Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Trucks, Burgers, and Chills

We made it to Joy's mom's house in southern California, and we brought all our stuff with us! We got a 16' Penske truck and towed our car behind that. We took our time from Portland, and left last Monday. We visited several of Joy's family along the way and finally arrived on Thursday night. Then we had to unload the truck. It took all day Friday to get everything off and into the garage. We still have many many boxes to go through--we are organizing all of our belongings into things to get rid of, things to keep long term, and things to take with us to Africa.

The first thing we did when we got into California was hunt down an In N Out Burger. We found one in Redding and ate lunch there. Then when we got to Joy's mom's house, we ate there again.

Yesterday, I started to feel a little weak, and then I started to get some chills, and started to get a headache. Turns out, Nurse Joy diagnosed me with the "true flu." I'm just now starting to feel a little better.

A few days ago, we got a Christmas tree and spent the past couple days decorating in our free time. It's hard to believe another year has gone by so fast!

Right now our support is at 31%, and our outgoing amount has grown a lot, and is now at 24%. Thanks for your prayers!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Turkey Day

It's come and gone, and it was a great time! My sister and her family were here as well as my brother and his girlfriend. And of course there was plenty of great food! Me and my brother spent most of our time bowling and golfing on the Wii, and playing ping pong. Joy and I also spent most of our time fighting off a cold. I think we're just getting over it now.

Tomorrow we fly back to Portland and will be there until Monday, when we begin our drive down to California. We've decided to pack up a UHaul truck and take pretty much all of our stuff down to Joy's mom's house for storage. It will be a busy week for us, and we appreciate your prayers. Pray for our safety in traveling, and that our time in California will be fruitful. We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had a lot to be thankful for. I know we have had an incredible year and a lot of big decisions and accomplishments have been made in our lives. And it's all to show the glory of God! He is amazing!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Old Toys

My brother and I pulled out some old toys today. We found airplanes, trucks, tanks, mutilated army men, and so much more. We've been having fun taking pictures of our GI Joes and with the help of photo shop, we let the creative juices flow.

If you've read Joy's most recent blog, I think I caught whatever she had, and now I'm not feeling so good. I hope I get over it pretty soon, I don't like feeling bad.

Other than that, we've kept busy playing with my nephews, working on ministry partnership stuff, and planning our trip to California. Things are starting to come together now, and our schedule is filling up fast. We're planning on taking a truck load of our things down to Joy's mom's house for long term storage. Our newsletter is done (I think), so you should see it sometime after Thanksgiving. We're still at the 30% mark, but our outgoing fund is starting to catch up to our monthly support, which is a real good thing. Like Joy said in her blog, we are doing our part, but it's up to God to supply our needs, and we're trusting that's exactly what He's going to do. As always, thanks for your prayers and support of our ministry!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

70 degrees and...Snow?

That's what they're saying. Today it was 70 degrees, and it rained REALLY hard. Tomorrow will be 40 degrees, with snow showers. That's fine with me, let it get cold right when we're leaving. We have one more church presentation tomorrow morning, and then we'll be heading back to my parent's house in Ohio. We got rear-ended the other day (it was raining really hard that day too), so we need to get back and make a few repairs to the loaner my parents were nice enough to let us drive around. There weren't any casualties...well, I take that back, the car that ran into us wasn't looking too hot, but other than that, we survived. Looking back on it, I have to laugh because Joy wasn't feeling well, so we were on our way to the Urgent Care place so Joy could get checked out, and we were getting ready to turn into the parking lot when we got nailed from behind. So we both ended up signing in to Urgent Care so we could get checked out. It put a damper on our day...we were supposed to take a tour of a local dairy farm, but that obviously didn't happen. God is gracious though, and He takes care of us.

