Thursday, February 26, 2009

Down For The Count

Well, at least I was. I'm feeling much better now. According to Nurse Joy, I had a case of the flu, and boy am I glad that's over! Cough, ache, sleep, drink, sleep, cough, blow seemed like it was never going to end! Today is much better though, things are looking up! The sun is shining, it's nice and warm outside, birds are singing, it feels like the first warm spring day after a really cold winter. Anyway, I wanted to share this link with you, it paints a great picture of where Joy and I will be serving with MAF, what their impact is, what the current situation is, and who MAF is partnering with to bring the Gospel to these people. You can find this info at:

Or, you can find it by clicking on the "Mission Aviation Fellowship" link on the left side of this page. Then find the map of Africa and click on "more info EDRC." Clear as mud?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Central California

Over the weekend, Joy and I took another trip up to central California to speak in more churches and have more meetings with people. Again, I apologize for the lack of pictures, it seems things have been getting really busy lately with all that's going on. I've found there's a delicate balance between the ministry we're actively involved in and communicating with the team of partners making the ministry possible. Without our team of partners, we wouldn't be able to invest in the ministries at hand, but without the ministry, there would be no team! It's been rather difficult to find a happy medium between the two. Regardless, we have lots of news and happenings to tell you about!

First off, I hope you have received our newsletter well; for those of you who are currently not on our MAF mailing list, I will send you a copy through email as soon as it becomes available to me in electronic means. For those of you who have received it, we hope it has given you a snapshot of the past few months. By far, I think the biggest news has been the recent development of "baby Konop!" Here's the very first photo of our new little addition to the family. Right now, it's been dubbed our little Kidney bean, measuring only 2.3 cm in length. It's hard to imagine how much this little guy...or girl will grow in the next 8 months! We also got to hear its tiny little heart beating at 167 times per minute (don't worry, that's normal). Joy is due September 23, and if you couldn't tell already, we're both really excited! Although, I think Joy has had it a bit more rough than I have! It seems that she's got the whole morning sickness thing, but all day long. Our doctor says that's a good sign of a healthy pregnancy though. Other than that, Joy is doing well, resting a lot, and dreaming of what the baby will look like.

Our trip to central California was filled with driving and meetings and food and speaking. We had a great time developing some new acquaintances and giving our presentation. As it looks right now, we'll be making yet another trip to that area in the next month or so. The next step in the MAF process for us is to attend spring orientation and standardization training. As I explained a little bit in our newsletter, the orientation classes will cover subjects like "cross-cultural adaptation," "Cooking from Scratch," a marriage seminar, and many other things a missionary would love to know before going overseas for the first time! These classes last for two weeks and start on April 20th. After that, I will attend MAF's flight and maintenance standardization courses--4 weeks of flight school, and 4 weeks of maintenance experience. These ground school classes and hands-on experience will go over all the rules, regulations, and policies of operating MAF airplanes overseas. I will gain additional experience and knowledge that is essential for safe operations in the environment that I will be working in. We will be done with the additional training at the end of June, and our goal is to be fully supported before this 10 week training process begins. Right now, we're at 62% of our monthly support, so in the next 11 weeks, we need an additional 38%. If we don't reach this goal, we will have to continue raising support after the training is over. Not a big deal except for the fact that after the training ends, we're supposed to sort through all of our belongings, pack our shipment for Africa, and head up to Canada for French language school! So we would much rather have our ministry partnership team in place before all that happens.

Boy this is turning into a rather lengthy update! I'm close to using up my words for the day! Anyway, hope that catches you up on our current situation. Be praying for us about these things, we know our God is able to accomplish anything, and He delights in answering the prayers of His faithful children!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laughter is Good for the Soul

Last night I was looking over some of my old notes from flight school just to refresh my memory and see how much I've learned. To my great surprise, I found only two little phrases scribbled in the corners of the pages. Before I tell you what those two things were, you have to understand that a whole heap of corny jokes surrounds the pilot world. I heard plenty of them during my time at Moody. You may laugh at them, you may not, but I certainly got a good kick out of them!

