Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Investment reflections

About 8 months ago we packed all our earthly belongings in vehicles and started heading west. The trip was exciting as we crawled along icy freeways, experienced delays when the blowing snow got too bad, and contemplated how this new venture would unfold. Moving to the west coast was a totally new venture.

Once in Spokane we joined an amazing team of people at Moody Aviation who are training future missionary pilots and mechanics. We love the passion and vision we share. We love the people we work with and the opportunities God is giving us. Our journey began in Venezuela where we worked in a large program with a lot of support, moved to Panama then Paraguay where we worked alone, took us to a leadership and training role in Arizona, and then led us back overseas to the Philippines where we trained and led a team. 

We draw on all of these experiences as we invest in future mission aviators. Experience is a great teacher, and we have many opportunities to pass on the lessons we’ve learned. As our ministry here has unfolded, God has given us (with our support team) various areas in which to invest intentionally.

Staff & students: Setting up a Safety Department gives Garry plenty of opportunities to spend time with staff and students, sharing his experiences and investing in their lives. He has opportunity to interact about technical issues (like maintenance and flight practices) as well as life as a missionary pilot and glorifying God in our unique context. We as a family also enjoy having people in our home and spending time together, sharing what God is doing and processing what it means to walk in grace and truth, to disciple others, and to be a missionary pilot/mechanic family.

Leadership: As part of the Moody Aviation leadership team, Garry has opportunity to give input on the direction and practices here. This is a great team who is passionate about providing discipleship and quality technical training to students who come to MA. As part of this team, Garry and I are engaged in a strategic planning group that is seeking ways to be more effective. Our part of the initiative is to help us understand what it means to train successful missionary pilot/mechanics. 

 The Student Success Committee is another opportunity to speak into what we as staff can do to help students be successful. It has been a great chance to speak into helping students understand their gifts and where they can be most effective as part of the Body of Christ, among other things. Moody Aviation has trained about half of the people who have served in mission aviation over the years, so the impact of this team is significant.

Mission aviation world-wide: We are in the beginning stages of a 3-year initiative to implement a SMS (Safety Management System) at Moody Aviation and offer training and support for SMS throughout the mission aviation world. We have been challenged over the past years to invest in the Body working together, and this is an opportunity to do just that as Garry leads this initiative and I contribute through the secretarial work that I do. 

This will also give us personal opportunity to interact with people from many different mission aviation organizations. SMS will be a simple platform for mission aviation organizations to share valuable safety information across organizational and geographical lines, information that has the potential to help us avoid costly incidents and accidents. It will also give us time with various mission aviation staff as we provide training here at Moody Aviation and also give requested input on various programs.

As we learn all that this role entails, we are incredibly thankful for the team that God has given us. As the opportunities expand in various directions, so do the challenges and the costs. We are so incredibly thankful for the team of people who are on this journey with us, investing in the future of mission aviation and mission aviators!

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Just one Body. One Faith. One Love. How incredible to be a small part of an epic Body, and epic story, and true reality!

This week I had opportunity to walk around Manito Park, and it was amazing. It struck me how many small details come together to make one big reality. The many flowers that are planted, watered, and weeded to make a garden. The time it takes a tree to grow. The many stones in various buildings. The many people who make this park beautiful. And this is just a park!

We are part of the Body of Christ, an ageless Body that was created to impact the world. A spiritual Body that exists for eternity.

And yet, this huge Body is made up of many members. Members like you and I who go to work, cook dinner, wash laundry, need exercise, need community, grow, and change. Each of us on our own is a small thing. Tiny, really. And yet together, we are a force that is changing the world. The tasks we do, the relationships we invest in the words we speak-- these all matter. And they matter not just to this small moment, but to the whole Body, forever.  These moments, these choices make a difference.

This week we've been feeling this as Garry met with a student who is entering the program and facing some challenges. I felt it when I tried to connect with a friend and kept missing her. We feel it as we write proposals and connect with people in the aviation world. Kevin is experiencing it as he plays a tournament in Seattle this weekend. Kaleb knows the reality as he and Oli interact and fill their days with "guy stuff".

