Sunday, May 31, 2009

Header Photo

I can't remember if I explained the header photo before or not, so I'll just do it now. The airplane pictured is actually THE one that I will be flying when we eventually get to Congo. It is set up exactly the same as the airplane I flew when we were in the ServantWings program. 9Q-CUI I'm sure will become a very intimate friend and take me safely over many many miles of dense jungle so the love of Christ can be spread!

"Strutting" Around

Here's what I was up to on Friday. We took the nose strut off the airplane, disassembled and cleaned it, and replaced a bunch of o-rings. The strut works much the same way a shock absorber does on a absorbs shock. And because MAF operates on pretty rough and dirty airstrips all the time, they require a little more TLC and attention. It can be a pretty dirty and and nasty job unless you do it right. In the picture, all I'm really doing is sticking my hand up in the "tunnel" for theatrical effect. I have two more days of maintenance before I start flying on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good pictures and even a little video so you can have a better idea of what we do here and why we do it. The good thing is that I'm learning a lot and it's been a great reveiw for me as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby Showers, Alternators, and Long Walks

This past weekend Joy and I drove 7 hours to Vancouver, Washington, to attend our church there. They were kind enough to throw Joy a baby shower--we got lots of wonderful gifts and useful items for our little girl--we were so blessed! We were also blessed by a surprise offering the church collected for us on Sunday morning! We stayed in Vancouver until Monday morning and headed back to Nampa with a carload of baby things.
Speaking of's ours! This is the latest picture of our baby girl...she's so cute already! Both mom and baby are doing just fine, and I can even feel her doing flips and kicks and punches in there!

I'm still working on the shop floor until Wednesday; here I'm inspecting a magneto, which is an engine accessory that provides the electricity to fire the spark plugs. Without it, the engine would not run. Right now I'm working on overhauling an alternator, and just like a car, it provides the electricity to run all the electrical systems in an airplane. In fact, the alternator I'm working on right now says "Ford" on it!

We're keeping ourselves busy with plenty of training and paperwork. Well, time for dinner, yum yum!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Think Pink

That's the name of the game--pink clothes, pink shoes, pink hats, pink bed, pink blankets, pink photo albums.... That's right, our latest visit to the doctor indicated that a baby girl is on her way! Everything looks great so far; mommy and baby are both healthy. She definitely looks like a mover...the ultrasound technician was chasing her all over Joy's belly trying to get pictures for the doctor!

After the doctor visit, Joy's mom got us a treat to celebrate. Don't worry, they're only chocolate! We're both really excited and thankful that things are going well as we anticipate the arrival of our little girl!

Training is going well, I've moved on from classes to hands-on experience inspecting, fixing, and troubleshooting MAF's training airplanes. I have good incentive to do a thorough job as these airplanes are the ones I will be flying in a few short weeks! Joy is keeping busy with paperwork, phone calls, and plenty of naps. This weekend we are heading over to Vancouver, Washington, where we used to live so we can visit the church we used to go to and see some friends. Pray for safe travel and continued good health for all three of us! Our support is still slowly coming in even as we have shifted gears a little bit. We're now a little over 80% in both monthly and outgoing support, so we're getting there! We are always so excited to see how God works.

P.S. I'll post a few ultrasound pictures in the near future!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Technical Training

Here's a photo of our current "standardization" (as MAF calls it) group along with the MAF maintenance instructors and Instructor Pilots. Of course I am in the lower left and next to me is a young man from MAF's UK branch. Next to him in the white shirt is an Instructor Pilot. From Left to Right in the back row are several more maintenance instructors and instructor pilots...except for the last two. In the black is Noel, who will be serving in Asia, and next to him in the blue shirt is a pilot from MAF's Canada branch. Clear as mud?!

I spent last week in class going through flight ground school. We went over many subjects related to flight theory and operations in general, as well as things very specific to MAF operations. We learned about MAF's operating procedures and regulations...and I'll soon get the chance to put all this new knowledge to the test with a couple weeks of flying. For now I'm sitting in maintenance ground school classes taking an in depth look at the Cessna 206 how it works and how to maintain it. The next two weeks I'll be practicing and learning in the shop before I get to do the flying!

What's really exciting is that a week from today we will be going to the doctor for an ultrasound. We'll get to see our little bundle and learn if it's a she or a he! Pray that everything will go well with the doctor visit!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


This is a photo from the MAF Dedication ceremony for the new Kodiak 100 airplane. More than 1,000 folks showed up to dedicate this new airplane to the Lord as it moves on for service in Indonesia.

Right at the tail end of the ceremony, it started to pour. As Joy and I were walking back to our apartment after it stopped raining, I took this picture of a tree in bloom. Surprisingly, it has rained a lot since we've been here. I guess we're just used to Portland, where it drizzles all the time. Yesterday it rained really hard, and there was thunder and lightning to accompany it!

Here are Joy and I along with one of our classmates, leading worship for chapel at MAF. Our class shared stories with the folks at MAF about how God has been faithful to us in the process of raising our ministry support.

And here we are receiving a copy of The Message during our "commissioning" chapel, where we are officially transferred from the Personnel dept. to the Operations dept. Lots of fun stuff! Tomorrow I begin the technical orientation training...i.e. the maintenance and flying! I'm pretty excited--it's been a while since I worked on an airplane, and even longer since I actually flew one!

Right now we are at 79% in both our monthly and outgoing accounts! We are really excited about that, but before we can leave for Africa, both of those accounts need to be fully funded. Pray for me as I learn MAF's procedures and regulations, and for safety as I fly and fix airplanes. Pray for Joy and the pregnancy. And pray that God will be glorified in all that we do!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lots to Tell You

We've completed "non-technical" orientation as of today! Our classes on culture and many other things have come to a close. Now I am moving on to "technical" orientation, where I will go through maintenance and flight courses to further sharpen my skills and knowledge as a pilot/mechanic. I'm looking forward to this phase of training, mostly because I haven't touched an airplane in over a year! So I'm getting pretty anxious to start fixing and flying again. During this time Joy doesn't have any formal obligations or classes, but that doesn't mean she won't be busy! She will have her hands full planning the arrival of our little one, completing paperwork, and making lots of phone calls. Seems there is a lot of "behind the scenes" work that needs to happen for us to go overseas!

Last weekend, a few families went out to go hiking. And this weekend, we got the privilege of attending a dedication for the new Kodiak airplane that MAF received. The public was invited to the event, so there were quite a few people here.

Stay tuned for some pictures of the past few weeks, I'll post them up shortly!