What an amazing weekend!!! Jessica had the opportunity to “go up to the mountain” to spend some time with God and roughly 70 other women. Our home church, Summit Christian Church, runs a ministry called an “Encounter” where the attendees are invited to get away and have and encounter with God. I am unable to say much about the ministry but I can tell you that is a time of powerful ministry. Jess came back wrecked (in a good way), tired, and grateful for what God did. Thanks to everyone who prayed and all of those made the weekend possible!
We have a few big things coming up this week and I wanted to share them so you can pray with us. The first thing is that I need a job! I have been in communication with an FAA-certified Repair Station where I would like to work as a mechanic. I would be able to receive compensation as well as gain valuable experience for the future. I have stopped by every week just to make sure they know that I really want the job. I was told to call this Wednesday in order to find out if they are going to hire me. Please pray that I would find favor with the owner as he looks at whether or not to bring on another mechanic.
The second thing is that we are moving our renters out of our house so we can move back in this weekend. It is going to be a busy week and it has been a little stressful for Adelina. She’s had a hard time this week and Jessica learned today that it is because she is scared about moving…again. (It has been tough for all of us as we have lived a nomadic lifestyle for the past 7 months.) Please pray that we will quickly move our renters out, be able to move in this Saturday, and that our kids will enjoy this transition that will lead to a stable life for the rest of the year. We are looking forward to settling down and getting into a routine with work, family, and fellowship with friends!
Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers thus far. We are blessed beyond belief! We look forward to this next year and keeping you all involved with all of our goings on!
So a few weeks ago we were pushing through our Technical Evaluation with MAF. We had stayed two weeks with a wonderful host family and then were invited to move in to the home of Gene and Lynn Jordan. Gene was practically born into MAF as he grew up side by side with Steve Saint in Ecuador. Shortly after we met Gene he showed us a black and white picture of himself as a small boy in Ecuador with the strong arm of Nate Saint wrapped around him. Gene had countless stories of God’s relentless love for the tribal peoples of Ecuador and the unsung heroes whom the Lord has been using over decades to reach these precious people. Every now then you get to listen to a storyteller so rich in history, wisdom, and experience that when they dust off one of their old stories, you know not much else in the moment matters. You pull up a chair, lean in, and feel within moments that you have the very same wind blowing through your hair as did those heroes of days gone by who pioneered organizations like MAF; guys and gals who had a bedrock faith in God’s power and provision and who seriously lacked many of the comforts and privileges we will enjoy as missionaries overseas. Gene’s stories were moving, fun, and downright hilarious at times. But mostly, his stories were inspiring.
After a few days in their home we learned that Gene’s mother, Ruth would be joining us for Sunday lunch. Gene’s mother and father had a profound presence as missionaries in Ecuador and other parts of South America in their day. Their ministry tool of choice was music. Gene’s father (also named Eugene) was a profoundly gifted musician. As one of ten children each remarkably gifted in music, Eugene Sr. stood out and had a talent reserved for building God’s Kingdom. Eugene’s bride, Ruth would be joining us for lunch. She lives comfortably in a retirement home but most Sunday’s she enjoys a fine meal with her son and his wife. Lynn Jordan is a top tier chef with a reputation for her culinary prowess. She served a delicious meal to us and while Phil and I juggled our tired children, I (Jess) thirsted to ask Ruth questions while attempting to be tender with her aged self.
Gene Jordan’s incredible gift of story is imparted, no doubt, by his mother. Sincere and certain, Ruth had glorious missionary stories to tell. Firsthand stories of her own, and of her time spent in the company of life-long friends such as Elisabeth Elliot. A brief lunch was not enough for my curious mind. I asked Gene and Lynn if I might procure a date with Ruth at her retirement home in a few days. When I arrived at the retirement home Ruth seemed happy to have me. My husband has often told me that one of my greatest people skills is my ability to ask good questions, but that afternoon in Ruth’s pretty little bedroom, I didn’t need to ask many. She showed pictures and told me stories. I relished our hour together but one of my favorite Ruth-stories was about Elisabeth Elliot and it went something like this.
“Betty (Elisabeth) came to my house in Ecuador one afternoon just heartsick in love with Jim. Jim told her they shouldn’t marry but should focus on their individual ministries. Betty was such a talented Bible translator. Betty loved him dearly and we stayed up until two in the morning eating a pie and talking about Jim. A few months later Betty came back by the house all in huff and said, “Ruth, I’m going on a trip. Jim and I are getting married tomorrow.” Betty was so happy and I was so happy for her.” Ruth paused and took in a deep sigh. “I don’t know why the Lord took those boys. Those five were the cream of the crop. But… He knows best.”
Ruth told me about her own highs and lows as a missionary wife and at one point mid-story she looked right at me, and with a might of conviction said, “Honey, you just have to decide to be happy. No matter where you are or what the Lord has you doing, just be happy.” This from a woman who has given her life to washing feet and preaching the gospel. This from a woman who raised two children, buried a husband she adored, and continues to serve our good King by calling her retirement home her mission field.
There are things in life that make us truly rich. The company we keep us surely one of them. My time with the Jordan family made me rich and if I’m a missionary for no other reason than to hang out with people like that, then fine by me.
May your week be blessed with rich conversation, great questions, and true inspiration. Thank you for praying for us (Phil still needs a job) and thank you for your support.
