Monthly Archives: October 2012

Faith and Hope…

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

– Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

Hope is a word that has been watered down, like the word love.

“I love ice cream.”

“I hope I get a puppy.”

But hope is not a wishy-washy word that is used to describe a feeling about what we want to happen. Hope, like faith, is based on fact. Faith and hope are a foretaste, evidence, of what is going to happen, things not seen. I love what the Bible says in Romans 8:24 “But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?”

We do not have a clear picture about what the future holds, but we have hope. We know that God is working things out and it is incredibly exciting! Our biggest prayer is that you would join with us in having faith and hope for the plans of God. I am reminded of the story in Mark 2 when a group of men lowered a paralyzed man down into a house so that Jesus would heal the man. It is interesting to note that in Mark 2:5 the Bible says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.'” When Jesus saw their faith

The thing that I like about this story is that the man’s faith was buoyed by the faith of others and they were able to share in the miracle! We want to invite you to be a part of the miracle. This is not just our story. This is our story, the body of Christ living by faith, trusting in God, and advancing the Kingdom of God. Thank you so very much for believing in us and believing for us! We can’t wait to keep you informed about what we are thinking and where God is leading! Have a blessed week!

Hang Tough
Happy Baby




Course Correction…

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone of you who has been praying for us these past two weeks! We could tangibly feel your prayers and knew that there were dozens of saints lifting us up! We received the news from JAARS yesterday. We are approved to work as an aviation maintenance technician (after we get two years of maintenance experience) but we are not approved to serve as a pilot/mechanic. Bummer. We have had a lot of emotions and thoughts running all around in our heads.

We are disappointed. I thought that I was doing well. I knew that there were areas that needed improvement but I felt the total body of work was what they are looking for in a pilot/mechanic. It is hard news to hear. What now? Do we get a job as a mechanic for two years and then try to serve as a missionary mechanic? What is God telling us through this?

We are sad. We know that God has led us to this point. We have made some sacrifices and plenty of plans for the future, but now we don’t know where to go. What do we tell all of you who have been praying for us and supporting us along the way? We feel terrible that so many people have sent us gifts and provided so that we could complete school, but now we don’t know what the future holds.

We are relieved, in a way. The TE was an incredibly difficult and exhausting process. We had a lot of fun and we enjoyed meeting so many amazing servants of God, but it was not an easy two weeks. (Especially when Adelina got sick during the second week and couldn’t keep anything down.) It is good to be done.

We are excited. After we received the news we drove back to our apartment and sat in the car. I was going to drop Jessica and Jeremiah off and then go for a drive, weep for a while, and ask God what happened. Right before Jessica was about to get out, I felt the peace of God overwhelm me. I didn’t need to go cry. I didn’t need to ask God why. I knew that He loves us, He is smiling on us, and He still has a great plan! This decision didn’t surprise Him! He was IN the decision and He has already planned out our future. I no longer wanted to cry from sadness. I only had tears of joy and excitement.

We are still working through what this decision means and we are dreaming of what might be. We have the option of finding a job for the next two years and then going with JAARS. We can look into different organizations. The good news is that there are endless opportunities. This is like flying a Cross Country Flight, the way ahead of of us is blocked and we must make a small course correction to get where we are going! The cry of our hearts is the same as when we began this adventure: to be and do whatever God has for us! He is good. He has a plan. He is working. We have followed Him this far, He has provided every step of the way, and we will follow until the day we die!

Thank you once again for all of your prayers! We are going to spend the next week and a half praying and seeking our Father. Please continue to pray for us as we decompress, sift through our emotions and desires, mourn the death of one vision, and prepare for the birth of a new one!

We are sad in this moment but can’t wait to see what the Lord brings!

Step by Step

Today I (Jess) heard the worship song, “Waiting Here for You.”  The kids were down for their naps, Phil was at the JAARS flight line, and I had a moment with the Lord.  As I sung those precious words, I remembered that our God is mighty to save, that He is near, that He is worth waiting for, and that His love and His plans are more than enough.

Phil completed the first week of his Technical Evaluation with JAARS which was the maintenance portion.  This week begins the flight portion.  Phil has a total of six flights to complete.  He was scheduled to have two flights today but they both had to be postponed due to weather.  The weather situation afforded Phil the opportunity to show real-life airmanship and decision making skills.  Although getting two of the flights done today would have been a blessing, we trust God’s perfect plan and timing.

During our stay here at the JAARS campus we are meeting people who have served all over the world.  One thing is becoming poignantly clear in our hearts.  We are more and more compelled that the work JAARS is doing is of the highest importance.  JAARS pilot / mechanics serve the people who translate the Bible to those who do not yet have God’s Word in their heart language.  The people of Wycliffe / JAARS spend their time and talents bringing the gospel of peace to the hearts of men.  What could have greater value?  What could have a more lasting impact?  We knew that this type of work was of value, to be sure, but the sense of urgency is growing in our hearts.

