Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Which One?

One of these photos will hopefully go on an MAF prayer card...but which one?

The last week has been filled with paperwork, paperwork, guessed it...more paperwork. It seems that becoming a missionary requires, among other things, A LOT of forms and papers to fill out! I've also been working on our most recent newsletter (which is now done) that will soon be mailed out to all of our loving family and friends.

What about this one?

When I'm not followed by the seemingly endless trail of papers, you can still find me down in the Seravnt Wings hangars getting all greasy while mending unsafe conditions on the aircraft.

We are also excited to announce that MAF is now accepting donations on our behalf! Any donations received would be used for our initial outgoing expenses, including: housing during our summer orientation (5 weeks), MAF flight and maintenance orientation training, one year of language school, initial field assignment, shipping costs for our belongings to be shipped overseas, visa processing, immunizations, passports, and several other things.

One last photo, our first attempt at aerial photography. Featured is Servant Wings' Cessna 206 departing a grass airstrip about 10 minutes north of Vancouver, on an incredibly beautiful day!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Few More Shots

On the maintenance side of evaluation, I had a lot of different projects--everything from disassembling a magneto to figuring out why a light wouldn't work on the aircraft tug!

Here I am working hard on my sheet metal project. I had to make an aluminum box out of one piece of flat metal, and then rivet it together. I also had to "write" my initials in the center of the box with more rivets. This project involves a lot of math, among other things, which is NOT one of my strong suits. But that's OK, I had a lot of fun!
Here's the finished product...not too bad!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

An Inside Look

Here are some snapshots of the past two weeks that may help solidify the goings on down at MAF.

This is a photo of the actual wreckage of N5156H, the aircraft used by Nate Saint in the Equadorian jungle to reach many tribal Indian villages. While trying to reach a certain group of native Indians, Nate Saint along with four friends were killed by the arrows and spears of the very people they were trying to reach. While tragic, the event was a spark that ignited a fire among the mission community and as a result, many dedicated their lives to serving as missionaries overseas. The book Jungle Pilot is an account of the five men and their families who risked everything in order to share God's love with a people who had never heard. I was one of the people who read the book, which was a huge factor in my decision to become a missionary pilot. Seeing the wreckage is a great reminder that God uses everything to glorify His name.

My ride for the first week--flight evaluation. This is a modified, turbo-charged Cessna U206G, long the workhorse of mission aviation around the world. It is very much the truck of the airplane world, capable of hauling almost 2 tons of people/cargo in and out of very small landing strips. Training through Moody Aviation, and then Servant Wings, I came well prepared to fly this beast, which can be a very tough bronco to tame if you're not used to it.

I mentioned that Joy was my cheerleader during the past two weeks, well, here she is again providing moral support for team Konop!

Drum Roll Please....

The two weeks of evaluation are over, you know we already passed the flight portion, what about the maintenance?!? My instructor checked me off for recommendation from the maintenance department Friday morning, and the candidate committee invited us back to Idaho for summer orientation! We made it!! Although we are not officially missionaries under the banner of MAF...yet, we are semi-committed to each other. So what happens next? We will be traveling back to Nampa, ID, the second week of July and will be staying there for four weeks. During that time we will go through non-technical evaluation, orientaion, and a two week support raising seminar. Also during this time we will receive a "field assignment" for where we will be spending the next four years of our lives. Joy and I have no real preference on where we would like to serve, and with MAF being a worldwide ministry, we could be sent just about anywhere! We are excited to have come this far along the journey and during the past two weeks we walked away feeling God's confirmation again that this is what He has designed and prepared us to do. Halelujah! Praise be to God!
Joy was definitely my cheerleader during evaluation! (Among other things)