What a relief to have the Technical Evaluation behind us! It is good to have purpose and a direction. Even though we are waiting until next January to officially be accepted into MAF, we are excited out of our minds and looking forward to this year!!!
Here are some things that we are excited about…
– BABY #3!!! We love Adelina and Jeremiah so much and we can’t wait to add another to the mix. We get to see him via an ultrasound tomorrow! It is an honor to be a parent! God has been gracious, more gracious than we deserve!
– Living in our old house! We will be moving back into our house that we have rented out for the past 2 years. It will be nice to live in a home instead of an apartment. It is even nicer to live in a home that belongs to us!!!
– NO LONG TRIPS FOR AT LEAST 10 MONTHS! I used to love road trips and cross-country airline flights. Now, I dread going through security with two kids and 10 trays full of stuff! We always get searched because of baby food and I make the mistake of wearing a belt and having my pockets full of metal! (Yes, I usually wear flip-flops on the plane as well!) But, now we get to settle in and stay in one place for more than a month. Fancy that!!!
– Routine! I am not a list person who partitions out every part of my day, but I do like it when I know what to expect out of a week. It is hard living in other people’s houses, not having a job, and traveling at least once a month. I am excited to get a schedule and a routine! (Keep praying for a job! I brought in my resume and application to a maintenance shop and we are waiting for them to call)
– Time with friends! Another difficult aspect of traveling all the time is that it is hard to spend time with friends. We can’t wait to reconnect with our friends in Reno and get plugged in a LIFE! Group! We have missed being a part of a small group as we have been traveling and trying out with different mission organizations! We are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new friends, and spending ourselves wisely during this next year in Reno!
We are all doing well here in Reno. Adelina and Jeremiah are recovering from being sick. Adelina had an ear infection and Jeremiah had RSV and Pneumonia. Praise the Lord that we caught the Pneumonia early and gave him antibiotics. He was right as the mail the next morning!
Thank you once again for all of your love and support. I know that we say it a lot but we really appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement. It is such a blessing to receive emails, cards, comments on the blog, and face-to-face congratulations. It is amazing and humbling to know that people are reading the blog and keeping up with our journey. We are incredibly grateful and we are excited to walk by faith and be an extension of your love reaching out to the remotest places on earth. May you live in the abundance and grace of the Lord this week!
We have been officially invited to MAF candidacy! Yahoo!
Thank you so much for all of your prayers! What a blessing to know that we were supported and encouraged by all of your prayers. Thank you!
Here’s how it happened…
The first week and a half were spent mainly on maintenance. I had a chance to fly the first day we arrived but we weren’t able to complete the flight because the visibility was poor. The second week I finished the maintenance projects and they let us know that we were technically recommended to serve as a mechanic. Then, the wait began. There was a weather inversion in the Boise valley, which means that the cold air is trapped near the surface and the temperature rises with altitude. This led to temperatures below zero and some of the craziest fog that just wouldn’t go away. The weather was forecast to remain poor for the third week but we held out hope that we would get a few good weather days. And God delivered!
I was able to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I completed the first two flights on Tuesday and we had a lot of fun. I performed various maneuvers such as steep turns (banking at 45 degrees and doing a complete 360 degree turn), slow flight (flying at slow speeds to see how the airplane flies differently at slower speeds), emergency procedures, and take-offs and landings. The second flight I learned about how MAF flies in mountains and canyons. They set the plane up at 80 knots and 20 degrees of flaps because this will give us the tightest turn radius in case we need to turn around in a tight space. This was a lot of fun because we were able to fly close to terrain that rose even higher than we were flying!
The second day we flew on a flight to various outlying airports. I had planned on calculating the weather when I arrived at the airport but I learned that I should have done this before I came in. That was a big mistake and I felt behind the entire flight. I was trying my best but there were a number of surprises that happened. We flew into clouds on our planned route and had to divert to a different airport. I knew that I was heading in the right direction but I wasn’t trusting my flight calculations. I ended up at the right airport but I had been further south than I had planned to fly. I just kept making small mistakes and it added up to a poor flight. After returning to MAF, I was told that they were going to have me fly with another pilot just to see if I could do better the next day.
This was it. My last chance. I was not going to make the same mistake twice. I got all of my flight planning and weather calculations done before I arrived at 7:30. I studied the map and knew all about the route and possible deviations. I was hoping and praying to do extremely well. It went great! There were a few things that I could’ve done better but I nailed it on most things. What a relief and what joy!!! I know that I have a long way to go to be up to MAF standards but they are excited to work with us and bring us up to speed!!!
So, we are making plans to join MAF after we attend candidacy. Candidacy happens twice a year: January and July. Since baby #3 is due July 9th, the candidate committee has told us to wait until January 2013. We understand and agree with them because candidacy is where we will learn about what MAF is doing around the globe and then we will be assigned to a country. Candidacy lasts for four weeks and it would be difficult to get through with a newborn. So, we are excited to spend the next year in Reno! I am turning in an application/resume at an aircraft repair station and there is a good chance that I will get hired on soon. We will continue to get plugged in at Summit and start building ministry partnerships for when we are officially accepted by MAF!!!
We look forward to keeping you all informed about what is going with us! Thank you again for supporting us and praying for us. We could not have done this without you!