Monthly Archives: January 2014

Drum Roll Please

Yes, I get a sick helmet with a headset inside!

As of last Wednesday at 10:41 am, we are accepted as a missionary Pilot/Mechanic family on our way to Indonesia!!! Wahooooooooooo!!! We are extremely excited. We heard about the different places MAF serves and we felt that Indonesia will provide a great place for us to use our gifts and talents to serve God and the people of Indonesia. Thank you for your prayers. Now, for a little bit of the business side of things…

If you have committed to support us financially, now is the time to get things set up with our official account. The easiest way for you to start supporting us is to click here or visit Use the “Donate” box on the right hand side of the page and select the amount you wish to give. If you want it to be a recurring gift, simply select “Recurring Gift” and determine if you want the gift taken out on the 5th or the 20th of every month. (It doesn’t make a difference in regards to our support which day you pick, so do whatever is most convenient for you) After you enter your payment information you are all set up. If you want to send a check, please mail it to MAF, P.O. Box 47, Nampa ID 83687. Make sure to write “Account #9134″ in the memo line to make sure it is credited to us. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Now that the business is done, let’s talk about MAF and Indonesia. We will be using our blog to update you on what we have been doing here at MAF headquarters as well as inform you about Indonesia. We spent the last two weeks in “Candidacy.” We learned about MAF, the purpose and reason for missions, all of the different MAF programs, heard from different missionary families, discussed salary and benefits, and so many different things. We had the opportunity to lead chapel on Wednesday, January 22nd. Each of the candidates and interns shared their story, encouraged the MAF staff in attendance, and we sang a worship song after each testimony. We also showed a few videos, one of which can be seen here. It was a great way for our candidate class to bond and work as a team.



We have now begun our two week class entitled “Ministry Partnership.” We are working on the presentations we will give to churches and individuals as we raise financial and prayer support. MAF does a thorough job of equipping their missionaries with tools to confidently explain the purpose of MAF, the role of the missionaries, and the ways in which others can be involved. We are excited about the team that God has already built up to support us and are excited to invite others to join in as well.

Now, INDONESIA!!! Here are a few basic facts to get us started. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. Over 246 million people live on 18,000 plus islands. From the western most tip of Sumatra to the eastern most point of Papua (which shares an island with Papua New Guinea) the span of the Indonesian archipelago is roughly the same as the width of the U.S. It is a large country, and the fourth most populace one as well. The trade language is Indonesian but each island is different and unique. MAF serves on three different islands but we do not yet know which island we will call home. We will tell you more about these islands and bases in the coming weeks. All we know is that we will do language school on the island of Java in the city of Salatiga. Our goal is to start language school this fall so feel free to book your tickets at any time!!!

Here is roughly what the next several months will look like for the Vana Family…

February 8th: Return to Reno, NV and spend time speaking with individuals, serving at Summit Christian Church, and moving out of our house in Sparks.

March 10th – May 2nd: Begin the 8-week Standardization course. 40 hours a week of fixing and flying the MAF way.

May 5th-16th: 2-week Orientation course with MAF.

Some time June and July, Phil will attend a 2-week seminar at Spokane Turbine Center to learn how to work on PT6 engines (insert Tim Allen grunts) and spend some time in a Quest Kodiak simulator. (Check out this website for more information about the Kodiak)

End of June: Spend a week in Minnesota at a conference designed to teach us to demonstrate the love of Christ to Muslims. This will be useful since we will serve in the largest Muslim nation in the world.

End of July: Complete the Safety Seminar at MAF.

This is not set in stone but there is a lot to do in the next several months. We also have to pack up our belongings and determine what goes, what stays, and what is sold. If all goes according to plan (which rarely happens but we make plans anyways) then we can be on the way to Salatiga in August or September. Here are some ways you can pray…

– Pray for our family during this time of transition. Pray for resilience in our kids and peace to go before us, with us, and through us wherever it may be.

– Pray for our specific base assignment. Our desire is that each family member would thrive, wherever we end up!

– Pray for the visa process even now. The average time is 4 months but there are families who have waited over a year to receive their visas.