Pray for our time in Ohio, and pray for some upcoming decisions we need to make. During our time here in Maryland, we've sensed a lot of good "potential" but we just don't have the time to develop that potential, so we've been throwing around the idea of coming back here after our trip to California to finish up our support raising. A lot would have to fall into place before we could do that, so we're just asking people to pray about what we should do. Thank God that there were no injuries from our accident (and that our car is still drive-able).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Preacher Man

Check this out! Never thought I'd see myself here! Pretty interesting though. It kind of tells the story of what we've been up to the past 3 weeks. We've been trying to speak at as many churches as we possibly can while we're in the area. So far, it's worked pretty well, I think we've booked most every Sunday morning and evening service available! It's been really fun to share our ministry with all these folks too. I think I'm finally starting to enjoy speaking in front of people...well, at least I feel more comfortable! We've been working hard at meeting with individuals, and setting up appointments in California and Phoenix for our upcoming trip to the left coast. Our monthly support is still hovering around 30%, but our outgoing fund is picking up the pace a little and that is now at almost 18%. We continue to rely on God for our needs in this area, but I must admit that sometimes it's a little hard to do. Surrendering to God is (as we're finding out) a daily process. A famous preacher once said, "When we start comparing ourselves to all the other boats in the water, we tend to lose sight of the shore." His point was that when we take our eyes off God, we forget what it's all about...what's really important.

On our day off yesterday, I took Joy to Cunningham Falls State Park. We ate a picnic lunch and enjoyed walking a couple miles through the woods. Although most of the trees have shed their leaves, a few colors were still found as Fall hangs on by a thread. I have so many memories tied to so many places here...sometimes it's a little overwhelming, but I've really enjoyed being back in Maryland. On Monday we head back to Ohio, and we'll be there for a couple weeks before flying back to Portland.

Pray for the Congolese people; they've been in the news a lot lately.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sticking With African Themes

On our latest day off I treated Joy to a tour of our nation's fine capital, Washington D.C. We visited a couple of museums--our first stop of the trip was the National Museum of African Art & Culture. Because of the HUGEness of the place we decided to stick with congolese artifacts and clothing. We learned a lot of the history and beliefs behind many African people, and got to see firsthand some of the art that makes Congo famous. One artifact in particular stood out to me as I walked around the exhibits. It is a man carved out of wood with holes in his hands and feet, with his arms outstretched as if hanging from a cross (sound familiar?). As I read the comments about the piece, I learned that it was most likely made in a remote tribe over a hundred years ago and indicates their understanding of the redemption story. It went on to explain that many congolese tribes are no stranger to the Gospel, but their interpretation and understanding of what Christ has done for them is skewed. It was fun to see clothing from DRC too, as well as several ceremonial masks and coverings used for special occassions.

After the Africa museum we decided to walk down to the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. I've seen these a few times, but we also stopped along the new World War II memorial, which was quite astounding.

After that, we headed back towards the museums and took a good long look in the Natural History Museum. And, although most exhibits pushed an evolutionary beginning, it was incredible to know that our God made each and every animal in a unique and fascinating way! Our time here was again, spent mostly touring the African sections, where we saw some old acquaintances and met some new ones. Africa is a wildly diverse land, sustaining some of the driest and wettest lands on earth. Its people are just as diverse. As we think and pray about the people we are called to serve, we are getting more and more excited and sometimes we selfishly wish we could just skip all this support raising and training and language learning, and just head to Africa where we are desperately needed. We realize that God has his timing, and is using this process to shape us for the experiences that lay ahead of us. We have no idea where God is going to take us in the next 5 years, but it's going to be a great time!

