Monday, August 29, 2011

An Adventure For Sure

Joel and Uncle Cliff had a great flight from St. Louis to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday. Then yesterday they had a great flight from Ft. Lauderdale to an island that is part of the Bahamas (south of the Bahamas) called Long Island...a place called Stella Maris there. They landed, were going to refuel, and head out again to their final destination for yesterday, the Dominican Republic. Joel had mentioned some possible weather issues that might meet them there and make them stay in Stella Maris for the night. So, when he stopped there yesterday, I just had to assume that maybe the weather had kept them from continuing. When they didn't resume travel this morning (according to our trusty Spot), I was disappointed that apparently the weather wasn't quite up to par again. I was keeping an eye on the website that tracks their progress, but there was no change.

Then I got a call around noon today. It was Joel. He was calling me from Nassau. What? Nassau? That's not where he was supposed to be.

He explained that yesterday as they were checking the plane before heading on to the Dominican Republic, they found that one of the magnetos had stopped working. No, I don't know what a magneto is either, but it's important. Thankfully the plane has two, so the one was sufficient for them to not have any problems in the air. Oh man, God is so with them. But, they were grounded.

And Stella Maris was a great spot for them for what they had needed it for...a perfect place to land, refuel, and keep going. they couldn't keep going. And unfortunately, Irene was not so nice to that island, so all their phone lines and electricity is down. Wow...ok. :)

So, they prayed about what to do. This morning they felt the best decision was for Joel to take a commercial flight (on Pineapple the name) back to Nassau...also part of the Bahamas, about a 25 minute flight back. So, he arrived there and found that he couldn't really get much help there. But, he was able to talk to Wings of Hope back in St. Louis. It's funny...the plane is a 1959 plane and is working fine. But, the brand new magneto is what gave them problems. :) Anyway, Wings of Hope said that they were going to send them a new part ASAP...but, that will still be 2-3 days from now that it will arrive, at the least. But, we are very thankful that they are going to send that $700 part ASAP, no hesitation. I like that organization more and more. :)

Uncle Cliff didn't travel back to Nassau, so he is still there in Stella Maris. And, since the phones and electricity is down there, Joel has no way of getting in touch with him to let him know what's going on. But, Uncle Cliff's personality is a bit like Joel's...very relaxed, not one to get in a tizzy about *any*thing, very full of faith that God's purposes are being fulfilled even when we don't have any idea what those purposes are or what's going on. So, when Joel left, Uncle Cliff just told him, "Well, I'll see you when I see you."

But, just pray for the part to get there without any problem, as quickly as possible. Pray also for Uncle Cliff as he waits with no word...or that a way would open up for word to get to him. Pray for their continued safety as usual, and for God to continue to provide for their every need.

It was funny. Joel said that when they were flying in, they had remarked that they'd love to just come back there someday spend a few days there and really spend time with God, etc. After the problem was discovered, they were saying that God heard that and said, "Hmm, how 'bout now?" ;)

So, I hope they are getting some great time in a beautiful place, listening to and soaking up God. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Trek to Paraguay

A few months ago, Joel got a message from his Uncle Cliff, who is a missionary in Paraguay, saying that someone in the states had given his ministry an airplane. Uncle Cliff was wondering if Joel was interested in helping him bring it down from the states.

Sooooo cool. Occasionally Asas de Socorro needs to do that, or one of the pilots associated with Asas, but usually it's an instructor who takes along a student to build hours. Joel is not a student and although he's always thought it would be such a neat experience to do that, he knew he'd probably never have the opportunity to do it with Asas. So, when this opportunity came up, we jumped at it of course. Plus, to spend some really great quality time with his uncle (who is a great missionary, great man, wise, etc.) who he'd never gotten to spend much time, yes please. :)

Joel left last Friday, the 19th, headed to the Boston area. He spent a wonderful weekend with his fam there and then headed to St. Louis last Monday night. He met up with his uncle there and Tuesday they headed over to a place called Wings of Hope (really cool non-profit organization...check it out...pilots and others, look at the 'today!' section...fully paid opportunities to serve).

They received training on their specific 4-seater airplane, finished up some paperwork, did some maintenance on the plane, and then headed out yesterday morning from St. Louis to Ft. Lauderdale for their first leg of the trip. In a little 4-seater, that kind of travel takes all day, with 2 stops along the way, just to give you an idea.

This morning they are headed to the Bahamas and then possibly on to the Dominican Republic, depending on the weather. They are flying down to Paraguay and should get there sometime at the end of the week if the weather cooperates (which of course we are praying that it does). ;) Then Joel will fly commercially back here to us in Brazil, I'm projecting a little over a week from now. We shall see when that actually happens...maybe before that, maybe later. :)

The very cool thing is that you can watch this all take place. Oh yes you can. There's a nifty little program that our friend let us borrow that allows us to see where the little plane with two special packages (Joel and his uncle of course) is at all times. Wanna see? Just check out this site and watch their progress over the next few days.

Me and the kiddos are doing fine. Been keeping busy with all the normal stuff along with some birthday parties and some new neighbors, so we are having much fun as we can have without Joely that is. :) Thank you for the prayers that you are praying for us, and for Joel and Uncle Cliff as they travel. You are very much appreciated!

I lifted some of their pictures off Facebook for you to get a glimpse...

pictures above: Wings of Hope, Joel and his uncle with their flight instructor who trained them with this airplane, and the kids last night at a birthday party with their friends (not sure why the pic is split like that...??).

The most important thing they did on this trip...introduced Uncle Cliff to Chick-Fil-A and had a meal in my honor. ;) Kidding, but yum!!
Joel with the plane that was donated to Uncle Cliff's work. It's not new (1959), but it runs good...and it's cute, wouldn't ya say? I'm just glad there's a 0 in that number. :) Yikes. Haha.
Uncle Cliff and the donor of the airplane.
Good thing there were two double beds in their room...lots of maps. :) Doing a little flight planning.
Doing some maintenance.
More maintenance.
Not much stretching room. :) This is Joel's and Uncle Cliff's 'living situation' for the next few you can have a visual as you pray. :)

Thanks so much and be sure to watch them as they go.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stretching to Fit God's Heart

So much that could be posted about on this, memories, the funny/sweet/cute things the kids say. Our plans and upcoming trips and reports of those trips. Our ponderings about life and the big life questions that come up. Along with some answers sprinkled here and there. Joel's leaving on another trip...yes, before we've even updated the blog about the last one. And, maybe while he is gone, this ole blog will get some attention. But, for today...

Today this (Katie again...she always brings perspective...thank God for her stretch marks) and this...

Amazing video. Let us get our eyes off ourselves and onto the treasured ones of God. Instead of just singing about being His hands and feet, let us truly, really BE His hands that are reaching out to the fallen and needy and lonely. Let us be His feet that will GO to them, that will carry them, that will stand with them. Let us really care and be willing to do anything in order to be Jesus to them. Anything.