Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fixed points

Yesterday Garry did some water egress training, training designed to improve the odds of survival in a forced water landing. One of the main points the trainers made was that a huge risk in a water landing is loss of orientation-- as the aircraft pitches and spins in the water, it is easy to become disoriented, and this disorientation can be costly. The solution? Hold fast to something stable! In so much of life, we escape disaster the same way, by holding fast to Someone stable.

This week has been both fun and challenging. Garry has been focusing on several different areas as he sets up a safety management system at Moody Aviation. He has been researching some new things and is organizing various things in different departments. It's fun to work with people from across Moody Aviation and get to know them in various ways. Yesterday I got to spend a little time at the hangar and was privileged to chat with one of the maintenance instructors who is hoping to head to Alaska next summer. They will be stationed on an island in a remote area of Alaska, doing aviation maintenance in support of missionaries who live and work in this community and surrounding areas.

Kevin has spent this week in Prince George, BC, competing on the badminton team at Canada Winter Games. This has been a great and growing experience as he has acted as team captain for badminton, lived in the athlete village, and interacted with a world that badly needs Jesus. He has enjoyed the badminton and has done well, placing 4th in men's singles in the individual event. Manitoba is playing off today for 5th place, a good ranking for the team.

Kaleb has been busy biking and building. These seem to be his main pursuits as he continues to grow and learn. He's also had lots of opportunities to invest in the neighbourhood as he interacts with kids and adults, seeking to be salt and light in his world.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Diversity & Change

As I think back to our years in mission aviation, I realize that diversity and change have been our life. I joined Garry’s journey when we got married in Venezuela where he was serving on loan to Mission Aviation Fellowship. Kevin joined us during our mission training in Ontario, and Kaleb joined the family just before we moved to Panama.  We began working in a large, centrally located flight program then worked alone in a couple of programs. In the Philippines our main job was training in a flight program that was a collection of 3 very small flight centers, an interesting combination of both a large and small programs.

From Latin America to Asia to New Tribes Mission’s Aviation headquarters in Arizona, we have been privileged to serve in very different parts of the world. The flight programs we've served in have varied from extremely traditional to slightly traditional. We have served locations that were extremely primitive in what was available, and places that had larger staff and more amenities. We've served missionaries from all over the world, from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. We’ve served with people almost our parents age and people who are only slightly older than our kids. 

As the journey has unfolded, changing again and again, we have often wondered where we would end up. We’re not at an ending point yet, but this is a new place where all the places we’ve been and things we’ve experienced are valuable. Garry is working in Aviation Safety, setting up a Safety Management System for Moody which we are hoping will also be useful for other mission aviation organizations.

Moody Aviation, Spokane

Moody Aviation’s passion is to invest in all levels of mission aviation, from training new aviators to helping Mission Aviation organizations in whatever way we can.  As a team here at Moody Aviation, we are passionate about training students to be spiritually mature, technically excellent pilots and mechanics. The focus is training people to serve in missionary aviation, and the entire program and staff are geared toward excellence that is applicable in mission aviation settings of every kind. 

Our investments here are divided between the various stages and areas of training. Most of Garry's time is spent with staff right now; a staff that spans the program here-- Biblical Studies, Aviation Maintenance training, Production Aviation Maintenance, and Flight Training. Students begin their time at the Biblical Studies Campus, focusing on spiritual growth for the first year. From there they begin more aviation-specific training. Students spend their second and third year getting maintenance training finishing up with their airframe & powerpoint license. Fourth & fifth year students focus on flight training while still doing some maintenance to gain a higher level of proficiency.
Students from Moody Aviation eventually serve all over the world, some in traditional flight programs that serve foreign missionaries and some in programs whose focus is national missionaries. From church planting support to humanitarian flights, the purpose is to spread the Gospel message and the opportunities for students to do this are diverse. Some countries welcome the Gospel with open arms while others require creative ideas to reach the people.

Garry’s interactions in Safety Risk Management  and on the leadership team and our interactions with students and staff constantly draw on our varied experience and unique perspective on mission aviation, making us thankful for each experience we've had. Beyond the interactions Garry has at work, we as a family have many opportunities to interact with various people, investing in their lives around a meal in our home, chatting at a gathering, or meeting for coffee.
We are blessed to be part of the team here, continuing the journey of investing in reaching the world through mission aviation!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Good...

