Wednesday, January 16, 2008

10 Days to find out the direction of our lives & Desperate Situation in Kenya

It's finally here, the dreaded TE aka, Technical Evaluation, the must-pass intense ten day testing of Jerry's skills as a pilot and aircraft mechanic to determine if he will be allowed to serve as a pilot/mechanic with AIM Air.

We are in Waxhaw, North Carolina, home of JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service), which is the technical branch providing support to Wycliffe Bible Translators. It was JAARS' pilots that flew Jerry and his family to and from the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, when he
was a boy and his father, a Bible translator for the Naasoi language group. JAARS has made it their business to train missionary pilots to safely deliver precious cargo to and from the mission field and all its jungle/ bush airstrips. AIM Air has partnered with JAARS to borrow on their experience to determine the skill & safety of potential missionary pilots.

For a couple years or so, this has been Jerry's focus: to get the hours, experience and knowledge needed to demonstrate his skill and competency here at the TE.

Jerry studied nearly nightly for almost a year. We moved to Minnesota, and partnered with Proclaim Aviation, in order for Jerry to get more hands on aircraft mechanic experience. He flew with an AIM Air pilot, an AIM air recruiter or two, JAARS evaluator; and most recently spent two weeks with a topnotch former Moody Aviation instructor, all to be at the top of his game. As
his wife, I can say confidently that Jerry could not be more prepared.

That said, we are fully relient on God. We trust the outcome to Him. With your gracious prayers, we know, that God will ease Jerry's anxieties so he can perform to the best of his ability for these ten days of testing under the watchful, note-taking eyes of the JAARS evaluators.

We trust God implicitly, and though I forbid Jerry to mention it now, should he not pass this evaluation; we understand that simply signifies God means for us to take another path of service to Him and the people of Africa.

Please, continue to keep Jerry daily in your prayers during this time. Pray also for me, as I try to be a rock of support for him, and our kids -who we miss fiercely (it's much quieter around here then we're used to!), being cared for by my parents and sister in Indiana.

On a side-note, but also forefront in our minds... Please pray for the people of Kenya, the country in east Africa we anticipate to be our home in a little under a year.
You have probably heard the news of the post-election violence and fighting there, cause mostly be age-old tribal differences. We have personal friends, Andy & Lesa Brown, a five-minute walk away from the largest slum in the world, Kibera, where hundreds are homeless after losing their homes and meager belongings to the violence. 600 people have lost their lives, from the last report I read. Africa Inland Mission has set up the Kenya Crisis Fund (Which you can find a link to on the right sidebar of this page), which will be used:
To provide food, water, clothing and other commodities to refugees
To rebuild homes of pastors in affected areas
To rebuild churches burned down in the crisis
To assist with funeral expenses of members of the Africa Inland Church who were killed.

AIM will rely on AIM-Air heavily to transport needed food and other aid to areas of Kenya in crisis, which include: Mombasa, Kisumu and the slums of Kibera in Nairobi. We long to be a part of God's human hand reaching out to love His people in Africa in situations such as these. I'm certain you see how great the need is for missionary pilots to fill these roles. Our hearts ache to get there as soon as possible, to add a few more willing hands to this "bucket brigade"of hope.


Kenya photos by Andy Brown
Caravan in Sudan photo by Mike DeLorenzo

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