Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Word

Romans 12

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many for one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer.

Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but

be willing to associate with people of low position.

Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Do not be overcome with evil,

but overcome evil with good.

A good word to start the day. May we all live up to our potential this day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today was a good day of progress in the battle of "C.Konop vs. Apartment." I succeeded in either boxing a lot up, throwing it away, or giving it away. Once again, my focus was mainly on the kitchen, packing dishes and silverware and throwing a lot of junk away. It's amazing how we accumulate so much junk in such a small period of time. We are consumers; God help us!

Unlike most other days, I actually feel like I accomplished something today. (It must've been because of the music, I can't function without that!) There's more room, and things are sparkling. Well, just the kitchen anyway! The rest of the apartment is still a wreck. Oh well. It's getting down to crunch time now, time to turn up the pace. It's hard to believe that in three weeks, we'll be heading back down to MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, but this time we will be (hopefully) leaving MAF as "career staff missionaries." We're quite anxious to find out where our first assignment will be. There are so many possibilities, and every one of them is a vastly different experience. Will it be Indonesia, Papua, Mozambique, Congo? I don't know, all I can say it that God has been preparing us for a long time. I'm sure we'll be excited wherever it is. And we will probably run to the computer and hop on the internet as soon as we find out so we can read all the little details of our new country. And naturally, we'll let you know anything we know. But that's a month away...focus....

Back on the home front, Joy is still working at the hospital for a few more days. And this weekend is looking sunny and really hot for this area (in the 90's). Great moving weather. We have help coming this Saturday for all the big stuff, hopefully it will all fit in our storage unit!

Things you can pray for: that Joy and I will continue to develop and grow in our relationship with Jesus, and with each other. Pray for safety in all the traveling we'll be doing this summer. And pray for the people who are making big decisions at MAF such as, "Where should we send Chris and Joy?"

Praise God with us for His love and faithfulness, and that we have so many people who have committed, in some way, to be involved in our ministry! We have been blessed in so many different ways.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Guess What?

Can you guess what I was up to today? I'll give you a hint, it was what I did all last week, and the week before that. Nope, it's not flying. Good guess though. I was packing and cleaning! It kind of seems like the more stuff I pack and take to our storage unit, two more boxes of stuff appear out of nowhere! I feel like I'm just moving boxes from room to room while I deep clean everything.
This is what our living room looks like now. It's kind of the center of operations for this little mission. This is where (even though it really doesn't look like it) I organize all the boxes into different categories of whether or not to keep it, is it going to stay here in the States when we leave, or is it hopefully coming overseas with us. I know it doesn't really looked organized, but I work on "organized chaos." I like it that way. Here's a picture of my project today...the kitchen. I was going to pack up a lot of our dishes and silverware, but I realized most of them were dirty. So I spent a while cleaning them all. Then I figured I'd just keep cleaning, so I moved all the big appliances into the middle of the floor and cleaned everything real good. I'm sure the landlords will be happy. And now that all the dishes are clean, tomorrow I'll spend the day packing them up. Pray for us; it's going to be a crazy rest of the week!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Flightseeing Anyone?

Yesterday was a fun day. I was supposed to take a group of people up flying in our 206, so I went down to the airport around 7:30am and did my preflight inspection, making sure the airplane was in fly-able condition. Everything looked great, except when I turned on the switch to get electricity, nothing happened! So, I had to call and cancel the flight with my passengers, but they wanted to come by and see the airplane anyway. So, as they were looking, I was explaining a little of what was wrong with the airplane, and mentioned that we had just put our 172 back together after doing some engine work on a sick engine. Naturally, they asked if they could go in that one instead, and I explained that the 172 could only hold 3 people max., including me. (Now, you have to understand what's going on in my head. Flying the 206 is like driving a Hummer, it's got a huge engine, off roading tires, and can out perform a lot of other airplanes. Not to mention it just looks and sounds cool! The thing is just begging to go land on the side of a mountain and get all muddy. Now these passengers were asking me, "Hey, can we take the VW Bug instead?" I'm thinking, "No way, that's a sissy airplane, a stamp on the side of the airplane reads, 'For Beginner Pilots Only,' and, 'Your grandma could fly this airplane with her eyes closed!'")

Now that we have that straight, I'll get back to the story....

