Friday, February 29, 2008

AIM-AIR and the Kenya Election Crisis

Several have asked us about the state of our future home country. I know from several friends that Africa Inland Mission has taken steps to ensure the safety of the missionaries there. It seems the violence erupted in pockets throughout the entire country mainly along tribal lines. The church in Kenya has responded remarkably, and AIM-AIR was there to assist. There is more credible ;) info at AIM-AIR's website, AIM's website, as well as a friend's website.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

We have a Departure Date!!!

January 9
That's the word from Pearl River (our US AIM headquarters)
If you received our latest newsletter in print form, we had listed our departure target as December, not knowing when we'd need to leave the US to be on time and over jet lag for Africa Based Orientation. We can't wait ! When Jerry has a chance (since I don't know how) he'll change the countdown thingy (at right).
So much to do! Yikes!

Oh, and P.S. thanks for all your birthday wishes. It was great. Lots of cake & having a DATE with my fantabulous husband, what could beat that? The only thing that topped it was the Remote car starter he got me for my birthday!!!! Just what I need here in the always frozen north! Now I can start the car from inside when it's caked in a sheet of ice like this!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Shhh .... Breanna's Birthday is today

I just thought I would give you a heads up ... Send her an e-mail, give her a call ... buy me some time while I go shopping :)
P.S. This isn't a big "Something - Oh" birthday, so you can put away the black ... for now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Supah Cold!

Welcome back to Minnesota! Maybe I got un-acclimated while in Tennessee and North Carolina....or else it's just been extremely cold the past couple days.
It's cold that takes my breath away and makes it hard to get it back; the cold pinpoints the locations I thought I had covered with long johns, jeans, boot socks, boots, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, coat, gloves and hat... but discover can't be covered because that millimeter of skin feels like it 's freezing and burning at the same time. My eyes water from the cold, but the tears come very close to freezing immediately. I berate myself for putting my hair up instead of covering my ears, or for wearing metal earrings at all that pull heat away from ears lightning fast.
They say there was one day above freezing while we were that means WE haven't seen a day over freezing in months here. I keep telling myself I'm getting the cold weather out of my system should we end up posted in the desert area of northern Kenya...where it will be 100's most days. I'm thinking of the sand and dirt that blows everywhere and on every surface...but I am craving it, especially after last night. I think I would have preferred blowing sand to snow. Yesterday we had 35 mph winds all day.

We cam home, about 11 p.m. to find a snow drift across our driveway. We have a rugged 4wd SUV, and barreled through, only to get stuck; spinning tires, even with the center diff lock on. Jerry went to get the tug from the airport to tow us out. We put the kids to bed and then he went to get the airport snowblower (one of the perks of living at/working for the airport) and worked on that over an hour. We even had to tow the snow blower out of the snow with our Land Cruiser at one point. Jerry finally got it cleared and we went to bed. Only to awaken hours later to another snow drift. Jerry went and got a snow fence this afternoon. Hope that helps.

What were we doing when we came home to the drifts? We were celebrating the fact Jerry passed his TE with the folks that made it happen at Proclaim Aviation, and our dear friends: John & Gioconda Armstrong, Cameron & Jackie Johnson and Jim & Kim Soderholm. We made home-made pizza and cake and played Scene It. They even surprised me with a birthday cake. (My b-day is Tuesday, looking forward to a date with my hubby!) We're so grateful God has brought all these fantastic folks into our lives, and that he's brought us here, even if it is supah cold!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jerry's take on the TE trip

The following is what Jerry shared with our church family here in Minnesota this morning.

As many of you know, last month was a big milestone for our family...and I'm not talking about the 92 hours spent together in a car. We drove together as a family to North Carolina where I went through a two-week evaluation as a pilot and aircraft mechanic. This was a critical step in fulfilling a dream God planted in our hearts, to work as missionaries and serve the church in Africa.

With so much time spent in the car, several themes usually re-occur. On this trip, one major theme was Star Wars. Lego Star Wars was a playstation game the kids got for Christmas. They played it in the car, at Grandparents', in our apartment. Grace even asked me the profound question, "Does God use the force?"

If I remember right, Luke learns to "feel" the force while flying his space ship with his eyes closed. Turst me, this didn't help me at all during my evaluation. While the characters in Star Wars strain and wave their arms; God just had to speak and everything rushed into being. God is a Force with a capital "F".

While feeling the "force" didn't help me, I felt God. Anxiety and hints of illness came at bedtime, but a little before 8 in the morning, I headed out the door filled with calm confidence. I was stretched well away from what was comfortable. In many ways, I felt all I could do was to hold on till the very end and trust God for strength, wisdom and the proper outcome.

Amazingly, God with his unlimited power prefers to work with us and has. Through your prayers and notes of encouragement, we made it through and stayed safe. The icing on the cake was finding out we passed. Our first clue, before hearing the official results, was from one of my evaluators, who said, "When you're tired of flying with your mission, com fly with us!" So, we are exhausted, glad to be home, and relieved.

This year, we will continue to work with Proclaim Aviation Ministries, go back to North Carolina for additional training, and prepare to arrive in Kenya by next January. We will also be putting together a support team for finances and prayer, to, in a sense, journey with us to Africa.

In east Africa, we will use aircraft to support the African church, reaching those who have not hear of God's love; flying the desperately ill to a hospital, or a pastor to a remote, dangerous assignment. I am humbled that God has given us these opportunities, and I am also humbled by your support for us. I want to say thanks again for your prayers. We will continue to need them, more than ever! I can't wait to see what God will do through us together.