Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Two Significant Signatures

This week, I celebrated two significant events, each one involving a pen put to paper. Earlier this week I exercised the privileges of my airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate and signed my name in an aircraft maintenance logbook for the first time. What's more, after putting the airplane back together I was the first person to fly it with the new modification. There's a sense of satisfaction in being able to maintain an airplane and then go out and fly it.

My first maintenance job as an A&P mechanic.
Signing off on my first logbook entry.

The second significant signature was the one authorizing me to begin making solo flights in Missionary Air Group's Cessna 172. I already have my private pilot certificate and can legally fly alone, but before piloting MAG's airplanes solo I had to go through a checkout process. Since I haven't flown much over the last 18 months, I also needed a few flight hours to brush up on some of my skills and get accustomed to a slightly different airplane. Today, I took N381MG out for my first solo flight in that airplane.

N381MG in front of the Missionary Air Group hangar.
Today I made my first solo flight in this airplane.
It's a privilege to be working with MMS Aviation at Missionary Air Group. I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me as I prepare for our international field assignment, but I'm thankful to be here and looking forward to the journey! Speaking of field assignments, we appreciate your prayers as we consider which organization and location to pursue. We have begun conversations with a few different missions, and are asking God for wisdom to discern the best place for our family to serve.

Thank you, and we look forward to sharing more updates in the near future!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017

Moving Forward!

We've been in Burlington, North Carolina for a month already! We are mostly unpacked and settled in the house we are renting, and the kids have begun attending Burlington Christian Academy. We've started making some connections in our neighborhood, and have already found a church that we are really enjoying. Our cars even have North Carolina plates, and we are licensed North Carolina drivers. I think we can say that Burlington is starting to feel like home!

Next Monday, January 9, I will begin going daily to the hangar at Missionary Air Group. The first few days will be spent in orientation, then we will move into ground school and flight training. My weeks will consist of both maintenance and flight days. The flight days will focus on training and experience-building to prepare me for overseas service as a missionary pilot/mechanic. The maintenance days will help me keep my skills sharp, and give me the opportunity to contribute to MAG's mission by keeping their airplanes flying safely. Eventually, I will travel to Guatemala and Honduras to experience MAG's field programs first-hand.

If you've been following our journey, you know that we are moving toward serving overseas in a missionary aviation field program. My experience at MMS Aviation the past three years has allowed me to participate in "frontline" missions by maintaining aircraft for more than a dozen organizations, but we are looking forward to the day when we will personally be serving in an overseas field program. Today, we had conversations with two different organizations—one in South America and one in Africa—about the possibility of joining their ministries when we complete our 18–24 months at Missionary Air Group. It's exciting to start exploring these opportunities, after several years of waiting and praying for God's direction. We were very encouraged by the conversations we had today, and are praying about the possibility of a trip to South America to see one of the ministries first-hand.

Would you pray with us that God would clearly guide us to a mission where we can use the gifts and passions He's given us, and where our family can thrive? We are also praying that God will use the next couple years to prepare us well to serve in the ministry to which He calls us, and that our family will continue to grow closer together and to the Lord.

To all who have encouraged, supported and prayed for us over the years: Thank You! We couldn't walk this path without you, and we thank God often for the many ways in which He has blessed us through the people He's placed in our lives. We can't wait to share more with you as we continue to move forward!