So, I had to weigh all that in the back of my head along with the fact that I really like to fly. So I said sure, let's go. We ended up skipping the nice brunch in the Gorge and droned on full steam ahead towards Mt. St. Helens for a scenic view of death and destruction (but don't worry, people are fascinated by it). All in all, it was a fun time, and I always love interacting and chatting with the passengers. The flight lasted about an hour and then we went out to a nice brunch in Vancouver instead. After that, Joy and I came home and hit the sack for a little after brunch snooze. Then we got up and decided to go up to Bellingham and see Joy's new niece (born a couple nights ago now). With a quick check of the weather, and a flight plan on file, we were cruising north in no time. Joy actually flew for almost the first hour up there, while I got weather updates, and communicated with Seattle Center (a radar facility that keeps track of airplanes so they don't run into each other). We made good time, as we were blessed with strong tailwinds from the southeast (about 40 knots). We stayed for dinner and then headed back to Vancouver. Coming back took a little longer than our flight up there though, as those nice 40 knot tailwinds turned into headwinds. With a groundspeed of 70 knots, we were doing a little better than cars on the freeway, but not much!

Anyway, we had a good time, and I logged away over 5 hours of flight time.

The first picture shows "lenticular" clouds over the Olympic Range, indicating very strong turbulence (the kind you don't want to fly into). That kind of turbulence is not when you're on United and the captain says, "Well folks, sorry for the inconvenience, but due to the turbulence, I've asked our flight attendants to please take their seats." It's more like, "Dear God, please help the wings of this vessel to stay in their proper place."

The second picture is Joy holding her new niece.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

In Motion

Every day our apartment seems more and more bare, as we shuffle belongings to our temporary storage unit (or sell them). It feels like I'm too busy running around to stop and take in the fact that one of my major "life goals" is right at my fingertips. Training to be a missionary pilot (for me anyway) has been a long process, almost eight years in the making! Time flies, and sometimes you just need to stop and review what's happened in the past few years, where you are, and where you're headed. One of my good friends, and the director of Moody Aviation, once gave me a piece of advice: "Build 'rock piles,' when God does something significant in your life, or you jump a big hurdle, or accomplish some great achievement, write it down. Praise God for it, build a reminder kind of like Joshua and the Israelites did after crossing the Jordan River, so that all the generations to come would see it and ask, "what's that for?" And so you can tell them, that my son, is a reminder of how God took care of us, and is evidence of His hand in our lives." Actually, that's precisely what my class did after our graduation ceremony from Moody's Aviation program. Many don't know the story, but Moody Aviation was nearly shut down for good, a facility that has trained over half of the mission aviators on the field today. But through the grace of God, its legacy was allowed to continue. I was part of that first graduating class of the "new" Moody Aviation. And because we saw the hand of God working in so many different ways throughout our time there, we felt it appropriate to make a small memorial so that when new students walk by and say, "what is that for," I will be able to say, "It's because of God that this building stands."

I think I need to take a little time from the packing and the paperwork, the selling and the sweeping, and give God a bit of thanks for carrying me this far. This final picture was taken last night overlooking Portland International Airport as a Southwest Airlines 737 departed. The first one was taken not far from our apartment, as the cars and trucks wizzed by on Interstate 5. But enough about the pictures, I need to go find some rocks!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Of Mustard Seeds and Mountains

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

-Matthew 17:20

Subtle Reminders

Take the time to slow down, get away from your busy life, even if only for an hour! I am always amazed at the grandeur of the nature around us. Such incredible landscapes planned down to the smallest detail. Sometimes we
are reminded of God's power with towering waterfalls, or His peace when you stumble across your own little hideaway far from the noise, where you can just be quiet and stand in awe of your Creator. Take time to explore.

Remember the airstrip I told you about the other day. Well here's a shot from the air. The strip begins where the buildings towards the bottom of the picture end and it runs right alongside the trees on the right side of the picture. If you click on the picture to open it in a larger view, and you look real close, the whole airstrip is marked off with little white markers. This is the kind of airstrip I will be in and out of for many landings and takeoffs to come. (Of course those will all be overseas somewhere!). Fun fun!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Mirror Image

Some people are language experts and translate precious words into a people's heart language, others provide hope for at risk kids living in the inner city, still others are church planters, or evangelists. Me...I'm a pilot...and a mechanic too, but mostly a pilot!

