Sunday, June 29, 2008

I am not sure if this is the start of the “big plunge” after climbing the start hill. That’s always the most anticipated part on roller coasters, right? Yesterday I finished up at the hangar where I have been working for the past ten months. Now I am a passenger in an Airbus A319 airliner somewhere over southeastern Colorado and heading to Dallas at 39,000 feet.Earlier today I flew with Cameron and Chris in a single engine Piper from Worthington to Omaha. Chris is the next Proclaim candidate and will takeover at the shop as well as flying.
The flight seemed significant to me. As I made my way to a shuttle to take me to the airline terminal, Chris jumped into the pilot seat to fly the Piper back. A completed transition ... I’m moving closer to the mission field, and Chris is coming up right behind.
I have mixed emotions. Leaving is hard, but it is satisfying to think of the new guys that are stepping up into a desperately needed role in the farthest corners of the Earth.On the flight from Omaha to Denver I whipped out my handheld GPS to get a better idea of where we were (the onboard maps have these annoying commercials that keep popping up!) I felt like I was cheating as I could see the oncourse direct route and see we were a little off as well as 200 feet below assigned altitude. It was almost like peeking in on what the pilots (well, OK the autopilot) was doing. I am sure it was the GPS that was in error.
On the ground, I remember a time at Cessna when we were developing the flap system for the Citation Mustang. An issue came up on how slow was too slow for the flaps to move. One engineer reported, after returning from California on the airlines, all the flap speeds he observed on that trip by looking out the window. 72 seconds for one type of Boeing, 47 seconds for another ... The Airbus I was riding on to Denver retracted full flaps in a stately 11 seconds. :)
In Dallas, I will stay overnight with Dad and Mom and also my brother, Steve. It has been awhile since I have been to Dallas. Tomorrow after church, Mom and I will drive back to Minnesota. She is going to watch the kids while Bre and I meet up with as many people as possible in July. Mom is really excited about this chance to care for these three... spirited grandchildren. The kids are excited too. Mom will continue to be my hero, especially during these weeks!
This is an exciting change for us. As the unknown seems to loom ever larger, and our pulse quickens, I am acutely aware of my Provision. God has cared for us even when we thought we were caring for ourselves on our own. He will surely be with us as we plunge further, and further, down (referring back to the roller coaster analogy, definitely not the airliner I am in!)

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