One of the best things about being a missionary is all the seriously cool people you get to meet. This week we attended one of the world’s largest air-shows hosted in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Every organization who aims to spread the gospel via airplane was there including the organization we hope to serve with, JAARS. It turns out there is a group of wonderful, amazing, fantastic people who love to serve missionary aviators. This group of people, better known as MASA (Missionary Aviation Service Association), have made it their goal to provide care, support, blessing, and refreshment to missionary aviators and their families. So, this weekend our family got to enjoy home cooked meals, cold drinks, and precious fellowship under a nice, big, shaded tent while attending the air-show. At every meal someone or another of the MASA volunteers (especially Amanda) would come along and offer to hold Jeremiah so I (Jess) could eat. A teenage girl volunteer (Keira) even indulged Adelina while Phil and I caught up with some friends from our old campus ministry in Arizona. (The aviation field is small, the missionary aviation field is even smaller.)
The best part of being served by MASA was the fact that we were able to spend the weekend in the home of the Seibel family. Tom and Amy Seibel are the joyful parents of twelve children. Watching this remarkable family in action blessed our family in profound ways. Theirs is a home full of books, music, laughter, and fun. The Seibel’s love the Lord and love to serve others. And, if that’s not enough, THEY SING! Eleven or so years ago they began putting on little Christmas concerts for their neighbors and grandparents. Within a few short years the number of attendees doubled, doubled, and doubled again. They moved from their basement to a town-hall to a high school and finally to a large church auditorium where they now give a family Christmas concert to over three thousand people. At the close of every concert Tom Seibel (also a pastor and business owner) gives a clear and powerful presentation of the gospel. All the proceeds raised at the concerts are donated and the Lord continues to expand their territory. The best way to describe the Seibels is found in Philippians 4:8. This is a family living a story of pure, right, true, noble, excellent, and praiseworthy worship unto our God. They are the first to admit that they are not special. They are simply thankful to a God who heals, restores, and forgives. Just for fun, here is a link to their webpage.
As you think of us, please hold us up in prayer. We are packing boxes now to begin a long road trip across the country with two babies. We hope to make meaningful connections in our stops along the way. As soon as we land in Reno all of our attention will be focused on getting Phil ready for the longest, and most involved job interview of his life so far. Wherever we are and what ever we’re doing, we hope to be a refreshing encouragement to all. May you be encouraged this week to love and serve by the power of God’s gracious Spirit.