It's so incredible to me how all of us are skilled and gifted and called to be and do such different things, yet we all have the same passion; we're all working toward the same goal--to never stop telling people about all the great things God has done until "every tribe, tongue, and nation has heard." I always tell people that I love flying, but my real passion is serving people (which is why mission aviation is such a great fit for me), and I think all those translators and church planters would say the same thing. Our God is amazing!

On the home front, things are looking pretty slim! After packing a lot of the little things and selling a small mountain of other belongings, the walls are becoming a little bare. I'm still dividing my time between packing and moving, and Servant Wings. I spent the better portion of today in the air riding shotgun, and in the hangar putting our 172 back together. It's not too often that I get to sit back and relax while someone else flies, so I take advantage of it. I was flying with David, one of the other members of Servant Wings. He's preparing to do MAF technical evaluation in August. We often ride with each other and offer each other feedback on areas where we can improve. Even though neither one of us is a flight instructor, the extra set of eyes (that aren't intently focused on flying the airplane) are often invaluable. In this picture, I'm focusing on the precise spot where David is lifting off during takeoff and touching down during landing. This is really important information to know, especially when you're operating the airplane close to its performance limits. It helps us get to know the airplane better, but even more importantly, it gives us a "standard" so we can gauge every other takeoff and landing based on that one. If the airplane isn't performing like it should, like we expect it to, then we know something is wrong and we can stop the airplane on the runway without hurting any people, or the airplane!

Keeping the airplanes we fly in good repair also helps when we fly them close to their performance limits. That's what we were doing today, correcting problems with our 172's engine (an important part of the airplane!). We had to replace some really small, seemingly insignificant parts inside the carburetor (yes some airplanes still use them, along with magnetos. The only other thing that uses them, besides airplanes, that I can think of are farm tractors from the 1930's). We put it all back together, slapped it back on the engine and then performed a test run to make sure it worked before we signed it off to be fly-able again. It seemed to work fine, and with a few minor fuel adjustments, we had that engine purring like a...well, a very large domestic cat! (Don't worry, I didn't shave my head and dye my hair blonde! This is David; I'm behind the camera)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Picture Perfect

So, the past few weeks have been quite a blur of selling, buying, packing, driving, planning, and surprises. And although most things around me are changing, and my head sometimes feels a bit hazy, one thing is made constantly clear to me.

God is too good at graciously giving me things I do not deserve. Among other things, my Joy is just incredible. So resilient and so radiant. She makes me laugh like no one else! I'm glad He is in control; He always knows best!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's Been A While has been a while since I've updated you on our adventures. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures to show for it either. But I thought I'd just let everyone know that we're still alive and still plugging away towards our official indoctrination into MAF. We're actually packing up/selling a lot of our belongings as we'll be moving out of our apartment the end of this month. My parents have graciously offered to fly us out to Ohio so we can spend a few days with the family before all the craziness hits. We will be there until the 8th of July, visiting and have a grand time. And then, just like that, we'll be back in Vancouver, facing a 7 hour drive back down to MAF in Idaho for one more week of evaluation. At the end of that week, we'll receive our field assignment, so we will be able to tell everyone where we'll be serving. Following will be two weeks of orientation and two weeks of "ministry partnership" seminars. After that, we'll be driving to Colorado for the Boersma Family Reunion in the middle of August, and then on to the east coast, where we'll begin the support raising process. It's moving fast now!
My days now are spent usually packing and negotiating with people who would like to buy our belongings. Although, I'm writing this particluar entry from the lunch room at Moody Aviation in Spokane. Seems that some of the corporate members of Servant Wings wanted to use us to fly out here for some meetings instead of drive (I don't blame them!). So I get to see many familiar faces and update everyone here on our whereabouts and what we're up to.
Now, I'm sure some of those plans I told you all about are leaving some questions and maybe even some confusion in your head about when we're actually going to be here or there and what we'll be up to in the next couple months. That said, we'd love for you to shoot us an email so we can answer your questions! We'd be delighted to hear from you. Our email address is So if you're unclear on any of that, let us know so we can clear up any mud! Thanks for the prayers and encouragement and financial support--we have a strong team behind us, and you are appreciated!