Monthly Archives: January 2013

God’s Timing…

MAF 206
MAF 206

There are times in life when you are certain that you heard from God. You talk with your wife and she feels exactly the same way! This must be where God is leading! He has made it clear! Then the hard part comes…waiting!!!

Has it ever seemed like God was in less of a hurry than you are? Peculiar. Me too. I believe that I see where God is leading and I immediately make plans for it to happen in the quickest way possible. I schedule everything and expect it to happen just so. Then, it rarely works out the way I see it going and it often takes longer than planned.

Take the TE here at MAF. I had two weeks to get three good days of weather to fly and it has not happened! Not one good flying day during the week. Then, we get a beautiful day to fly on Sunday but they do not fly on the weekend!!! (Yeah, all I could do was shake my head and laugh. Most people would blame it on Murphy but I think that it is God who has the best sense of humor!) So, I have 4 days to get 3 flights in, otherwise I will have to return at the end of April to finish the TE. This is not what I planned.

The next bit of timing conflict comes in concerning the July candidacy class. As long as everything goes well with the TE, we would be able to attend candidacy on July 8th, which includes learning all about MAF, officially being accepted and assigned a country, and then learning how to raise support before being sent off to develop ministry partnerships! Well, baby #3 is due on July 9th…one day after candidacy begins.

But God, this is not what I planned!

I certainly don’t want to pull an Abraham and try to short-cut God’s promise. This is the time to wait. This is the time to trust. I must remind myself again and again that God is in the process, not just waiting at the destination. There is a reason that it will take time, probably more time than I wanted. I don’t know what the reason is but we must stay committed to God and pour our lives into every moment, every life that comes into ours.

The road to become a missionary pilot/mechanic is a long one. We have completed many of the necessary steps but there are still a few more that lay ahead. We must complete candidacy, orientation, technical standardization, possibly some turbine engine training, and then language school. Though it is long we know that it is a worthwhile journey. The road unfolds before us. We cannot live years, months, or even days ahead. The future will come, but we will live in the now and enjoy the way as we wait for God’s perfect timing!

This sweet kiss...
This sweet kiss…

...turns into this!!!
…turns into this!!!


