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Aim Small, Miss Small

There’s a saying that’s been coming to my mind recently; “Aim small, miss small.” For example, let’s suppose you’re hunting and a hapless deer comes crashing through the woods. Instead of merely aiming at the deer as a whole, instead aim for the left ventricle of the deer’s heart. Aim small. This means that, although you may not hit the left ventricle, you’re still more likely to hit the heart. You’ll be eating venison for supper instead of making up a story about the “one that got away” at the next campfire. When you focus on the details, the big picture works itself out.

The other day in the hangar, the wings were being installed on a Cessna 206 that will be used as an air ambulance in rural Honduras. Putting wings on is always fun because it finally feels like the project is getting somewhere! Everyone walks past and says, “Why, the wings are on!” The thing is that wings are relatively quick to install. There’s a lot of small things that must be sorted out before that big event happens. No one ever notices those little things. Little things are less glamorous and so it’s easy to aim for the big milestones while missing the small steps that get you there. I often have to remind myself to aim small, miss small. Focus on getting the details right and the final product will be all the better for it.

We’ve been working at MMS Aviation over a year now. I have a little over 1/3 of the hours I need to have before I can take my FAA exams to become a licensed A&P mechanic. We can’t wait to see what God has for us next but first, I need to learn the details at hand. If we are to be part of reaching the entire world with the Good News that brings eternal damnation to a halt (that’s the big picture), I need to also learn how to find compatible part numbers for a seemingly insignificant crush washer for an oil pressure valve on a Lycoming 0-540 engine (the details). That’s why we’re here at MMS. We’re preparing for a fruitful ministry by learning the details. The big milestones will come by faithfully accomplishing little things. Thank you for supporting us here as we learn all the little things that make up being an airplane mechanic.

Our family is doing well! We’ve been tremendously blessed this past year although life is still stressful. Elliot is getting into everything. He requires constant intervention, much like a hapless missionary. The other Sunday we came home from church and Janice made Adi change because she didn’t want Adi’s nice Sunday dress to get all dirty. Twenty minutes later Elliot found the dress and stuffed the entire thing into the toilet. Janice told me, “That’s why you have to keep the lid down. Elliot likes putting things in there.” Hopefully that means he’ll be easy to potty train. 

We found a great place to “go to the beach.” Salt Fork State Park is only half an hour away from where we live and it has a huge sand beach. We want the children to learn to swim and so we’ve been trying to go often and give them lessons. I suggested we teach them the old fashioned way and just throw them in the deep end but Janice vetoed that suggestion. Instead we bought Adi a giant inflatable donut as a flotation aid. She loves it so much she insists on using it even in the kiddie pool at home. The donut fills up the whole pool and all that’s left for Adi is the two foot circle in the middle. Basically she’s playing in a five gallon bucket. Sometimes I just shrug my shoulders and decide that I really don’t have to understand my children, just love them.

Janice has been picking strawberries. When I pick strawberries I usually stumble into the patch and spend an hour finding three tiny berries. Janice is like a harvester with rocket engines on it. Just point her in the right direction and light the fuse. The patch is pruned bare and begging for mercy in five minutes. She came home with 36 pounds of strawberries one Saturday! I don’t why know why we need that much but Janice says we do. Sometimes I just shrug my shoulders and decide that I really don’t have to understand my wife, just love her. If strawberries make Janice happy, then it’s good to have plenty around.

I’ve been up to my usual routine: studying my textbooks and working on the Bearhawk project in the hangar. The Bearhawk is getting so close to being done and I was hoping to report in this newsletter that it was. But, details take a long time. Everything has to be checked and double-checked. Our next project will be a Cessna 206 floatplane. It’s here because a float filled up with water and submerged the entire airplane in a lake. We’re going to go repair it and then ship it to the Amazon rainforest for mission service.

I’m really enjoying our time here but it’s going fast so I’m just trying to absorb all the information I can. It is stressful for the family to have me physically present but emotionally stuck in a textbook every evening. Continue to pray for our little family as we follow God’s big plan. We’re in over our heads but then again, that’s how God likes it since we rely on him more heavily. Thank you for being part of this.

With Gratitude,

Josh & family

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