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 http://www.maf.org/vana. 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.