We are still working hard at ministry partnership, and we're cresting the 30% mark as I write this entry. I can't help but think of the Little Engine That Could--slow but sure. We're meeting some truly incredible and gifted brothers and sisters, who are going to be great assets in the years to come. I'm glad for that, and glad that God chooses to use his people in such mighty ways. Pray for His leading and direction in the coming weeks and months, as we decide how long we should stay in each of these areas. Pray with us for the people of DRC; hundreds of thousands have fled the fighting and civil war that has erupted again in the East. Pray for the wisdom of MAF staff who are currently working in that area, that they would know best how to serve these people.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Bombs Burst in Air

After the Aquarium, we drove a couple miles up to Fort McHenry where the Star-Spangled Banner was written. We didn't have a whole lot of time to explore and look around, but it was pretty interesting what we did find. There were still a few original cannons there as well as several original buildings and bunkers. This was the first time I had been here in a long time, even though I grew up here. I kind of like history so it's always fun for me to visit places like this that played such a key role in our own American History.

At the end of the day, I also had the privilege of changing the flag from the one we have today with 50 stars and 13 stripes, to one of the original American flags with 13 stars and stripes. It was a fun day!

Take a Day OFF!

That's exactly what we did on Thursday after the conference ended. I took Joy down to the inner harbor in downtown Baltimore. We took a tour through the Baltimore National Aquarium. Now, I've been here many many times before, but this time was a little different...we found ourselves paying particular attention to all the "African" displays. Here's what we found: it's not actually the crocodiles and alligators in the rivers that will gobble you up, it's actually the hippos. They're fiercely territorial and have two HUGE teeth that can do a lot of damage. They often strike without warning--good thing I'll be flying!

This cute little guy is a poison dart frog, about the size of a nickel. But, don't be fooled by his size, this frog packs enough punch to knock out 10 grown men, and they're found in central African rain forests. Locals actually catch the frogs and use their poison to dip the tips of their arrows in when they go hunting, making their chances of actually catching something much greater.

This guy to the left is an Africa bullfrog, once again only found in the central African wetlands. In contrast to the dart frog, this one is the size of a softball and eats unattended children and anything else that moves!

And of course, you have the beautiful colorful reef fish thing that lives everywhere but Africa!

Lots to share

Ok, well, I have lots of pictures and lots to tell you, so I think I'm just going to break everything down into several different entries.

First up, the Wakefield missions conference has come and gone, and we got to share with a lot of people our passion and heart for missions, as well as what MAF is doing to accomplish the work of Christ around the world. It's been so good to be back where I grew up and see so many old friends and familiar faces. It's been a while and I have a lot of catching up to do. Each night we got a whole hour to share what we will be doing with MAF in Africa, and answer all the questions that go along with that. It's particularly meaningful to my church family here because they have been supporting my cause for over six years now, helping to pay for my training at Moody, and now through MAF. They have been a big part of my life and decision to become a missionary, and we're thrilled to have them serve with us in DRC!

We're now at 27% of our monthly support, and 14% of our outgoing fund. Give God the glory due His name!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Right Coast

On Thursday we said goodbye to Portland and hello to Cincinnati, Ohio. My parents live just south of Dayton, so we stayed there overnight, and the next morning we loaded the car and drove the rest of the way to Maryland (my home state). Since then it's been a blur of food, meetings, conferences, and people I haven't seen in years! Today seems to be the "slowest" day we've had in quite a while. We're just trying to catch up with emails and phone calls, and tomorrow (being our day off) we're taking a day trip down to the D.C. area and visit the museums and tourist attractions.

Being here has afforded long overdue visits with family. My nephew, Kaleb, is having a relaxing afternoon lounging in the pool. It seems like he's grown a foot or so since the last time we saw him! His little brother, Samuel, is also growing quite a bit, and even resembles his most handsome Uncle!

