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!

If you'd like to receive our newsletters or if you have any questions, please send us an email. 

Jeremy: jtoews@maf.org 
Jodie: jodietoews@maf.org

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Next Step: Candidacy and Ministry Partnership Training!

Tomorrow we leave for Nampa, Idaho for our first round of training at Mission Aviation Fellowship's headquarters.  During the first two weeks, we will learn the ins and outs of MAF, meet with the candidate committee, become official MAF members and will be given our country assignment.  We are really excited to know where we will be sent!  The last two weeks of training will be focused on ministry partnership. 

Here are a few ways you can be praying for us during this coming month (January 12th- February 6th):

- For Connor and Joel as they will be with a babysitter every day while Jeremy and I attend training.  Pray that they will transition well to the new environment, new daily routine and all the changes. (We praise the Lord that their babysitter is a wonderful friend of ours!)

- For Jeremy and I as we attend training- that we would learn the tools needed to prepare for moving overseas.

- For wisdom for the candidate committee as they decide our country assignment.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as we take the next step with MAF! 

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.  Our email address is airmail2date@gmail.com.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Iron Answers!

After 8 months of blood work, iron supplements, diet changes, and genetic testing, we have confirmed that Connor doesn't have thalassemia (genetic anemia) but has low iron stores.  He will need to continue to take the iron supplement until his diet can support his iron needs and have his blood tested every 6 months.  We are praising the Lord for answers and that Connor is healthy! As for Joel, his iron levels are within the normal range and aren't of concern. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement during this process.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Joel's First Flight!

Being the son of a pilot, Joel must have Daddy take him on his first flight.  So for Jeremy's last time using the STC Kodiak, all four of us flew around the Spokane area together.  Connor was quite excited to going flying "in daddy's yellow airplane".

We had to convince Joel that he wanted to go flying.  He screamed until Jeremy started up the plane.
Connor and Joel fell asleep before we took off.
While both boys were napping, Jeremy and I enjoyed a beautiful day flying! It was almost like a date.
A perfect December day to go flying!
My favorite pilot!
After a little nap, Connor enjoyed looking out the window.
He woke up as we landed- slept through his first flight.