Practical Prayer Requests and A Really Cool God Story

Wow!  Thanks for reading our blog!!  We know you have plenty to read, think and pray about so thank you for being dear enough to read and pray with us, especially this week!
(This is Jess filling in for my better half.)
Things are going well here.  We continue to see the organization as a good fit for us and vice versa.  That is so encouraging!  The people are warm, honest, and without pretense.  And, they laugh at my jokes!  🙂
Phil’s schedule for this week could look something like this, but is weather dependent.
Tuesday – Phil’s sheet metal project
Wednesday – Phil has a two hour oral with his flight facilitator, Scott, who will review / teach Phil MAF’s Standard Operating Procedures (how they like to see their planes flown), followed by a flight.  That evening Phil will plan a Cross Country flight (to demonstrate his ability to properly read and utilize charts, maps, weather information, and other flight services).
Thursday – Phil will conduct his cross country flight and his flight facilitator will evaluate his skills and present Phil with unexpected in-flight emergencies, etc….
Friday – AM Phil will finish any flight that he was not able to complete due to weather.
1:30pm we sit down with the candidate committee and find out if we are invited to come on with MAF.
If Phil is unable to complete these flights this week due to weather we will have to stay an additional week which presents us with a host of logistical unpleasantries.  If we can avoid this and get the flights done this week, we would be totally blessed. So, prayers for good weather are on the top of our list.  In either case, we’re in it to win in it!
Additional prayer requests include: (1) blessings on our host family, (2) peace and joy on our kiddos as they are now five months into being homeless nomads (Road trips and vacations can be a fun break from normalcy, but this much travel wears out even the best of us. We know the Son of Man had no place to rest His head. Indeed the Vana kids are sharing in this suffering and as such, their momma prays extra blessings on their sweet souls and covets the prayers of friends.), and (3) strength and joy for me as I serve Phil and the kiddos.
Thanks a whole ton for the prayers.
And now, if you’re in the mood for a cool God story, I’ve got one for you!
Two nights ago we were invited to sup with Roy and Sue Hagland.  Roy and Sue have served as missionaries with MAF all over the globe.  They have two grown daughters both of whom have miraculous genesis.  While Roy and Sue were serving as missionaries in South America they had come to the point in their marriage when they started thinking about having a family.  They had been married about six years and had never considered adoption or discussed it even once.  They had only just started dreaming about having a child of their own.  One day an expatriate doctor friend came to them and said, “a baby girl has been born and will be given up for adoption.  The Lord put the two of you on my heart and I wonder if you would consider adopting her.”  Roy and Sue were stunned at the proposition but both agreed to pray about it.  The next day they both felt strongly that “yes indeed” the Lord was calling them to adopt this girl. Within twenty four hours the baby was dropped off at their home.  With no diapers, no milk, and no way to comfort his brand new daughter, Roy waited and held the little girl while Sue ran into town for the necessities.  It was Christmas Eve and the stores were packed but when Sue walked in the door and could feed the baby, Roy was beyond relieved.  The baby’s first bed was a drawer and little by little this young couple found their footing as parents.  A few days after they brought her home, Sue felt the Lord speak to her that the child’s name was to be Sarah Joy.
Fast-forward to today, Sarah is now in full time ministry (working with gangs in the inner city), a wife, a mother of three, and truly the JOY of her parents and family.  All because one young couple said “Yes!” to the Lord.
Seven years from the time Sarah was brought home and laid in drawer Sue and Roy were disheartened that they had not yet conceived a sibling for Sarah.  They had now been married fourteen years and had nearly given up hope for conceiving a child.  One morning, in a quiet time Roy heard the Lord say that he would be giving them a child that year. Overjoyed Roy wrote down what he heard the Lord say and folded up the little piece of paper.  He brought the paper to Sue and with a knowing smile he said, “Sue, I want to to write down today’s date on this paper.”  “What is this about?” She asked.  But Roy just smiled, “You’ll see.”  A few months later, lo and behold, Sue was pregnant.  Daughter number two, Bethany, was truly a child of promise and this precious couple,  now married 40 years, calls her a treasure.  Bethany was married last summer and has been a blessing to her parents since her first breath.  Roy said, “She never rebelled or gave us a bad time.  She has always walked with the Lord and made us very proud.”
We all know ever so many missionary kids / pastor’s kids that have lived another story and when I asked Roy and Sue what they credit for their girls’ lives of faithful obedience, Roy and Sue were quick to say, “We have so many people who have taken an interest in our girls and prayed, really prayed, faithfully for them.  That, and God’s grace!”
So, if you think of us and if you pray for us, we would consider it the greatest gift of all if you would remember Adelina, Jeremiah and baby number 3 (due this July) in your prayers. May their stories be graced by the prayers of faithful friends and family.
Wholeheartedly Yours,
Jess and the rest of Team Phil

It Has Begun…

We made it to MAF! This is what’s left of Nate Saint’s plane…

Whew, we made it! It snowed extra hard in Reno on Friday night and I was a concerned that we might have trouble driving up to Nampa, ID. Well, the Lord gave us a clear blue sky on Saturday and we made it to Nampa without any trouble. (Both kids took great naps!) We are extremely blessed to be able to stay at a friend’s house here in Idaho. We knew them from Summit and they moved up to Idaho a few years back. It has been a tremendous blessing and we are thanking God every day that we get to wake up in this warm house.

Bob and Peggy Bingham have opened up their home to us and we are all having a great time being here! Peggy has even offered to watch our children on Tuesday while we visit a Psychologist. This is huge because we would otherwise have to drive 30 minutes out of our way to drop our kids off at MAF headquarters and then drive back to Boise. Yes, God is good!

Here is what our next week looks like…

Monday: I flew today and did some ground work with my instructor. Jess and I met with the Candidate Committee and had a great time answering their questions and letting them get to know us!

Tuesday: Visit the Psychologist in Boise. (I know that you are all thinking it, and yes this is primarily for me because you all know that Jess is not crazy!)

Wednesday: Fly if the weather is good. Fix if the weather is bad.

Thursday: Same

Friday: Same

The hope is that I will get to do three more flights this week and complete the maintenance next week, but we just don’t know what the weather is going to do. Today, we got out to the practice area and all I could see was white! I could see the ground if I looked out my side window!