Other than that, we've been busy meeting with old friends and relatives that I haven't seen in a long time. We've been sharing our new ministry every night as we're attending my home church's missions conference. This church has been behind me ever since I wanted to be a missionary and have supported that call on my life since I went to college. It's exciting to come back and share with them that I have finally reached that goal. It's fun too because the ministry of MAF is a little different than many other missions in that they use the airplane to further the Gospel. We're speaking in a different church every Sunday for the next few weeks, and have several meetings to go before we head back to Ohio for more meetings and speaking engagements there. Right now we're at 22% of our monthly support goal, and our outgoing fund is at 10%. Pray for our health and safe travel as we continue to visit many churches and individuals. Pray that God will bless the ministry of MAF. Know that we are praying for you all as well, and we think of you often!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dutch America

We got back late last night from our trip to Lynden, Washington, and we're beat! We had several meetings with individuals and a church to speak at all in a few days. So, we were running around like crazy visiting people and speaking and sharing our new ministry with lots and lots of people. On the way home, our trusty vehicle reached 180,000 miles--and it's still ticking! Our other car has over 260,000 miles on it, but that's a different story. All in all, things went really well and we have been encouraged. In fact, we may take another trip up to that area because it was so beneficial for us. We spent one evening carving pumpkins with Joy's brother and sister-in-law. Their kids love horses so we decided to try and carve out horses--they didn't turn out half bad, although I accidently chopped off our horse's neck. We performed a little "surgery" and things were back to normal in no time!

We were even blessed with good weather while we were there. I think that was the first time I drove through Seattle without it raining!

On Thursday we fly out to Ohio and then drive to Maryland from there. We'll be on the east coast for six weeks, until we fly back here to Vancouver. After we get back here, we'll be driving down to Southern California. It's looking like we'll have to wait until April to finish up the rest of our training. We were really hoping to start that training in February, but I just don't think we're going to be able to raise all our funds in that amount of time. That's OK though, we realize God's timing in the process, and we've learned that God knows best!
We're a little over 20% at this point, and we're still going strong. Pray that we'll remain healthy and have a safe trip to Ohio and Maryland later this week. Pray for all of our upcoming meetings speaking engagements, and conferences.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Old School

Sorry, no pictures today. I'm writing from Lynden, Washington, amidst the busy schedule here. We've met with lots of people and family here already, and tomorrow I think we're heading home after speaking in a local church. The East Coast is on our mind a lot now as we're starting to shift gears and prepare to head out there for six weeks. We're trying to think ahead and fill our weekdays with catching up and meeting with people, so if any of you eastcoasters actually read this, give me a call or shoot me an email so we can get together sometime! Our weekends are starting to fill up with churches and other big meetings, but our weekdays are still relatively open. We're excited; I think I am a little more than Joy is. I haven't been back in quite a while, so it will be fun to back on home turf again! Look out Maryland, here we come....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lost Lake and a Cold Night

Joy and I went on the last camping trip of the season yesterday to a place called Lost Lake, on the North side of Mt. Hood. The day before it had snowed, and it was still quite cool during the day--the snow stayed on the ridges surrounding the lake, but it melted a couple hundred feet below where we pitched our tent. This is the sunset we saw after hiking around the lake. I haven't been camping in quite a while, so I was really excited to go, and the promise of clear weather was even better! After the sun went down it got real cold real quick; thankfully we had a raging fire going. During the night, we decided to explore the trail a little bit and see what we could see with the full moon approaching. Here's what we saw, kind of creepy I know. It was an incredibly clear night (which is also why it got so cold) and I saw more stars than I think I have in my entire life. Congo is quite the same from what I hear. It seems obvious, I suppose, when you think about it, that you'd be able to see lots of stars there at night since there aren't any lights for hundreds and hundreds of miles!
Anyway, the night was pretty cold once the fire went out, and by 5am I couldn't stand it anymore, so we got up and went to a good spot to catch the sunrise. It was still another hour and a half before the sun peaked over the hills, but we got some incredible shots of Mt. Hood.
We're thankful that we get to experience things like this. It's so refreshing to get out of your surroundings, relax, and sleep on the cold, hard ground!

We're getting ready for a big meeting on Tuesday, and then we'll be spending the rest of the week in Lynden. Our support is up to 21% now, so that's good!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Long Walks and Phone Talks

Yesterday Joy and I went on a long walk down an old railroad. We had to hike through the forest a ways to get there; along the path were some HUGE mushrooms about 5 inches in diameter! They were quite possibly the biggest mushrooms I've ever seen. It's nice to take small breaks every once in a while and get away.

