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!