Monthly Archives: May 2012


The “Ocean”

I need rest. I used to think that I could go, go, go and I would be fine. Have you ever heard the phrase, “I’ll rest when I die?” I never said it quite like that, probably because I didn’t plan on resting then either! I don’t exactly know why but I know that God has made us to require rest. He set an example when he made everything as we know it and then rested on the seventh day. The only problem is that I often do not know how to rest. If I only get two days off, then I want to make the most of the days! But I have found the beauty in rest, the beauty in not planning anything and allowing the day to come to me. I don’t think that rest means to not do anything, though it can. One definition of rest might be doing something that restores your body and soul. I like the way that the NLT translates Jesus’ explanation of the Sabbath (rest) day in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people…”

Hay Ride

My family needs rest, we need restoration, and this weekend was perfect! We went to the local state park which includes the above lake, we ventured back to Mooville (a local dairy farm) for bounce houses and a tractor/hay-ride, and we spent plenty of time resting at home.

Big Sister

Jeremiah continues to grow. We can’t believe that he is already 2 months old! It is also mind-boggling to think that there are only 2 and 1/2 months to go before school is over.

We just finished talking about induction and exhaust systems and we are now moving on to lubrication. Did you know that supersonic air flow does not act the same as subsonic airflow? Sometimes supersonic airflow does exactly the opposite thing that subsonic airflow does! For instance, when you constrict subsonic airflow to go through a small opening, the pressure and temperature will decrease while the velocity of the air increases. But, when you constrict supersonic airflow, the pressure and temperature will increase and the velocity will decrease. This makes for some crazy flight characteristics for jet aircraft. Unfortunately, I will not be flying anywhere near supersonic when flying as a missionary.

Lil man with his Mom

I hope that you all had a restful weekend. May the Lord restore you each day as you spend time in His presence.

And, thank you to all of you veterans and family of veterans. You have all given so much and we are grateful for your sacrifice. Thank you.


Prayer Changes Things…

Our Little Missionary

Hi! It’s Jess.

Several weeks ago we asked you to pray about and for our neighbors.  We asked you to pray that God would use us to be a light to those we live among.  You guessed it, prayer changes things.

Tonight we brought my homemade honeydew popsicles to Tom and Judy.  Tom has a broken back and a broken neck.  Judy is a retired cook.  They live in our apartment complex with their docile cat, Sinbad. “Sinbad the cat,” as Adelina calls him, was our initial link to this friendly older couple.  Now Adelina insists that we go visit Sinbad the cat every day.  So, every day we walk to Tom and Judy’s so Adelina can pet Sinbad and “feed him rocks”.  Tom and Judy spend most afternoons outside on their porch in hopes of a bit of conversation and company.  Adelina is happy to oblige.  Today Adelina walked right into their living room and announced that she “bonked her knee and has a bandaid”.  Over the past several weeks Tom and Judy have become our dear friends.  Judy shared with me about being abandoned first by her birth father and then left in a basket on a neighbor’s doorstep by her birth mother (literally). She told me about her addict son and how she would rather support her grown children (grown as in 40 plus years old) than allow them to be a burden to society, even if it leaves her nearly penniless.  Judy carries burdens.  But, every afternoon a little ray of sunshine standing all of 33 inches comes marching into her life wanting to pet her cat and tell her stories.

Tom and Judy know that we are pre-field missionaries and when the inevitable “Why?” question follows the “Where will you live?” question we get to tell them just how much God has done in our lives and how grateful we are simply for the chance to serve Him.

Tonight as we left their porch Judy said, “I love you” like we were the oldest and dearest of friends.  With a lump in my throat I thought of you, the people who stand beside us (even from a great distance) and pray; the people who talk to God on our behalf.  I thought of how you must have really read our blog and then really thought about it and then really asked God to help us be bolder in our faith.  With a heart that is full of hope and expectation for a greater work of God’s Spirit, I thank you.

Yours Faithfully,

Jess, Phil, Adelina, and Jeremiah


Phil was invited to do a 100 hour inspection with the professional mechanics at his school today.  He got to service a battery, safety wire some bolts, cut open an oil filter to inspect it, and opened up the aircraft interior for inspection.  It was a special invitation and a great opportunity to get some real life experience.

