A letter we recently mailed out:
Dear Loved Ones,
We are writing this letter to you from an airplane 32,000 feet in the air, somewhere over the midwestern U.S. In addition to our RV lifestyle, airline travel has become a regular thing for us lately. God has been doing some amazing things with our family in the last few months and we'd like to share them with you. Soli Deo Gloria - To God alone be the glory!
You may be aware that Michael began a new job in January, working for Haverfield Aviation, based in Gettysburg, PA. Haverfield works with live power lines in many facets - check out their website or YouTube channel for some really shocking (ha!) videos. (www.haverfield.com or www.youtube.com/HaverfieldIntl)
This job is one thing we've been praying for over the last year or so, and we believe it is confirmation from our Savior and Leader that we are going in the right direction - towards full-time, overseas missions work with Helimission (HM). The job gives Michael valuable experience, and because the work is all over the country, it is perfect for training our family to be mobile and flexible, while learning each community we venture to as much as we can.
You also may be aware that we officially applied to HM in the fall of 2012 and as a result, have been invited to participate in their Candidate Decision Camp (CDC), held at HM headquarters in Trogen, Switzerland in June of this year. We were and are very excited and pleased to say YES! Helimission is a helicopter missions organization started in 1971 by Ernie and Hedi Tanner of Switzerland. HM has 9 helicopters in their fleet and operate in mountainous and jungle regions in countries such as Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. Primarily, they serve existing missionary organizations with supplies, transportation, and medical evacuations, etc.; but of course, there are many other things that come up where a helicopter is very helpful (transporting dignitaries, disaster relief, site surveys, etc.) Please take a look at the Helimission website for some great information, pictures, and links. You can also subscribe to a free quarterly, full-color, multi-page newsletter which contains some amazing stories and pictures of what's happening in these tribal villages around the world. You (and your kids/grandkids) will love seeing it in your mailbox! (www.helimission.org)
CDC is a week-long camping adventure that prospective HM missionaries are required (and privileged) to participate in. It is a time for HM staff and candidates to pray and worship God together, seeking His plan and whether working together is a part of that plan. There will be praying, singing, hiking, service projects, team building, field-type stress exercises, and character/personality testing events.
We have been communicating more and more with Helimission over the last eight years and are thrilled to be at this remarkable step in the journey (some of you might remember that Michael went to Haiti with HM immediately following the earthquake in 2010 - where he stayed for a month flying a helicopter, running a make-shift children's hospital, and overseeing an orphanage). God certainly has placed a call on our family and we are ready to GO. The kids are a little disappointed they don't get to go to Europe with us this summer, but are anticipating with much excitement the time when we will someday live in Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Brazil or someplace similar.
We believe in God's church, and in her role in reaching the lost. There are literally thousands of people groups that have never heard the name of Jesus, and we have the privilege and great joy of sharing Him with them! Even if you yourself don't set foot (or skid) in a tribal village in Papua or Sulawesi, you can share in the calling and blessing of someday seeing those people in Heaven with us! God's plan for relationship and teamwork in His Kingdom on Earth is amazing and perfect, and we are asking if you can and are willing to partner with us to take the Name of Jesus to places where only a helicopter will go.
The first thing most of us think of when missionaries send letters asking for partnership is usually finances. While we do need that, too, most missionaries truly first desire their brothers and sisters to seriously consider a commitment to praying for them and for the work God is doing through (and in) them. It is no easy thing to prepare for and partake in this work, as there are many hurdles - physical and spiritual. Also, missionaries want you to know what God is doing in other places; He is constantly moving in many ways (again, check out that newsletter!). Please consider helping us with this step in the journey. We ask you to pray for us and our family. We will be regularly updating you on how God is answering your prayers and what more you can be talking with Him about. We do also ask you to pray about whether God would have you help us with the costs of traveling to Switzerland and attending CDC. We need a total of about $3,400 by April 22nd. If you do choose to participate financially, you may send funds to Grace Baptist Church (PO BOX 1, Newberg, OR 97132), with a note of our names. Thank-you fellow laborers!
We love each and every one of you and wish we could sit down with you over a cup of coffee and tell you more, and ask you how God is moving in your life. Please do share with us what's happening with you at any of the above methods of contact. Many blessings!