In other news, we're now up to 20%, which is a good thing, because we're trying to reach at least 30% before we leave for Ohio and Maryland in a couple weeks. The closer we can get to that goal, the more likely we can reach our goal of 60% by December 1. Lots of goals, I know! As we finish up things here, we've got a big open house to attend next Tuesday, and we will be traveling to Lynden later next week to speak in one church and visit several individuals. Pray for our safety in travel, and that we would be sensitive to God's timing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rain Makes Things Green

Did you know that? I think fall is officially here in the Northwest. We've had rain for a while now, and it's getting cooler, especially at night. Joy's mom is here visiting and we got to go on a hike around Battleground Lake yesterday. 53 pictures and .9 miles later, we were ready for some good dinner! Like mother, like daughter. Tomorrow, I'm hoping to drive back up to Mt. Hood and catch the sunrise over Mirror Lake, and maybe go on a quick hike--we'll see, it may snow tonight!

We had our presentation at our home church Sunday night; it went pretty well. We had a good turnout so that was good too. We're planning for our trip to Maryland and Ohio too. Our support level hasn't moved much in the past week, but that's how it goes. And, we finished our newsletter, so be looking for it pretty soon!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mt. Hood and Trillium Lake

Yesterday Joy and I worked hard and finished around 3pm, so we took a little trip up to Mt. Hood and went hiking around Trillium Lake. The trail provided some amazing views of the mountain and it was a perfect day to be outside! This one was taken right around sunset. There were even otters swimming along in the lake. No motorized boats made for a very quiet and enjoyable walk and no ripples in the water--it was clear as glass! It seems, at least for the next week or so, that yesterday was the last "good" day of weather. It's been sprinkling and raining most of the day today, and the experts are saying this will continue through the weekend. I knew this nice weather was too good to be true! The rain has finally returned to Portland--people are chopping firewood and storing up food in preparation for the 4 month hibernation that's just around the corner. Good thing we're going to spend the winter in sunny SoCal! And just in time too, I don't think I could weather another Portland winter. It's not so much the rain that gets to me, it's not seeing the sun for months at a time. After a while your hair starts to fall out, and your nails get brittle, and you get pretty grouchy! I used to go flying sometimes just to get above the clouds and have the sun warm my chubby little cheeks!

In other news, our big meeting that we were supposed to have on Tuesday got cancelled. Turns out that pretty much everyone was sick and couldn't make it! So, we re-scheduled for a couple weeks. Nevertheless, our week is still pretty full. I'm going to be a bachelor for the weekend; Joy is going to the women's retreat at our church so I'm going camping in the mud and rain and cold...all by my lonesome. I can't wait! I'm also taking another trip up to Mt. Hood with some guys from church; we're going to shoot stuff...with our cameras (pretty alpine wildflowers and other stuff). Then on Sunday, I'm going to be giving a 5 or 10 minute presentation to the church about MAF, and then that evening we have a full presentation scheduled. We're moving along, and soon we'll be in Ohio doing the same thing there!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Feel the Burn

I do! Yesterday Joy and I decided to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, so I found a good hike for us to go on. It took quite a while to even find the place, but we finally did, ate a little lunch and were on our way. Somehow I missed the whole fact that even though the hike is really short (only 2.5 miles to the top), the trail gained 2,000 feet in that distance. The last half mile was flat, meaning that the trail gained 1,000 feet every mile! It was like the never ending stair master! Nevertheless, I made the trek to the top in about 45 minutes, although I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest! The views of Mt. St. Helens were exceptional though.

I thought the way down would be an easy hike, but oh no, the trail was so steep we had to go slower than we did on the way up. My legs were literally shaking by the time we got back to the car. I guess it was a good workout though! We had fun; it was nice to get out of the house and smell the pine!