Real life experience!!!


No pacemakers allowed!!!

“Do you know how to work this thing?”

“No, the last time we looked at it was 6 months ago.”

Thus, we began to use the magnaflux machine to inspect several critical components of our engine: the crankshaft, the camshaft, and the connecting rods. Our teacher had to leave for the day because his daughter is sick and went to the ER. But, my group wanted to move forward on our project so I sought out one of the students who had already completed his magnaflux inspection.

“Be careful, if you are holding on to that piece of metal when the machine is on and you touch one of those ends, you are going to get a shock. It just might kill you.”

Awesome. I am glad that I learned about this 6 months ago and then filled my head with everything BUT this for the next 6 months. Well, there is no better time to learn than out of necessity! So, I got a quick refresher from the other student, who warned me of the perils of the magnaflux machine, and we were off.

The basic premise of a magnaflux machine, in case you forgot my explanation 6 months ago, is that it magnetizes a part so that the cracks and discontinuities can be discovered. The part is momentarily shocked with a high voltage AC current. This turns the part into a magnet! After the part is magnetized, mineral spirits with small shavings of metal are poured over the part. The shavings show up as green when you shine a black light on them. If there is a crack in the part, then the shavings will be attracted to the discontinuity. (I could go into the theory of magnetism, lines of flux, and north and south poles but let’s just say it works!)

We magnetized various parts both longitudinally and laterally, and then we had to demagnetized the parts. This consists of turning on the coil, seen above, and keeping it on as you pass the part through the coil and walk away with it. The alternating current of the coil demagnetizes the part. I know, it sounds like magic! Maybe it is, but it is a pretty cool way to inspect aircraft parts, especially internal cracks and discontinuities!

Mimi and Pops

My folks are in town for a week and we are having a wonderful time. Mother’s Day was special as we went to church to hear a great message about seeing beauty in all things, we ate an amazing dinner of shrimp and grits (made by Jess), and I am getting to spend some quality time with my mom who is beating the tar out of cancer! Praise God! Adelina and Jeremiah are enjoying their time with Mimi & Pops as well.

I pray and hope that all of you mothers know what a blessing you are and how much you are appreciated. (And, I hope that all you sons and daughters and husbands remembered to do something special for your mom/wife. I don’t envy you if you didn’t!)

Have a great week!!!

Snuggling after a nap


What is your legacy? What will remain of the life you live? The church that we are attending is going through a series on Heaven. This last week, the message was about making the most of your life. It was interesting because I was thinking about what my classmates would remember most about me at the end of the school year. Would I be someone that helped and supported others? Would I be known for doing well in school? Would I be known for making others laugh and/or being a distraction? Would I be known as someone who is respectful and humble? Would I be known as prideful? It was a sobering thought, and God brought the point home with a Scripture this weekend…

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

– I Corinthians 3:11-15

We are all building with our lives. Am I building something that is a worthy testimony for God? Is my life building with gold, silver, and jewels? Or, am I wasting my time with useless things, building a house using wood, hay, and straw? It would be easy to say, “Oh, don’t worry. We have moved our entire family to be missionaries. That should be good enough.” But, that is not enough. God wants it all. He wants all of my life, all of my heart, all of my mind, and all of my affections. And, He cares about all of the small choices and acts of love. How well am I loving my family? How well am I representing Christ when I drive or when I work on a project with my classmates? I know that my legacy, the house that I am building, is not based on the big, outward acts but on the small, mundane things that I perform with my eyes focused on eternity.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Adelina

In other news, we celebrated Adelina’s 2nd birthday this Sunday! She specifically asked for hot cocoa, muffins, and eggs. Mommy happily obliged! Adelina had a wonderful birthday. She was so cute! All day, she kept squealing with delight and saying, “It’s my birthday!”

The engine is apart!!!

The projects at school are going well. My engine is all apart and we are cleaning the parts so that we can thoroughly inspect them. I also finished disassembling and timing another brand of magneto. I will test it tomorrow and then mount it on a working engine and time it to the propeller. Should be fun!!!

God has been so good and we are enjoying this time as a family of four! Thank you for all of your prayers and encouraging words! We have such comfort and joy because we know that we are loved! Thank you!

Twirling in my birthday dress
Tea Party with Daddy