, faithful in His provision.  If you have been following our lives at all, you know that change has been pretty constant and that plans have often changed rapidly.  This has been true of the last two months.

As we both hunted for work and the deadline for Jonelle’s scholarship approached (requiring her to accept a job by the end of the year), we decided to expand our search area and turned in some applications in Alaska.  In early November, the Providence hospital in Kodiak contacted Jonelle about working in their long term care unit.  We decided to apply for that position and an interview followed immediately.  That Saturday (November 12th) Fred proposed and Jonelle accepted.  Over the next couple of weeks, God seemed to be opening doors for both of us on the Peninsula, for Fred at Staples in Sequim and for Jonelle at the hospital in Port Angeles.  We planned our wedding date for March 10th, 2012 and anticipated staying in the area.

The first week in December the door at the PA hospital closed and shortly thereafter the door at Staples closed too.  During this time, mid-December, Kodiak contacted Jonelle again and offered her full-time work, starting in early January.  We decided to accept the job, after a few days of prayer, and agreed to a three year contract.  The hospital has been very helpful in this process and is giving us up to $12,000 in relocation assistance.  This was all decided two weeks before the expected move.  Life immediately got stressful as Jonelle worked on mounds of paperwork for the hospital and for an Alaska RN license, and began packing and trying to round up the things that would be needed for setting up a household, and cramming preparations for the wedding in March.  Fred was also working hard on this process and both were trying to figure out what would be best for him to do.  With a week and a half left before moving, we decided that it would be best to get married before Jonelle left, so that we could move together and establish ourselves together.  This will allow Fred to look for jobs on location, among other things.

Timelines continued to adjust a little and are now set (we hope).  Thursday, the 29th, we flew to San Diego for a week with Fred’s family and friends.  On January 1st, we will be married by Fred’s pastor in a small, informal ceremony with our families, thanks to Skype.  We will fly back to the Peninsula on the 5th and leave on the 6th for Alaska.  We’ll be taking the ferry from Bellingham, WA to Haines, AK, then driving 560 miles to Homer, AK (through part of British Columbia and the Yukon) for another ferry to Kodiak.

Many parts of our process and the events going on in our and our families’ lives have been omitted, but this gives you a summary of what is going.  We would greatly appreciate you continued prayers ,as things are happening fast and will continue to be happening in the lives of our loved ones, while we are miles away.  We are excited for this time, to begin our family in such a beautiful place, but have much to do and will miss those we love.  We will still have a formal wedding in March and look forward to the time of celebration with loved ones.

Fred and Jonelle