In a world that is wrecked by sin, living a life that is affected every day by the fall and evil, it is easy to lose sight of the Good. But we are admonished to think about the good, the praiseworthy, the true. And the reality is, life is full of blessings. Some of the bigger ones we notice; many of the smaller ones are easy to disregard. This morning I've been counting blessings, because not only is it a good practice, it refreshes my spirit and renews my perspective!

One of the blessings of Spokane is great mountain biking, which is an even bigger blessing if you have a son who LOVES to ride! We recently enjoyed a beautiful sunny day at Beacon Hill, a local park with lots of trails and tracks. There are places that even I can ride and challenges that are still a bit beyond Kaleb's current level. It's amazing, really. Part of it is natural, much of it is the result of hard work by people who have chosen to invest time and energy making this a great place to spend a day!

Garry was upgraded to first class on his flight home from Nampa. Really, first class isn't heaven, but it is fun and we were thankful that he was able to have a good flight. A little thing, but after countless hours in airplanes over the past years, it's a blessing to be in the most comfortable part of the aircraft (besides maybe the pilot seat!).

The other day Kaleb was finishing up school and I was deciding what I should do next when it hit me just how privileged I am. I have a wonderful husband and two amazing boys. And beyond having them in my family, I get to spend time with them! I get to teach Kaleb school, go for walks with Garry, and FaceTime with Kevin, among other things. Each day brings opportunities to love, serve, and enjoy my family, and that is a gift that I sometimes forget to enjoy.

The list is more or less endless.... and I am so grateful to live this life!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Quick trip

Garry made a quick trip to Nampa, Idaho last week for a safety seminar at MAF's headquarters. He stayed with friends that we knew before we were married and got to see several other families he knew from as far back as his Moody days! He also enjoyed meeting new people.

There is a lot of information and many thoughts to process, but it was a profitable week of seeing how MAF does various things and getting lots of ideas for using an SMS and the safety department. I will try to post more later as I get more information.... he just got home really late last night and I haven't gotten a good grasp of what he is thinking yet.

This week we've had several days of sunshine here, and it has been a huge blessing after weeks of fog and overcast. It's amazing how many things we take for granted, from running water to sunshine to health to an endless list of other things that allow us to survive and even thrive. Most of these things we don't think about until they are missing, so lacking them can actually be a huge blessing!... but back to the sunshine. Last Sunday was sunny and we took a family bike ride at a park here. There are great trails-- ones easy enough for me and jumps that are challenging even for Kaleb, so we all had a great time and enjoyed being outdoors.

Later in the week Kaleb joined a homeschool group at a trampoline park. Most of his free time this week, though, has been spent working on his bike. He rides a lot, and his bike is showing the wear on various parts. In fact, this morning he and Garry took it further apart and worked on it together. Thankfully it seems to be working better again.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Birthday pondering

Caught in time, living for eternity: that's our reality. Our lives go in seasons, focuses change as we move through various ages and stages of life. Families change, jobs change, kids grow up and new friends are added to our circles while other friends leave.

This week marked another year of life for me, and I've been reflecting a bit. Thanks to facebook, friends from all over the world sent birthday wishes and I was both amazed and humbled. When I consider the spectrum of people who have had an impact in my life, I cannot believe it. People from across the globe, across all ages and stages of life, across many occupatios and interests took time in their day to remember my special day.

This caused me to not only think about the past, but also the future. Right now I am in a realtively new place, opening new relationships with a whole new group of people. (Yeah, our whole family is, but it was just my birthday!) And I was challenged to be both open and intentional: to make room for new people and yet to ask God to give me just the relationships He has for me so I can invest well in those.

Because nearly every day I am reminded that time is limited and there are already a number of things in my life that demand some of it. Sometimes I sit for a moment and stare into space, thinking of all the conversations we can have in eternity when time is unlimited, The vast number of people there are to know in the world, and every generation will be together in eternity, And I can't help but imagine that even in eternity we will be part of one another's journey....

I hope you know how blessed you are to be surrounded by the people in your life, simply because the knowing is such a blessing!