The first joke has to do with flying in what we call IMC (flying in the clouds and fog with no visual references to where the ground ends and the sky begins). For those of you who don't know, a separate license is required to do this kind of flying. When I was going through this portion of my flight training, I was getting ready for a 4 hour flight navigating just by the instruments available in the airplane. As my instructor and I were walking out to the airplane, he turned and gave me a "pop quiz" (as the instructors normally did). He asked, "Now Chris, what are the two absolutely essential instruments you need to have in order to fly through the clouds?" I racked my brain, trying to think of what we had learned in the previous weeks during our ground school classes..."Hmmm, maybe a compass, or an airspeed indicator, no maybe a GPS!" Finally I gave up and my instructor said, "The first essential piece of equipment would be a goose, and the second is a cat." After this, I was thoroughly confused and asked for a little clarification on the subject. He said, "Well, you need the goose because they always point North, and cats always land on their feet, so you know which way the ground is!"

Ok, I know real cheesy! Just wait 'til you read the second one.

One day I was flying along, enjoying the scenery when my instructor nonchalantly pointed out that we just passed over a small country airport in the middle of an apple orchard. He then proceeded to ask me, "Chris, when is the only time a pilot begins to sweat?" I thought that was kind of a weird question to ask since it was 30 degrees outside. My instructor promptly replied, "When the six-foot air conditioner out front (meaning the propellor) stops turning." I chuckled a little. And with that, he pulled the throttle lever back to the idle position and told me that this was a "simulated engine failure" and that my incredibly reliable airplane just turned into a glider!

Don't worry, this kind of thing is totally normal! The engine is still running, just like your car would at a stop light. It is a routine maneuver so that we can practice our emergency procedures. That way, if the real thing ever does happen, we will be ready for it, and know exactly what to do and when! Oh yeah, to finish the story, I made an uneventful landing at the cute little country airport we had passed over a few minutes earlier!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Friends, I came across another video just today while looking around for more information on the Congo. It is an ABC Nightline Special only about 6 or 7 minutes long, and it shows some of the poverty and hardships of the people we have come to love. You can find the video at this link:

Bukavu, the town they mention in the broadcast, is 200 miles or so South of where we will be living in Bunia. We will be on the North side of the equator, Bukavu is on the South side. But, they are both on the eastern side of Congo.

We have been very busy traveling around and speaking, writing, asking...all the usual stuff. So busy, in fact, that I have no new pictures to show you of what we're up to, so I'll put up an older one. This is a photo of the real "London Bridge," you know the one that the song is all about. But, it's not in London, it's in Lake Havasu City, Nevada. The information sign said that the people who moved the bridge dismantled it brick by brick, and then brought it all the way to Nevada...and you guessed it, they put it all back together brick by brick. You may wonder what in the world I was doing in Lake Havasu City. Well, the guy in the orange shirt was one of my flight instructors from Moody; this was one of our overnight stops on our senior flight project from Spokane to Phoenix and back. It was pretty warm in Nevada in June, so once we landed and got settled in, we hit the local In N Out for a bite to eat and then saw that the London Bridge was down the street--the rest is history! It was so warm in fact, that the next morning we took off as soon as the sun came up because it was already almost 90 degrees outside!

Now, normally, I would update you on our progress with support raising and how all that is going, especially since our critical decision date of February 9th has come and gone, but I don't think I will this time. Our next newsletter will be coming out in a week or two and if I told you all the news here, you wouldn't have anything to look forward to in our newsletter!

But, as always, we cherish your prayers for us and for the ministry of MAF!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Check This Out

I came across this interesting program today. This company travels the whole world, filming missionaries and their work, and then broadcasting their stories on the Christian Television Network. They just so happened to film a story on MAF's work on the island of Borneo, Indonesia. I've been told the story is airing on Friday the 13th at 7:30pm EST. If you go to their website, you can view a "trailer" of the program that will air the end of next week. Just thought I might share this with you.

We are very close to 60%, somewhere around 59.5% or so! That's great news for us; we'll let you know what happens!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Closer and Closer

February 9th is coming up real quick! We're still at 52%, hoping and praying we get invited to the spring training especially, I haven't flown in over 6 months now, and I'm really starting to develop an itch that needs some scratching! Joy and I have been thoroughly enjoying our time traveling and visiting with so many folks. It's been really fun and such a wonderful time of building relationships. And, in a way, it has been reminding us where our passions are, and that is with people. Airplanes are fun and exciting, and flying is even better, but spending time with people, caring for people, serving people, and building relationships is really what it's all about. I'm reminded of the three foundational pillars Moody Aviation stands on: Servanthood, Integrity, and Excellence.