Rick's goal: To take to villages, a counseling, discipleship, and leadership program that can be managed and grown within the communities by its own people, in order to share the Gospel and all of the hope and peace that comes with it.
As a lifelong Inupiaq Eskimo, Rick is connected with his culture and understands personally the “wounds of the heart” that affect his fellow Alaskan natives, including: domestic violence, sexual abuse, and suicide.
Rick worked as a corrections officer in the Alaskan corrections system for 20 years and spent the last few of those years serving as a counselor. His interactions with inmates and feeling their hurt, stirred a passion to spread the love of Jesus Christ to all people.
In a similar role, upon his retirement from corrections, Rick worked with Anchorage’s homeless native men through Alaska’s Southcentral Foundation’s Native Men’s Wellness Program. Yet again, his interaction with these men in need, reaffirmed his calling to serve Alaska’s rural native communities. Therein comes his call to serve with us at Lutheran Indian Ministries.
For these programs to succeed, they need to be based on solid relationships. “These people don’t want another program,” Rick explains. “They want a friend. They want someone they know they can rely on and who can help them help their community and their people.”
Rick is currently working through the EIIT program (Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology), an online program run through Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, that leads non-traditional seminary students to LCMS ordination.