WE DID IT!!! GOD DID IT!!!
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!