Thank you so much! We are grateful beyond words for all your love. We would not be here if it were not for God and for the people standing behind us and lifting us up in prayer. Thank you.

Official Name Tags










The Fire Hose


What a week it has been!!! (And we are only on Wednesday)

Jess and I are learning so much right now. We spend 8 hours a day in class, make dinner, play with the kids and put them to bed, and then try to process everything we learned before we fall asleep exhausted. It is wonderful and tiring! We are loving it.

We had a great drive up on Saturday after my last day at Trader Joe’s on Friday. We settled in to our apartment at the MAF headquarters and started class on Monday. We have heard from the President and CEO, John Boyd, and all of the different regional directors. We have watched videos from different missionaries and heard from people working in all aspects of ministry like I.T. and Disaster Relief. We have found we know so little about MAF. We knew that it was an amazing organization but it is even better than we thought. They have a solid organizational structure in place and they continually work to expand their operation and improve on what they are doing. They have flow charts to help make their decisions and are doing whatever is necessary to meet the needs of the people they serve. They are even working to train future leaders in various third world countries!

But the best thing of all is they have not forgotten where they came from nor why they exist. From the President on down, we have heard that preaching and demonstrating the love and life of Jesus Christ is what matters. Sharing the good news to isolated people so they may be transformed physically and spiritually. 

We are so excited. There have been a few moments where we have been overwhelmed with our heads spinning. Then, there are moments of great excitement when we see amazing pictures or hear incredible stories of the work we hope to do. We still don’t know what the future holds, but we will know soon. Please keep praying that we can process all of the information that we are receiving. Also, pray for our family to get good time together. The kids stay with a nanny and they are all doing great, but we don’t get to see them as much as usual and want to make the most of the time that we do get with them. Lastly, pray that God would lead the Candidate Committee as they will make the decision on which region we will serve. We met with them and told them about our family and the things we are thinking about concerning where we will serve and what we will do. We trust that God will help them place us where we will thrive and flourish on our first term with MAF!

Thanks so much and God Bless



2 days and counting!

We will leave for MAF in TWO DAYS!

One more day of work at Trader Joe’s.

One day of travel to Nampa, Idaho.

One day to rest.

And then we begin!

The time has finally come for us to start our adventure with Mission Aviation Fellowship. We cannot describe how excited we are. There is a flood of emotions and feelings coursing through our minds and we are ready to start. We do not know what the future holds, but there is nothing that is going to stop us from finding out!

So, here is what is going to happen in the next few weeks.

Monday, January 13th – We start Candidacy, a two-week process in which we learn all about where MAF serves and what they do in all of those countries. Near the middle of the second week, we will receive a country assignment and become full-fledged missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship! Wahoo!!! As far as we know, the options are Indonesia, Haiti, Mozambique, Central Asia, Lesotho (pronounced Less-Soo-Too), or the Democratic Republic of Congo. We will keep you all posted and let you know as soon as we know!

Monday, January 27th – The Ministry Partnership Seminar, a two-week process in which we learn how to build partnership with people and churches as we prepare to serve overseas. It is important to have a strong support system in the U.S. because the work is going to be challenging. We will write a prayer letter, practice giving presentations, and learn about different ways to keep people informed about what we are doing.

We will return to Reno on Saturday, February 8th and spend a month meeting with people and sharing our vision, serving at Summit Christian Church, and mapping out preparations for moving overseas later this year.

We wanted to let you all know we are at 100% of our One-Time Outgoing Fund and almost at 100% of our Monthly Support. We don’t have the complete total for our Monthly Support because we are waiting to hear back from a few individuals and families. We are overwhelmed by the love and blessing God has shown through His people. We are in a unique situation to have so much support before we even start with MAF. Thank you so very much. This is huge because it allows us to move quickly through the required training. If all goes as we hope, we can be off to our assigned country by August of this year!!! Praise God!

We will get back to our weekly posts and keep you updated on how things are going in Idaho, how you can pray for us, and what we are learning about in regards to MAF and what our lives will look like. Thanks again and God Bless.