Pictured above: Adi plays with her friends in Africa after a fresh rain left puddles all over the taxiway. Jumping in puddles is a multi-national sport!
Note from Josh: The good news is that we got all our paper newsletters out before we left for Zambia. The bad news is that I completely forgot to send out the email versions. So you may be reading this April newsletter in May. We made it to Zambia and the trip has went as well as it could have. We’re a week into our work here in Flying Mission’s hangar and it’s going well. Thank you for your continued prayers!
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The Ficker Family
At the end of January, I finished overhauling my first engine. Here’s a little more about the ministry who will be using the engine…
The Ficker family runs Adonai International Ministries down in Guatemala but before the airplane returned to service there, they wanted to install a few more modifications. Some of the family flew up here to Ohio to get it done. This gave me the chance to spend some time with Duane, the father, along with his sons Joe and Aaron. Aaron’s wife Katie and their four children also traveled to Ohio to finish up some adoption paperwork. Duane and Joe are pilots while Aaron is a mechanic.
Duane started Adonai International Ministries. He was a farmer but when a tornado leveled his barn and an insurance company gave him a large check, he used the money for flight lessons instead and became a corporate pilot. Duane, almost like Jonah, had a very clear call to mission work but was reluctant to go. Finally, twenty five years ago he obeyed the call and started a clinic in the highlands of Guatemala serving the indigenous Mayan people. Duane and Joe fly the plane regularly bringing in volunteer medical teams and taking medical evacs out to the big city. When medical teams come, they typically only have a few days to serve. If the teams had to be transported over ground, they would waste two days on the trip to and from the clinic. In an airplane, the same trips take only half an hour! This enables the visiting teams to spend most of their time helping the people, instead of traveling.
During routine overhaul procedures, we ended up solving a vibration issue in the engine that the Fickers were struggling with for six years. They are extremely happy with their smooth running engine and even more so because it cost many thousands less than if they had the engine overhauled at a regular commercial shop. Thank you supporters for helping us to lower their operating cost!
The Fickers are also using their experience in agriculture to help train the Mayan people to improve their yields and grow more nutritiously diverse crops.
Recently Janice taught Katie how to make sourdough bread. This made Aaron pretty happy since he loves sourdough bread. Apparently it’s hard to come by in rural Guatemala.
MMS Aviation sends out work teams all over the world to perform emergency repairs or complete large projects on site. At the end of April, our family will be going to Zambia on a Rapid Response trip to a mission called Flying Mission. Flying Mission supports medical missions, church planting, and helps solve many logistical problems facing missionaries. I’ll be on a team installing autopilots in a Cessna 210 and a Cessna 206. Autopilots help reduce pilot fatigue and distractions. Installing the autopilots is a big job. We’ll be there for three weeks! The whole family is going along so pray for health and safety as we travel. Pray that we can take our required Covid tests and get our negative results in time to enter Zambia within their deadlines.
Once our missionary friends in Zambia found out Janice and the kids were coming along, they quickly calculated that we could bring eight checked bags of luggage with us, meaning we had extra cargo space! Immediately they began filling our porch with all kinds of Amazon packages full of things they can’t get in Zambia. We also have a grocery list of local goods they need. We’re going to push, pull, and carry eight bags full of airplane avionics, hardware, tools, blocks of cheese, peanut butter, pie fillings, muffin mixes, Pop Tarts, cereal boxes, and who-knows-what-else to the airport along with two children. If the bags weigh 50 pounds each, that’s 450 pounds of luggage! Pray for us!
We’re excited to announce that we’re expecting another baby in October! Janice is doing fine although she has been dealing with morning sickness and unusual cravings. Thankfully last week she suddenly began feeling better – just in time to start preparing and packing for our Zambia trip! Praise God for that. Pray for us as we travel a total of seventeen hours on an airplane with a pregnant Janice, a four year old, and a toddler who thinks he’s a dinosaur.
Elliot turned two years old on April 12! He recently learned to say “Yea,” instead of his former favorite word, “No.” He had a birthday cake with animals stuck in it and he couldn’t have been happier. Adi also had a birthday on February 28. She turned four! She’s becoming quite the chatterbox. The other day Adi was giving Janice a back rub. Janice told Adi, “Thank you,” to which Adi humbly replied, “Well, I’m just doing my job.”
|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.|