It’s worth taking some time to explain the process for getting our family to ready to serve with MAF in Maseru. Currently, we are accepted to MAF South Africa. Before we are ready to work ‘in the field’ with MAF, there are certain training steps to work through. Our situation is a little different, because we will be ‘loaned’ to MAF USA, because they oversee the Lesotho program. As such, our training will be with MAF USA.
In January we fly to Dublin for a week to spend time with friends of ours, one of whom also happens to be our pastor. Why do we have a Pastor who lives in a place we’ve never lived? Good question, with a simple answer: We developed a great relationship with Rob and his wife Patrice on their mission trips to Pulane Children’s Centre. Therefore, it made sense that someone like Rob should be the person Emily and I go to on spiritual matters, and to also be linked to Rob’s church, Liberty Church in Dublin, as a base of spiritual support. So, that week in Dublin will be important in preparing us to serve in Maseru.
From there we fly to Idaho, via Dallas (I think I can hear two happy grandparents from here). In mid-January Emily and I start a two week training course with MAF called ‘Candidacy.’ This is a way for us to be aligned with the vision and mission of MAF, and to develop relationships with the people at the home office who look after the not so glamorous tasks of admin and HR.
The following two weeks we attend a course to assist us in support raising. During this time we will also be focusing on reaching our support goal, which we need to achieve before we can be online in Lesotho.
We then have a break during February, where we will travel, meeting friends and family, as well as continuing to work on our support raising.
March, ahhhh, the time I am most excited about. Flight Standardization. I’ll be flying a Cessna 206 Turbo in Lesotho, which might not sound spectacular to those of you know know airplanes. But, what is spectacular is where we need to be able to get these 206’s into and out of! Mountain flying is a whole new ball game, and MAF recognizes a need for serious, focused training. I’ll spend 3-4 weeks doing this very specific training, learning to handle the 206 safely in Lesotho’s mountains and remote airstrips. What has always impressed me with MAF is their absolute focus on safety and professionalism, which are the goals of the Flight Standardization training.
In April, we will return to South Africa, and then Lesotho. We still have a fair amount of unknowns: Where we will live, how we move our belongings to Maseru, when I will actually start flying, and so forth. These questions will probably only have answers as that time draws closer.
Our family is excited about these next steps. We know that traveling, being away from home for so long, and support-raising are all pretty stressful things. But with our goal in sight, we hope and plan to enjoy every moment. We would love your prayers of support for this process, and as we chip away at our support goals, we would love to talk in more detail with anyone who is interested in helping.