I read an article the other day that was pointing out that fact that we often don't like to say "no" to opportunities. The solution? A bigger "yes", a clear understanding of what you are meant to do that keeps you focused on your unique opportunities. For us, part of the journey is finding out where in His Body and His Kingdom we belong. Of seeing the strengths we've been given and understanding where those can be used to grow His Body.

Over the next while I plan to post on the "bigger yes" for us personally here in Spokane, the things that claim our attention and fill our days, the ways we believe God is giving us the opportunity to invest in what He is doing... investing in people, in mission aviation, and ultimately in reaching the world and making disciples among all people groups!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Firmly Planted

Don't you love to look at tall tress standing firmly upright? To see the incredible weight and length the roots can sustain? Those are the kind of roots I want, the kind of roots we only grow when the winds blow hard and the rains pour down.

I've been pondering roots and growth. The depth of truth we need to stand firm in a world that seems to be always pulling us away. The truth we have opportunity to plant in one another's lives, and the potential it has to grow tall. The importance of what we tell ourselves, our kids, and our friends. The power of both love and bitterness to grow.

And that pondering has brought me to think on our own stories and how we interpret them. How the truth of God and His reality in our lives is meant to color and change the stories we tell ourselves, and how we tell our own story. He allows us to interpret our past and our present in His truth and reality. And what an amazing reality it is!

Garry is busy doing various kinds of presentations lately as he moves ahead with a Safety Management System he hopes to share with others in the mission aviation world. It's a huge project that will take several years to unfold, but we are super excited about the potential it has to help us be both effective and efficient while making the best possible use of Kingdom resources. It really is amazing to be here and a part of what God is doing here!

Kaleb is becoming the neighborhood "house watcher" while people are gone. He is watering and mowing lawns as well as feeding some pets. It's a great opportunity to be part of the neighborhood!

Kevin is back in Washington working on his US Immigration. It's good to have him home, and we are praying for opportunities for him to move ahead with his training while he is here.

Today is a classic west coast day, wet and overcast and rather inspiring. May we each be inspired to reach for all God has for us and stay firmly grounded in all He is and has done!

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Whirlwinds and WIGS

Covey often talks about whirlwinds and WIGS (Wildly Important Goals). It's the concept that life is a whirlwind that will devour all our time and energy to maintain, unless we purpose to reach for other goals. It's the reality that every day brings challenges and opportunities that keep us moving, but sometimes these things are just spinning us around. It's not that the whirlwind is not important-- it is often made up of things that keep the family/organization/community moving and producing. But when that is all we are doing, we can lose our sense of direction and lose sight of our purposes.

Ecclesiastes reminds us to Remember your Creator in the days of your youth," and I believe for all of us, that is a wildly important goal, no matter what stage of life we are in. Keeping our focus on God reminds us that we are a part of a huge plan. And it reminds us that we are only a small part of that plan. Worshipping God keeps us humble and excited, aware of His grandeur. And He often reminds us of our purpose and calling, the things that He has put before us to keep as priorities that are individual and timely. 
What at incredible gift to be a part of something huge that actually makes a difference: what a comfort to know that the weight of it does not rest on our shoulders, but on God's!                          

We've made some fun memories and enjoyed some great blessings lately. We spent Canada Day with Garry's sister and family in BC, a great time of catching up. And amazing fireworks. Good conversations. Great food. A really good time!

After working his brain hard all day, Garry sometimes enjoys more tangible projects in the evening. One of the last ones is one of my favorites, an amazing dining room table! We are enjoying eating together around it and also sharing meals with friends. Right now Kevin is home, and sitting down as four is a special gift.

We've also been working on paperwork for Kevin's US immigration, which feels like a long process. However, it is coming together and we pray that it will move quickly for him.

As the days unfold we are enjoying the whirlwind (for the most part), and seeing God do some very cool things in regards to goals. Projects are moving ahead. Relationships are growing. People are being impacted and challenged. And we are thankful to be here and be a part of the process!