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A Certain Future
It’s a little strange being in the position where our peers are putting down roots, settling into their careers, and considering their dream houses while we’re just trying to figure out what continent we’re going to land on in a year or two.
This is the way I see it. If there’s an investor who told me that he’d give me a million bucks for every penny I gave him, I wouldn’t be stingy with my pennies! I’d dump every single one I owned right there on his lap. You may be saying to yourself, “Yea, but this is unrealistic because no investor would give away that much money in exchange for nothing.” Ah, but there’s one Investor who did exactly that! We’re happily dumping our lives into the Lord’s lap because we know the rewards far outweigh the cost of investment. We may not know where in the world we’ll be finding ourselves but we do know our investment is secure and the return is sure.
I think eternity has been on our minds recently because Janice’s dad, Elmer, passed away right before Christmas. (Related: Nearer My God to Thee) He battled cerebral meningitis for several months before he slipped into eternity after living seventy years on this earth. Pray for Janice’s mom, Clara, as she adjusts to living without her husband on this earth.
I believe we shouldn’t sit on the couch all day and wait for God to change the world, but neither should we strive to change the world by our own efforts. Quite often I’m not sure where the balance is between those beliefs but I think this cliche sums it up well; Do your best and let God do the rest.
We have a year left at MMS Aviation (Related: The History of MMS Aviation) and so we’re doing our best to determine possible next steps. So when my brother Matt gave my family the opportunity to fly to Alaska in January, I quickly agreed to do so. For one thing, Adi and Elliot never get to see their cousins. For another, there were two mission aviation organizations within a short drive of Matt’s house. We can’t say we feel a calling to Alaska but sometimes when you give the Lord an opportunity to speak, you’re surprised by what He says. So we boarded a plane in Columbus and eventually made it to Alaska where it was even colder and windier than Ohio.
“I don’t know why we traveled all that way and didn’t end up somewhere warm,” Janice commented. Soon, however, all the cousins were happily playing and the stress of travel subsided. Adi and Elliot loved playing with their cousins! Janice is still cold.
First we visited Arctic Barnabas. Jason Maust (MMS apprenticeship graduate) and Dan Pottner (former MMS HR Director) showed us great hospitality. Arctic Barnabas supports missionaries in extremely remote areas of Alaska where roads are nonexistent and the spiritual darkness is overwhelming. Missionaries rarely last more than a year or two and suicide rate among the natives is three times the national average.
Then we visited Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC) where we met with Dwight and Kristen Wenger. Dwight is a flight instructor and an A&P mechanic. Our conversation led to an impromptu flight lesson which was fun. (Related: Defective Crayons and a Change of Plans) The whole family got to go along! Thanks Dwight! MARC serves the local flight community and helps train pilots and mechanics for the mission field. Their location helps them minister to the huge aviation community in Alaska.
Earlier this month we also met with the future Maintenance Director of Samaritan Aviation and asked their family questions a lot of questions about living in Papua New Guinea. Pray with us that the Lord will guide our family to where we can be most effective.
Back at the MMS hangar in Ohio, the Cessna 182 engine overhaul is done. (Related: Cessna 182 Project Update) As we were installing the engine we found the nose strut was leaking oil badly and so I was able to overhaul it. Now the 182 is ready to return to service in Guatemala! After that I did some troubleshooting and repair on the magnetos and the carburetor on a Lycoming O-360 engine that will serve in Central America. Then last week I began overhauling a Continental TSIO-520 that will serve in the highlands of Bolivia. It’s equipped with a turbocharger so it can handle the thinner atmosphere at higher elevations.
Thank you to our supporters who are enabling our family to be here in the hangar getting these aircraft back to service for a fraction of the cost, and at the same time, getting the experience we need to go be on the front lines of the most remote Gospel outposts in the world.