New Apprentices, Dirty Toothbrushes, Nice Dentists

First, answers to prayer!

Good chapel presentation

In the beginning of October, I made a flying trip into Pennsylvania to give a morning chapel presentation at Ephrata Mennonite School on mission aviation and what my family was doing with MMS Aviation. I took half a day off on Tuesday and was in PA by Tuesday evening. I slept on the sofa at my parents house (which is only about fifteen minutes away from the school), met my friends for a quick breakfast at 6 am, then went and gave my presentation at 8:30 am. It went well from what I gathered. I’m getting better at not stammering around like a hiccuping donkey anytime I get in front of a crowd. A braying donkey, maybe, but the hiccups are gone. After I was done, two girls came running up to me and told me that their dad has his pilot’s license. What must he do so he can fly airplanes in the mission field? I gave them a few pointers and they excitedly ran off. Who knows what God can do if we just open up our mouths? God can make braying donkeys say amazing things. After I was done with the presentation, I merged west onto the PA Turnpike and was in Ohio again by Wednesday evening.

Provision for dentist bills

But that’s not all! You may remember that we were asking God for provision for Janice’s rather large dental bill estimate. While I was in Pennsylvania for my presentation, someone handed me a check that covered the whole thing! It’s really hard to accept such generosity but we’re also excited to see God move in such a big way. It blows my mind that people are so generous. The only thing we can do in return is to live generously ourselves.

We no longer had any excuse to stay away from the dentist. The first thing the dentist did was to send Janice to get a root canal at a specialist in Wooster. I went along to babysit our little ragamuffin named Elliot while Janice was in the chair. As Janice was chatting with the dentist, she found out that the dentist was also pastor who did dental mission work in South America. As the conversation continued, the dentist found out we moved to Ohio because of our involvement in mission aviation. He was really excited to hear about MMS Aviation and when we went to pay the bill, we found a 50% “missions” discount on it! This amounted to a little more than $500 in savings! Praise God for helping us make connections! 

More apprentices coming to MMS Aviation

On a previous newsletter I had mentioned a prayer request that God would send more laborers on the field. Little did I know that one of those laborers would be my good friend Bryan! Bryan was the first one that told me about MMS Aviation, actually. Bryan and I go way back. We first became friends when my mom made me play with him at church. “He’s a little strange,” I remember thinking. But before long, we were having more fun than anyone else. We bought, fixed, and wrecked motorcycles together. We drove my Saturn to Mexico and ramped it over speed bumps. Then we almost ran out of gas driving through a Mexican desert. A little while later we found ourselves hiking through a different desert and realized we forgot to bring water. Come to think of it, most of our youth was spent doing silly things.

Janice noticed that too. “Please don’t act immature when Bryan is working with you at the hangar,” she said. “You guys tend to get a bit silly when you’re around each other.”

I was indignant! Of course, Bryan did ask a girl out on a date while he was dressed in a chicken costume. Still, she married him almost year later so maybe he’s on to something. But that’s Bryan’s story to tell so I’ll leave it at that.

Bryan doesn’t always dress like a chicken. He’s been involved in mission work before and spent several months in Thailand at a Bible School. While there, he traveled to Nepal and went on a hiking trip to remote villages handing out hand cranked radios tuned to Christian broadcasts. Bryan is also an avid fan of anything that’s mechanical. MMS is a great place to bring missions and mechanics together and accomplish something awesome for the Kingdom. The whole time we were raising support to start our MMS Aviation apprenticeship, I kept asking God, “Why don’t you send Bryan to MMS? He’d love it there.” I assumed maybe Bryan lost interest and moved on to other things until one evening last year I got a text from Bryan. “Hey, what’s all involved with applying at MMS?” Haha! God was still nibbling at Bryan’s heart. Interestingly enough, I find that God’s call is less like a grizzly bear chasing you through the forest and more like a Chihuahua nipping at your heels. It’s easy to ignore at first but after some time you can’t think about anything else and you just want to kick the Chihuahua over the neighbor’s fence. Bryan’s family went through their evaluation week in June of this year and they are already at 100% funded (or nearly there). They made us look like support raising amateurs! Bryan will be the first to tell you that it’s all because of God’s provision. I think it also has to do with Bryan’s previous job of being a salesman. The Martin family is planning on moving here in December and will live only a block and half away from our new house in Coshocton. When I left Michigan to get married I never dreamt Bryan and I would be neighbors in a little Ohio hamlet a few years later. God has his ways.

Pray for the Martins as they plan on moving in the beginning of December to Coshocton to start their MMS Aviation apprenticeship.

There are also other candidates raising support and a new staff family expecting to move into the area within several months. Praise God!

Prayer Points for November

Pray for us as we move again

Pray for us as we move for the third time in the last twelve months! It’s hard to settle into a routine when we’re busy filling and emptying cardboard boxes. 

Pray for us as we potty train a two year old

Routine is important when you’re trying to potty train a two year old! We’ve been struggling to get Adi to see how uncool it is to poop in your pants. You think it would be obvious but apparently she’s more than fine with having the hygienic practices of a chicken. Pray that Janice and I could have patience. Every time Adi farts we both leap up and drag her to the bathroom in hopes of catching her before the act. We plop her on the toilet and wait. Nothing. Eventually we give up, get her dressed, preach at her about the virtues of pooping in the potty, and release her back into the wild. She gallops around the house and gleefully fills her diaper. “You’re not a hyena!” I yell. “Stop acting like one!” Maybe we should stop letting her watch nature films. At least with potty training the longer we wait, the easier it gets. Maybe when she’s a teenager, we’ll finally get somewhere.

Pray for protection for our kids

The other day I let Adi sit on the sink in the upstairs bathroom. This was mostly for my benefit. If she’s siting on the sink she can’t get into mischief. There was a toothbrush laying in the sink but I didn’t think anything of it. Sinks are the natural habitats of toothbrushes. Adi soon began playing with it. She rolled it around the inside of her mouth then carefully polished each tooth with it. I admired her technique. “Good job Adi!” I admired my parenting skills. Janice soon popped into the bathroom with a stack of fresh towels. “Can you put these towels away – AAAAAAAAAA!” Janice shrieked, ran across the ceiling, and yanked the toothbrush out of Adi’s astonished hands. She gagged as she vehemently threw it into the trash can.

“Sheesh Janice, it’s just a toothbrush.” I didn’t quite understand the hysteria.

“That’s my toilet cleaning brush!” Janice made another retching sound as her tongue rolled around the outside of her lips. “I just scrubbed the toilet seat hinges with that.”

“Oh.” There goes my Parenting-of-the-Year award.

Elliot is growing fast and getting into everything. We’re putting him in 12 month clothes and he’s only 7 months old. Someone at church asked, “What are you feeding him; Miracle Grow? Hahaha. Snort.”

“Haha, well actually we are. He keeps keeps digging potting soil out of the fern in the living room and eating it.” I said. “Janice said the soil grow great tomatoes. Apparently it works on baby boys too.”

Future ministry

Also continue to pray that God gives us some direction as to where he wants us to go once we’re done at MMS Aviation.

With gratitude,

Josh S.