Here is how you can pray…

  1. For Good weather so I can fly!
  2. That MAF would get to know us as we spend time with them.
  3. That I would be diligent and pro-active while flying so that I can fly to a high standard.
  4. For the Lord’s favor. If this is where we are to be, then we want God to make it clear to us and to MAF!

Thanks and God Bless! We will let you know when we find out!!!

Getting ready in the Morning! Too bad I studied all the maintenance stuff and then they said, "We are flying today!" Woops...
Getting ready in the Morning! Too bad I studied all the maintenance stuff and then they said, “We are flying today!” Woops…
Our girl...reading Bonhoeffer!
Our girl…reading Bonhoeffer!
The Boss
The Boss




One More Week…

Flying in Reno!
Flying in Reno!

We have one more week to go before our try-out with MAF! WAHOO!!! This is going to be a busy week. I am studying my flight manuals, the federal regulations for pilots and mechanics, my airframe textbook and test booklet, my powerplant textbook and test booklet, my general mechanics practices book, advisory circular 42.13 (or better known as the “Bible”), my oral study guide for private, instrument, and commercial pilot’s license, and a few more things. I am also renting a plane to get current on my flight maneuvers and instrument flying. Whew!!!

It is a busy week but we wouldn’t have it any other way. The best things in life are the things that you have to earn, work, and fight for. We will be driving up to Nampa, ID on Saturday, January 12th to get settled before the TE (Technical Evaluation) starts on monday the 14th. God provided a house for us to stay in so we won’t have to be in a hotel room for 2 weeks. (Remember the stress from last week? Yeah, God takes care of things! And, even when we have to endure tough things, we know that we are not struggling in vain!!!)

The frosting inside reveals the gender!!! Wonder what it'll be?
The frosting inside reveals the gender!!! Wonder what it’ll be?

In family news, we are expecting Number 3 this summer! And, if the home test is accurate (as it has been with Adelina and Jeremiah) then we are going to be having another BOY! Praise the Lord! He is good!

Please keep the prayers coming!!!

Blue means BOY!!! Wifey gets uber-points for an uber-creative way to reveal the gender!
Blue means BOY!!! Wifey gets uber-points for an uber-creative way to reveal the gender!


Crunchy Smile
Crunchy Smile

Why, oh why, do I lack faith in God? It cannot be explained. There is no excuse. I don’t know the reason. I just know that I still worry, I still let anxiety get to me. Let me explain…

This last week brought a number of stresses/to-do’s to my life. As you may know, we are headed up to Nampa, ID to do a 2-week try-out with MAF on January 14th. There is a bunch of paperwork that needed to be completed. Now, our whole family has to get comprehensive physicals before we can try-out with MAF because they need to know that there aren’t any medical red flags that would hinder our living in a third world country. I also need to get some more flight time in before the try-out so that I can perform to the best of my abilities during the try-out. I tried to fly with an individual who has access to a plane, but the weather over Christmas was too poor and now the plane is up for an annual inspection! In addition to this, we are looking for a place to live, trying to nail down a job, and trying to live life! Whew…

So, I had a bit of stress and was feeling overwhelmed. It is probably understandable why I was so stressed out and anxious. But, the truth is that this a problem in my thinking not an understandable fact of life!

I have seen a trailer for a movie called, “After Earth.” In this movie, set to come out later this year, Will Smith and and his son crash land on a planet, which turns out to be Earth, and they face a number of dangers. At the end of the trailer, Will Smith tells his son, “You have to remember, fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Don’t misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

This seems to resonate with me as I think about worry. Worry is not real unless I make it real. There are going to be hard situations in life and stressful times, but we have the choice! We can wallow in worry and be held captive by anxiety, or we can choose to believe that God is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do!

I am called to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. (II Cor 10:5) Do I believe the lie or live by faith?

I wish I could speak for every day, but today I will walk by faith!

Christmas Cookies!!!
Christmas Cookies!!!
Playing in the Snow!!!
Playing in the Snow!!!
"You can't eat snow, Daddy!" "Yes you can!" "Ooo, that's cold."
“You can’t eat snow, Daddy!” “Yes you can!” “Ooo, that’s cold.”
Lina and Cooper
Lina and Cooper
Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland