Thursday, July 31, 2008

Feels Like the Weekend

Yesterday we finished up our Security Training seminar; it was a pretty high stress time and a lot of information. Last night we just went for a drive through the countryside with no particular destination in mind. We stopped along the way and enjoyed a nice sunset, and I'll even share it with you!

We started our ministry partnership seminar today, and found out we have another long weekend. This time though, we have homework to do! We need to think about what all we want to include in our presentation, so when next week rolls around we can practice! I'm not much for speaking in front of large groups, but I guess I'll have to get used to it. We've got a lot of reading and thinking to do over the weekend. Blessings!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

For now

Well, we finally heard from our regional director about a possible assignment, and it looks like it will be East Democratic Republic of Congo for now. We still would like to be assigned to Lesotho, and our boss is "keeping an open mind" about things. You can read more about MAF's program there, as well as information on the history and current situations there at

We're going through "security training" right now, and will be starting our ministry partnership seminars this Thursday. We're half way done with the summer training here, and will soon be let loose to gather our team around us before heading off to our assignment.

As always, we welcome your questions and comments!

Some Pictures of the Weekend

Joy and her mom test out a bridge over white waters.

Taking a small rest break to stop and listen to the sounds provided by nature...and to wave at the occassional victim of white water rafting.
Joy making our pizza at the Friday night pizza party.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Road Trip

Well, at least we went on a mini one this past weekend. Joy's mom flew up to Boise and was here to spend some time with us. Saturday we decided to take a little road trip and drive up to Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in the country, but we didn't quite make it! Instead we stop several time along the way and ate a "picnic" lunch at a park well South of the canyon. One of the places we stopped along the road had an old cable bridge that was posted "No Tresspassing," but you know what they say..."Like mother, like daughter!"

Friday night we all went to a "Make your own pizza" party with other new MAF missionaries. Dough was provided, and we all cooked our pizza delight!

Unfortunately, I can't seem to get any pictures to upload, so you'll have to do without the visual media today. Maybe I'll be able to get some up tomorrow. At any rate, we had a nice weekend relaxing, driving, eating pizza, and rafting the Boise River. Today we started security training; two more days of that, and then it's on to Ministry Partnership training. After that, we'll be let loose for six months to find prayer/support partners. Still no update on the country assignment. At least we know where in the world we're going, but we're still waiting on "where in Africa will we be going?"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Still Waiting

Well, we're still waiting for a more solid country assignment, something more than just Africa! Nothing yet though. There has been talk about sending us to East Democratic Republic of Congo, but no official word yet. For those of you who don't know, that's a bit of a "tough" neighborhood, and if we would go there, we'd be learning French in Quebec before we leave. But nothing is set in stone yet, we're still waiting on the regional director to concact us. Unfortunately, he's pretty busy right now with travel all over the U.S., accomplishing some ministry partnership; he's a little hard to get a hold of (or maybe we're just being impatient!). So, for now we just sit and wait, checking our email whenever we get a chance, hoping we'll have new mail.

We're also done with all of our candidacy classes; now we're on to a two week "ministry partnership" seminar (code for support raising). After that, we'll be traveling around the country finding more individuals and churches who are excited about what God is doing through MAF around the world.

That's all for now, we'll let you know more when we know more! Thanks again for all your prayers and support!

Monday, July 21, 2008

JULY 21, 2008

Well, it's with great excitement that I let you all know we have been officially accepted as missionaries with MAF! And we've accepted our first regional field assignment on the continent of Africa. MAF has several bases in a few countries; the main ones are in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Lesotho (the one I have been mentioning). DRC is split up into East and West regions, so we could be assigned to East DRC, West DRC, or Lesotho. We'll probably be requesting an assignment in Lesotho; the more we learn about the country, the people, and the program there, the more we are drawn to it. If you look on the map to the right, DRC is kind of the purple-ish country in the middle of the continent. Lesotho is the orange country way at the bottom, right in the middle of South Africa.

So what happens now? Well, we've got to talk with the regional director for Africa, and he will assign us an actual country and program, so we'll know sometime in the next couple weeks what that will be. It's such a relief to finally know at least the general area we'll be heading to. Today was a little hard I think just to wait all day with nervous excitement.
As always, we welcome your questions and comments, and look forward to sharing with many of you in person!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Must Have Slipped My Mind

I forgot to mention in yesterday's entry that on Monday we were a part of our first "airplane dedication." The maintenance staff here in Idaho have been working feverishly on a new Cessna Caravan purchased for use overseas. On Monday, we had a quick time of prayer as all the staff circled the airplane and offered prayers to God for his many blessings and the provision of the new airplane. It is scheduled to leave Friday for a long flight to Kalimantan, Indonesia, where it is greatly needed in the MAF program there. The dedication wasn't a huge deal, but it has been an MAF tradition to give thanks to God for his many blessings. This may be the first of many "dedications" Joy and I will take part in as missionaries with MAF. The man talking in front of the microphone is John Boyd, President of MAF.