Most of the rest of the weekend was spent (at least for me) working on our cars. They both needed oil changes and they both have "check engine" lights on (well they did). I decided to focus my attention on the Honda, the one we drive the most. It seems that the EGR system was all clogged up. So I spent a couple hours unclogging it, and everything seems to work fine now. No more light.

We also are excited to share that we got another supporting church, thanks in large part to Joy's sister--she went to the church and made a presentation on our behalf! With their support, we are now over 18%. We have a big open house tomorrow where we'll be giving our presentation probably more than once, because we were expecting around 30 people, but it's going to be more like 100! We're in for another busy week of meetings, presentations, phone calls, and letters! We remain encouraged and can see God's hand guiding our efforts daily. Our next newsletter is almost ready for release, just a few more days until it's hot off the press and into your hands!

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Whole Week!

I can't believe I haven't written anything in a whole week! You must be hanging on the edge of your seat, waiting with eager ears, to hear what has happened in the past seven days! Well, not much. We've been working hard on the support raising end; we're making some headway, but it's been slow going the last week. We're currently at 15.5% so it's still climbing, which is definitely a good thing, but I think we both wish it would go a little faster.

We're learning to rely on God and be patient to wait for His timing in this process, but sometimes it's pretty hard. We're also learning to celebrate the small victories and achievements, otherwise we'd probably go crazy! Each day brings new mercies and blessings, and it's been so wonderful getting to meet so many individuals.

This is a sunrise photo looking towards the Cascade Range on a clear Pacific Northwest morning. Every Friday I get to wake up before the sun and go to a men's small group--we're going through a curriculum called Men's Fraternity. I've actually been through the course before back in Spokane, and I got to lead the session yesterday.

Other than that, we're waiting to hear back from several different churches to see if they'd like to become part of Team Konop. We are also starting to prepare for our trip to Ohio and Maryland. From here on out, it's going to be a whirlwind around the country, and hopefully by the time we land back in Vancouver, we'll have completed our team and will be ready to go through more training at MAF, and then attend language school next summer...and then fly to Africa.

Life sure doesn't slow down!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Silver Falls State Park

Joy and I went to Silver Falls State Park yesterday and went on a 7 mile hike touring 8 different water falls. Some were little more than a trickle; we haven't had much rain here at all this summer (very unusual). Others had a little more water flowing! It was nice to go somewhere new and enjoy our God's creation. We even saw some trees that were over 5 feet in diameter!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fall Colors

Every day it looks a little more like fall around here, although the temperatures still remind us that summer is holding on with an iron fist. Yesterday and today it was about 90 degrees, but the trees are telling a different story as they slowly turn from green to yellow and orange.

Since airplanes have been such a big part of my life for the past 7 years, it's kind of been fun to take a step back and focus on something else for a change. Don't get me wrong, I haven't flown for 4 months now, and I definitely still have the itch! But it's been fun to do ministry without the airplane too, and focus more on relationships. I love hearing people's stories and how excited they are for us and our ministry. It's fun to get to know people better.

Here's one I had to dust off from the archives. Ever since I was little, I could spot an airplane or helicopter with no problem, and I couldn't help but look, a habit that still exists today!

We appreciate your prayers and support of our ministry. What a great team we already have with us! We're going to make a great impact in Africa! If you'd like to join the team, feel free to contact us or go to the MAF website and read our biography at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Slow but Sure

Our support slowly climbs towards 100% as the weeks roll on. We're at 14% now. To some that might not seem like much, but having started MAF with zero just a few short weeks seems like we've come such a long way. Another nice thing about it is that ministry partnership has a way of gently reminding us that 1) God is in control and has His own timeline, and 2) "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything of ourselves, but our sufficiency flows from God." (2 Cor. 3:5) We are reminded daily that this is God's work and we get to be a part of it...and we get to invite you to be a part of it too!

