Saturday, May 9, 2015

Celebrating 29 Years!

On Wednesday, we celebrated Jeremy's 29th birthday!  It was a fun-filled family morning together.

We loaded the boys into the bug to go out for breakfast.

Breakfast of choice: fresh donuts at Krispy Kreme, with sprinkles, of course!

We went home by way of the park.  Trampoline = little boy (and big boy) heaven!

Having fun at the park even though he missed his morning nap.

Home again.

Happy birthday, Jeremy!  You are a wonderful dad and husband.  Connor, Joel and I are very blessed.  We are looking forward to many, many more grand adventures together!  We love you lots!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Two Growing Boys

Over the last 6 months, Connor and Joel have gone through a lot of changes and transitions- traveling for the holidays, four weeks with a babysitter while we were in training at MAF at headquarters, having many people in and out of our home, and late nights/missed naps while we have ministry meetings, but they have handled it all so well which is an answer to prayer!  In fact, most days Connor now asks which friends are coming over.  This is evidence that these boys have been prayed for during this crazy season of our lives. Thank you!

Not only have they experienced change in their environment and routines, but they are changing as well- growing up so fast!

Connor is now in his big-boy bed! When he got to pick out a new blanket for his bed, he chose a "hawk-hawks" (Seahawks) blanket.  This made Grandpa Cherry very proud.

These two are such good buddies!  What a blessing!

Joel has started eating solids, though he still isn't a fan.  He now enjoys oatmeal but nothing else.  It will just take a little more time for him to discover all the yummy foods out there.

We love that spring has arrived!  Connor loves digging in the dirt, coloring with chalk, and collecting rocks.

Joel loves being outside too, enjoying watching whatever Connor is up to.  I'm sure he will be joining him before I know it.

Reading and singing are two of Connor's favorite indoor activities.  He has a children's hymnal, which is his favorite book right now.  He loves to randomly flip through the pages while singing some medley of Jesus Loves the Little Children, ABC's, This Little Light of Mine, Count Your Blessings, Old McDonald and Clean-up Clean-up. (As you can guess, some of those songs aren't actually in his hymnal. Silly boy.)

We love that it is park season!

Do you think he likes swinging? 

If it includes daddy, the boys are there, ready for a good time.  When we got a new printer, Jeremy was setting it up in the living room, and this was what I saw.  A morning can't get any more exciting than watching paper come out of the printer.  I love that the boys enjoy the simple things in life!

Morning quiet time- since we have early risers, we started training the boys to do quiet activities on their blankets while Jeremy and I do our devotions.  It is still a work in progress, but it is quickly turning into one of my favorite times of the day.

Overall, our boys really just love life, and we are thankful that they really are thriving amidst the very chaotic and inconsistent schedule that has defined our lives lately.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Serving Communities, Supporting the Church, Showing Compassion

We are thanking God and excited to report that we're currently on track to move to Indonesia in January, 2016!  In a few months, we'll need to begin the visa application process.  As details begin to come together, we're getting more excited about joining the Mission Aviation Fellowship team in Kalimantan, Indonesia as a pilot/mechanic family.

Mission Aviation Fellowship serves the isolated people of Kalimantan, Indonesia in three, specific ways:

1. Serving Communities:  Many communities in Kalimantan are basically cut off from the rest of the world due to a lack of basic transportation infrastructure.  Without aviation, these people would be left with a 1-2 month hike through the jungle or canoe trip through treacherous rivers to get to the nearest city.  MAF airplanes can cover that same distance in a one hour flight while carrying building supplies, generators, food, or anything else a community might need.

2. Supporting the Church:  The pastors, church planters and Bible translators serving in these same communities rely heavily on MAF support to accomplish their work.  MAF pilots not only provide transportation to meet basic needs for these workers, they can also be a great source of encouragement as co-laborers in Christ.

