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Missionaries: Paul and Michele Straubel – Missionaries to Native Americans

The Straubel Family - Bemidji, Minnesota

The Straubel Family - Bemidji, Minnesota

We are Paul and Michele Straubel, and we live in Bemidji, Minnesota, with our four children: Evan, Olivia, Isabelle, and Emma. Paul is a pastor’s kid who spent six years of his childhood living on the Red Lake reservation north of Bemidji, while Michele grew up on a farm in Kansas.

After the Lord brought us together and we got married in July 2000, we moved to Chicago. During our three years there, Paul studied at Moody Bible Institute and Michele worked as an editor for Moody Publishers. Through a number of experiences, we began to sense the Lord calling us into Native American missions—perhaps even a return to Red Lake.

After Paul’s graduation in 2003, the Lord called us to the Red Lake nation. Paul took a job at a school in Red Lake, we joined a reservation church—the same church Paul’s dad pastored in the ‘80s—and we began looking for ways to reach out to the Native Americans around us.

In 2005, we witnessed the devastating aftermath of a school shooting in Red Lake. This was followed a few months later by the murder of a young man Paul had been encouraging in his faith as a new believer. These tragic events—together with the overwhelming daily challenges many of our Native friends face—strongly impressed upon us the need for the Native American church to be strengthened through more effective discipleship. Together with our colleagues at Oak Hills Center for Indian Ministries, we began praying to this end.

Through a God-orchestrated series of events, Oak Hills was given the land and facilities that had once been the site of Mokahum Indian Bible School in Cass Lake, MN (closed since 1978). In 2009, our team reopened the school for full-time residential students. The new Mokahum Ministry Center provides Native believers with a biblical education, hands-on ministry experience, and training in important life skills.

Today we minister at our church in Red Lake and at Mokahum Ministry Center. Whether we are teaching Sunday school, leading Bible studies, doing one-on-one discipleship, or helping with the daily operations at Mokahum, our goal is to build the church by helping people grow as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Redby Community Church

Redby Community Church