It has been truly beautiful weather here in Vancouver since we've been back. Joy and I have started running in the cool morning air; what a refreshing way to start the day, and good exercise too! Joy has been such a great help these past couple months. She is truly amazing! Working together and seeing each other at the "office" all day every day has been really fun. We've worked well with each other so far, and her smile always makes me happy whenever I'm in a bad mood!

In case you didn't already know, MAF has a program in Haiti and I'm sure you've all been watching on the news as hurricane after hurricane has just devastated that island. A local Idaho news station did a story on MAF and their relief efforts in Haiti as they bring hope in the midst of widespread flooding and destruction. Take a look at the video here:

*The airplane behind President John Boyd is actually the airplane I flew in April during my technical evaluation!

Until next time!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Still Alive

Just an update for you--we're now at 12.3% of our monthly support goal. Our team is growing slowly, but steadily. We're still making lots of phone calls and meeting with people and writing lots and lots of thank you notes. We're finally settled into our new place, and we kind of like it. It's nice in a lot of ways to be out away from town. It's a lot quieter here, and there are lots of places to take nice peaceful walks.

We've also been asked to play/sing with the worship team at church again, just while we're here. So that's been fun. It gives us something to do other than ministry partnership, and we love doing it!

Here's the fam (Joy's side) just outside our cabin in Estes Park, CO. Look at that front row of cute kids!

Here's a photo of the MAF hangar in Nyankunde, DRC. This is the old base that got ransacked and looted in 2002. Hopefully this is where I will be flying out of in a couple years.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Work and Play

We worked hard last week calling, emailing, writing, and talking with a lot of people and churches about our new ministry. We scheduled appointments, went to meetings, and asked for referrals. By the week's end, we logged nearly fifty hours of "work" and we definitely need a nap! I never imagined this could be such hard work! It takes a lot out of you keeping good records and meeting with people. We got away yesterday though and drove out to the beach and went for a l o n g stroll through the sand. It was nice not to think about raising money and keeping track of everything!

Just an update on "How Goes It" We're currently just under 10% of our monthly goal and have received several pledges to help cover our outgoing expenses. We've been encouraged by God's faithfulness and provision so far and know that our God will supply everything we need to accomplish this work. To stay on target, we need to be at 18% by September 15--that's 19 individuals at $25/month, or 10 individuals at $50/month. Or we could have a church support us for $480/month! That would work too! We are looking forward to seeing how God is going to meet our needs.
We have a lot of phone calls to make this week, not so many meetings yet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Home" Again

We made it back to Vancouver--albeit we didnt' get in until 10pm. Our reunion was fun; Colorado is a beautiful place, and our family is beautiful too! It was great to see everyone. Too bad it was only four days long. We woke up to our first day back with sore throats and pounding headaches. Neither one of us is feeling real well, but we plugged ahead with work anyway...calling, writing, scheduling, and meeting. Right now, with our friends and family behind us, we're a little over 8% in our monthly support goal. To remain on schedule we need to gain about 3% every week or $270/month. We're ahead of the game!

So, Colorado was really nice. Joy and I visited the top of Pike's Peak (the tallest point in CO), as well as the Garden of the Gods before heading up to Estes Park.

We'll be in the Portland area until October 23, when we'll head to Ohio and Maryland to meet with churches and individuals.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hit the Road, Jack!

We are officially done with all of our classes and training (for this phase) at MAF. We've been in Colorado for the past couple days, visiting friends and family, and building our support team. Wednesday is the beginning of Joy's family reunion. After that we'll be on the road again, heading back to Washington. We've been encouraged by the enthusiastic response as we share our passion with people. Here's our timeline:

100% support by Feb. 14, 2009

MAF flight/maintenance training Feb. 23, 2009

MAF Orientation April 20, 2009

French language school (Quebec) Sept. 1, 2009

Our language school will be 9 months long, and after that we will leave straight from there for Africa. We're excited as we look forward to the future and all the things God has in store for us!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Almost There!