3. Showing Compassion:  MAF airplanes are the only ambulances available to many of these communities.  When people are in need of immediate medical attention for any reason, an MAF medevac flight is likely their only hope.  This allows MAF to demonstrate Christ's love in a very tangible way, meeting physical needs which can open doors to meet even deeper, spiritual needs.

Click below for a short video clip illustrating this three-fold ministry of Mission Aviation Fellowship in Indonesia.  To find out more about how you can be part of this ministry by supporting our work with MAF as a pilot/mechanic family in Indonesia, contact us or click here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"When are you leaving?"

This is a pretty common response from people upon hearing that we've joined MAF and we're pretty sure the thrill in their voice stems from genuine excitement for us rather than for the fact that we're leaving.  While the question is simple, the answer isn't.  We've certainly come a long way in the preparation process, but there are still several key pieces that have to fall into place at the proper time.  Short answer?  We plan to move to Indonesia next January.  I (Jeremy) will likely start flying about a year after that.  Why so long?  Aren't you already a pilot?  Can't you just hop on a plane tomorrow and get to work?  If any of these questions are plaguing you, I'll try to explain below.  If not, then you're done!  You can stop reading here.

Phase I: Ministry Partnership
Completion of this phase is the primary determinant of when we can actually depart for Indonesia and all subsequent steps are contingent on this being complete.  As with most mission organizations, MAF missionaries don't serve alone but rather as members of a team which includes those who provide the prayer and financial support necessary for them to serve.  Jodie and I are required to raise ministry financial support to cover both the initial launching expenses of preparing for and moving to Indonesia, as well as the ongoing expenses of living and serving once we get there.  If you believe God wants you be part of this team to help get us out the door to Indonesia by this coming January, we would be thrilled to welcome you to the team!  Click here or contact us with any questions you might have.  If we are fully supported by August of this year, we will be able to continue with the next phase.

Phase II: Additional Training
MAF has an excellent reputation and safety track record, despite serving in some of the most difficult and technically challenging regions in the world.  This is primarily due to God's protection and blessing but it's also due to the fact that MAF adheres to a very high professional standard for their pilots and mechanics.  This fall I will attend two months of standardization training (flight and maintenance) to learn MAF Standard Operating Procedures.  In addition, both Jodie and I will receive training in a wide variety of areas including: how to intentionally nurture our marriage overseas, how to build friendships and minister in an Islamic culture, and how to be smart and alert as we live in places where certain, inherent dangers exist.

Phase III: Packing/Moving
Who knew how much preparation went into moving halfway around the world?  Endless details from what to pack, what to get rid of, building a crate, applying for visas, moving out of our home, travel immunizations so we don't endanger ourselves or the people we plan to serve, and many others will consume our lives right up until we walk down the jetway onto the plane.  Again, we plan to actually depart for Indonesia mid-January, 2016, Lord willing.

Phase IV: Language School
Our first year in-country will be spent on the island of Java, focused on learning the national language: Bahasa Indonesia.  Makes sense, right?  It's very difficult to serve effectively among people with whom you can't even converse.  Once we complete language school we'll move to the island of Borneo and begin serving in our long-term roles.

We appreciate your prayers, support and encouragement over this next year.  It's going to be (and has already been) packed and it can seem a little overwhelming at times.  We especially appreciate your prayers for Connor and Joel throughout this tumultuous time in their lives and for Jodie and I to strike an appropriate balance between all the demands of this phase of life and our primary roles as husband/wife and parents.

So there you have it.  That's when we're leaving.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

MAF Acceptance and Assignment

These last three weeks here at MAF headquarters have been a whirlwind of training and meetings. On January 20, we were officially accepted as members of MAF and given our field assignment.


We have been specifically assigned to the island of Borneo, to the MAF program in the region of Kalimantan.

The coming months are are going to be busy traveling, raising prayer and financial support, packing and additional training as we prepare to move overseas. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement as we have gone through this acceptance process and now as we prepare to go to Indonesia!

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