We also had our first meeting with the board today. This meeting was just to get to know us a little better and see how things were going with all the classes we've been sitting through. We also talked about any preferences we had for our overseas assignment. We will officially be asked to join MAF and receive our assignment on Monday afternoon, just a few short days from now! The interview went well and we are moving forward. Everything we've heard so far from our classes has been good, and we're encouraged even more that this is what God has for us. We've been able to get to know several of the other candidates in our "class" that are going through the same thing we are. It's amazing to hear all the different stories and how God has worked in all their lives to get them to this point.

Here's a photo of a cool rock formation we passed on the freeway as we drove down from Vancouver, WA, to MAF. Most of the drive is pretty non-descript, but every now and then you pass some interesting scenery. We had to stop several times as well because of the heat; we couldn't stand it anymore and had to find somewhere with air conditioning because it was so hot! We made it though, praise God.
Continue to pray for us as we go through all these classes and get our assignment. As soon as we know where it will be, we'll let everyone know. I'm sure you're just as interested to learn where that will be as we are! We thank God for each and every one of you; without you we could never accomplish the task that He's laid on our hearts!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pluggin' Away

Today we had some classes concerning different MAF "branches" and "Serving God When Danger Is Near." In addition to providing aviation services, MAF also provides communication and "learning technology" services. So, today we learned a little about those programs.

Our first committee meeting will be tomorrow afternoon; we'll be talking about possible assignments. We're really excited to find out where we'll be headed! It's hard to be patient, but it's just classes for now.
This is one of the lovely poses before the Konop Family Picture.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Journey Begins

Our first couple days of "candidacy" are over! We've had several introductory classes and briefly overviewed the many different programs MAF has all over the world. Our assignment is still up in the air; we will have our first committee meeting this coming Wednesday, where we will talk about possible assignments.
At this point, we're sort of leaning towards the MAF program in Lesotho (pronounced Le-soo-too). MAF seriously considers any bias we may have toward a particular area or program, and while they can't promise we will be assigned there, they do try and work with us if we feel called to a certain area. The program in Lesotho is based mainly around medical work. About 80% of the flying there is medical related. They also support a program called the Flying Doctor Service. Basically what that means is, I would support several small clinics in remote areas with transportation of doctors, nurses, medical supplies, and provide "air ambulance" services. Joy and I feel that this would be a great fit for us because of her medical background being a nurse, among other things.

A little about Lesotho:

This little country is about the size of Maryland and sits smack dab in the middle of South Africa. Although the traditional language is not English, most people speak it, and MAF does not require any language training to be assigned here. The climate is very temperate; the lowest spot in the country sits well above 4,000 feet, providing moderate temperatures in the summer, and even snow in the winter months. The people of Lesotho are poor, and up to half (maybe even more) are said to be infected with the HIV/AIDS virus, making medical support critical in this country.

Although this is NOT our assigned area (and may not be), we are considering a request to the board for an assignment here. We are still very open to an assignment anywhere we may be needed, we just feel particularly interested in the program in Lesotho.

Continue to pray for us as we will be in classes all this week, and will have our first committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Pray for wisdom of the board to place us where we will be most effective for the kingdom of God!

P.S. Do to circumstances in Vancouver, we ended up driving our "back up" car down here (the ugly one with 260,000 miles on it!). The other one runs great, we just ran into trouble at the licensing office and couldn't get it registered in time to drive it down here. Unfortunately, our back up car has no air conditioning, and Nampa is much like Spokane in the summer (or Death Valley for that matter), it's stinkin' hot! It's pretty much desert here. The only thing that really grows down here is wheat. The rest is blowing dirt and dust, along with incredible blue skies and a sun that is relentless. No worries though, it's all part of God's plan in preparing us for what lies ahead!

Monday, July 7, 2008

East Coast Envy

The past few days Joy and I have been in Ohio visiting my family before we head off to MAF. The time so far has been filled with games, movies, jet skis, and grilling. And of course we saw fireworks on the 4th. Yesterday after church, we spent the rest of the day at the lake swimming, eating, and riding jet skis. Most every muscle in my body aches today! But it was a lot of fun, coming from Portland, to soak up some real sun and get wet! I've also gotten to spend some time with my new nephew, Samuel Owen Potts. He's only a couple months old. It's been a while since the whole family was here all at once. We've had a blast! And I've gotten to spend some time with my brother as well. We couldn't have picked colleges that were further apart, me in the Northwest, and him in Virginia. Our visits are few and far between. Tomorrow we head back to Portland for the evening, and then the next morning we're off to MAF for acceptance and orientation.
I also got a "once-in-a-lifetime" experience getting a flight in the Wright B Flyer that my incredibly beautiful and wonderful sister arranged for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bigger & Better

Well, it's finished. We're out of our apartment; it's kind of unfortunate too, I think last night was the cleanest I've ever seen it! Yesterday was a flurry of boxes and cleaning supplies. We got everything done though around 10pm--2 hours to spare! We're now staying with one of the pastors from our church until Thursday morning, when we fly out to Ohio for the fourth of July. After that, it will be time to head back down to Idaho for the final phases of acceptance and orientation. Fun fun!