The past couple days we've been in classes learning how to make telephone calls, how to present to pastors and missions committees, and how to write good newsletters. We only have a few days left before they kick us out the door to begin Ministry Partnership. Our goal is to be done with ministry partnership by February 14, 2009, so we can finish up the additional flight, maintenance, and orientation training at MAF next spring. We will be going to Quebec to learn French; that starts in August every year. So, we're hoping to gather all our ministry partners in the next 6 months, then be at MAF for about three months to finish training, and then have a few months to complete all our packing and shipping and tie up loose ends (and visit our families) before leaving for language school in August. It's a very ambitious goal, and a huge task, but we serve a huge God! Joy and I can't wait to share our new ministry with you! We're so excited and privileged to serve God in this way. We have no idea where God is going to take us this coming year, but we know He will take care of us and provide for our needs even more than we can imagine.
You can see why even when there are roads in some countries, it's much more desireable, safe, and efficient to use the airplane for travel. Days are turned into minutes!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

It Is Finished!

Our presentation is complete, along with a powerpoint slideshow and a short video! We'll be presenting tomorrow morning in front of lots of people we've never shared with before, so it will be just like the real thing! We will also be going as a couple in front of a mock mission committee, and they'll ask us all kinds of questions.

Joy is feeling a little better, but the cough is still hanging on. Thanks for the prayers. I think we're both glad it's getting to the weekend--we need a break. Next week we'll be designing and writing our first official MAF newsletter (and it might be different than the ones you've been seeing lately). We'll be polishing our phone skills and learning how to meet with pastors. Then they're going to give us a nice lunch and kick us out the door.

Off to dinner...see ya!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Of Presentations and Illnesses

The past two days have been filled with creating presentations, practicing them in front of live audiences, and refining them as folks provide their input and criticism. We've been coming up with videos and powerpoints to use during our presentations, and collecting pictures and music to incorporate as well. Joy and I are both pretty tuckered out from constantly thinking, speaking, and listening to pointers and input. We're also studying MAF under a microscope, to prepare for meetings with church pastors and mission boards. We need to know how MAF operates and how they do things so we can answer any questions that may come up during the process. We've got a lot on our plate right now; I wish you could see how feverishly I'm typing, so I can get back to powerpoints and presentation materials! As if all this wasn't enough, Joy hasn't been feeling too well the past 5 days, and isn't really getting any better. So today I made her go to the doctor and they said she probably has some kind of viral Bronchitis--not good, especially when you're in front of a lot of people trying to give a presentation and you keep coughing! Luckily, I haven't really been affected by whatever she has! Please pray for Joy, and that she will get better.

It seems that the MAF apartments are FINALLY nearing completion...just in time for us to leave! We saw a furniture truck in the parking lot today, hopefully delivering the furniture and appliances that will furnish the new apartments. It will be nice if we do get into one of these, because they're right across the parking lot from the MAF headquarters where all our classes are. So we won't have to go anywhere, we'll just walk across the parking lot to and from class every day.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ahead of the Game

Our weekend has been pretty fun. We've gotten lots of opportunities to get to know other candidates a little better. We had a game night last night where a lot of us played card games and outdoor family games. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I didn't get any pictures of it. When we weren't playing games and having fun, we were working hard on coming up with a good presentation, complete with video and slide shows for your viewing pleasure. I think we're a little ahead of the game; our homework assignment was just to think about what we wanted to include in our presentation, but we pretty much have a full rough draft of the entire thing. I guess Joy and I are both over-achiever's or something!
Here's a photo of this summer's new career missionary staff, one of the largest classes in MAF's 63 years of existence! These folks came from all over America, and will be sent out all over the world...Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and Indonesia! All of these people have responded to God's call as missionaries around the globe. Statistics say that this class represents less than half of all the people who formally trained to be missionary pilots/mechanics. Praise God that He has brought us this far! This photo does not include all the short-term (1 year) missionaries that went through candidacy with us.