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.

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