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 with...um, 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 fun...as 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.
Not much stretching room. :) This is Joel's and Uncle Cliff's 'living situation' for the next few days...now you can have a visual as you pray. :)
Thanks so much and be sure to watch them as they go.