Can you imagine how you would navigate your life, your relationships without God’s Word readily accesible?  Can you imagine our marriages, our children, our friendships,  our churches without a solid biblical foundation?  If we are accepted by Wycliffe / JAARS we would get to help bring the Bible to those who have never memorized a verse in their heart language, or have marinated on the promises of peace, or reveled in the lavish love of their Savior in the language they feel most deeply.

If we are chosen, it is our honor.  If we are accepted, we are blessed.  If it costs all that we have, it is worth it.  Please keep us in prayer.  This coming Friday we will have our answer and no matter what it is, we will trust.  And, we will go.

May your days be full of purpose and your nights full of peace.

Jess, Phil, and the Kiddos


Hopeful & Expectant…

JAARS Headquarters in Waxhaw, NC

We began our official interview/try-out/Technical Evaluation with JAARS (Jungle Aviation And Radio Service) today. JAARS is the aviation branch of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. We are hopeful and expectant that these next two weeks will culminate with our acceptance to serve with JAARS as missionary pilot/mechanics. God has been extremely gracious to us and we couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity.

We flew into North Carolina last Wednesday and spent a few days with my folks. We celebrated my Dad’s birthday and spent some time with my family. Jessica had the opportunity to talk about publishing a book with an author. Then, we drove down to Waxhaw, NC to get settled into our apartment at JAARS.

The Apartment!

We began our interview at 8:00 am! It has already been an amazing and blessed trip. Everyone has been warm and welcoming. We are getting more and more excited because it would be an honor to serve with these men and women, some of whom have already been with JAARS for over 25 years! We were able to share a little about why we feel called to serve as missionaries and share a little about ourselves and our relationship. Then, I started to work on some projects. (Unfortunately I won’t be able to share with you most of the things that I will be doing over the next two weeks. Because of the nature of the Technical Evaluation, and the importance of keeping the projects a surprise for others who may take the evaluation with JAARS, we can’t divulge much of the information.)

We are doing well, though. It is peaceful here and it is good to be around other missionaries as well as all of the airplanes! Thank you so much for your prayers. We have definitely felt buoyed and supported by all of you! God bless you all!

Adelina eating Chicken Paprikash with Pops!
My, that is a big Beanie Baby!
Mimi has the touch!

There is a season…


We learn in Ecclesiastes that there is a season for everything.  If ever there were a season to pray, this is it.

Today I (Jess) am writing our blog and reflecting on the fact that in one week from now Phil will begin his Technical Evaluation with JAARS.  In nineteen days from today, we will know if we are invited to serve with JAARS and, Lord willing, we will be assigned a country in which to serve.  We are so excited, it’s silly!  And yet, we are sober minded and eager to pray.

Last night our precious, faithful friends, Brady and Mirte Iubelt came over to pray with us.  They thanked God for the plans He has for our family, they reminded us of bedrock Scriptural promises, and they stood with us in our heartfelt desire to serve the Lord and make Him happy.

Three weeks ago, Adelina (our two-year-old) said, “Mommy, I want to go home.”  “Baby, we don’t have a home right now, but, God is preparing a home for us and soon we will know where it is. Mommy and Daddy are always with you and wherever we are, that is our home.”  Our little missionary is already learning to hold life loosely and embrace our fluid existence.


Tomorrow, Tuesday, I will fast and pray for Phil.  As a wife, I am proud to tell you that he is studying and serving tirelessly.  He has performed a memorial service, volunteered as an A and P, received more training in a tail wheel aircraft, offered a communion meditation at Summit, attended services, studied in quiet corners, attended a leader’s retreat, shook hands, prayed with, loved on, and foot-washed people every day we’ve been back home.  He knows that serving our church and preparing for his T.E. are honors and he does so with a smile.  We are nothing but grateful.  And as a wife, I bask in the glow of my husband’s faithful heart.

Speaking of faithful: so many of you, so very many friends from our home church and across the U.S. have been especially encouraging during this season.  You have spoken words of hope and assurance, you have listened with attentive eyes to our daughter’s stories, you have smiled long at Jeremiah, and you have welled with tears of joy as we take this next, very important step.  We are grateful.

So now, will you pray?  Will you pray that our hopeful expectation abides as we travel back across the country?  Will you pray for God’s favor upon every aspect of Phil’s evaluation?  Will you pray that our friends at JAARS can see us for who we truly are and be encouraged by the testimony of God in our lives?  Will you pray that the leadership at JAARS will feel a clear, unified call for where we are to serve and that Adelina’s new home (and new friends) will be being prepared for her?  Will you pray that I am able to connect with other wives and ministry staff?  Will you pray that my children sleep well and adjust quickly?  Will you pray for that moment, on the twentieth of October, when we are told what’s next for our family?

And may you know that we are more thankful for every prayer that’s prayed than words could ever say.



Practicing landing in a Super Decathlon
Baby J
Real-life Radial engine in the shop