Thursday, December 22, 2016

New House and Home

We moved last week! In fact, it's been two weeks since we got the keys to our new place. We are currently renting from another missionary family, which is a huge blessing in so many ways. We love our new place and are feeling at home there already, despite the remaining unpacked boxes.

The move has been a blessing in a myriad of ways, most of them unexpected. We decided to take the house just before the snow fell, and moved just after the ground was well-covered. Our nephew from Canada stopped here on his way home and helped move the bigger furniture. Friends from church, work, and the neighborhood showed up to help.  With their energy we were out of the old house and had the place cleaned up in record time. The work they did was a blessing, and the friendship and community it reflected was amazing.

We are settling into our new place and love the neighborhood already. The location is not where we were hoping to be, but we are finding that is much better than we anticipated. In fact, it is better than where we were looking.

Kaleb's papers are submitted and we pray that this application is approved without any more issues. He is busy these days with a Lego animation he is doing for a contest.

Kevin had a challenging but good tournament in California last week and this week he is working in Seattle. We're looking forward to having him home for a couple of days over Christmas.

As we think about where we are and what is happening we are blessed by what God is doing. We are amazed by the prayers that have been answered and thankful that He continues to answer. As we take a break from packing and unpacking to celebrate Christmas we are humbled and blessed once again by the reality of the incarnation. God Himself becoming man. Talk about a major move!

May your Christmas be full of the realities of Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. May we celebrate Him with abandon as we thankfully enjoy the gifts He gives-- family, friends, and material goods.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Update on Questions & Challenges

I realized this morning that though I have alluded to some major challenges and possible changes, I haven't actually written down the various challenges we are facing these days. All these things came up in a matter of a week, and though some questions have been answered, others are still "in process".

Kaleb's request for citizenship was denied, which meant that we either needed to relocate or proceed with more costly paperwork. Update Nov 18: Someone generously offered to pay for the next big step in the paperwork process!

Our landlords let us know that they need to sell the house, which means we are moving sooner or later. And the process of listing (and hopefully selling) has required a fair amount of time investment in allowing them access to the house for fixing, photographs, and inspections. Currently the house is on the market and available to be shown with a couple hours notice. While the house has not shown often, it means being in a state of alert at home and realtors that want to show it having access.

The pending sale of the house also means we need to find somewhere else to live. We have often thought that purchasing a house would be a great option, but we found out that laws have recently changed. These laws basically mean for us that if we choose to purchase a home we need to change organizations. So far we haven't found anything that seems reasonable to rent: we are asking God for a house that fits our budget closer to Moody Aviation for quicker access to ministry opportunities. So far, we haven't found anything, but we are believing God for His house in His time.

We'd love for you to join us in asking God for answers to each of our questions. If you'd like to receive weekly e-mail updates with more specific requests, please e-mail me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


This week Garry is finishing up PT6 training, a great opportunity to learn and grow as mission aviation moves into more aircraft that use a turbine engine. It's a good reminder that experience is a great teacher, but we always need to keep learning new things. People who are learning and growing are also fun to be around-- I've learned a lot as Garry has gone through this course. It's also good for those of us who often teach to be a student somewhat regularly. Being a student has its own challenges, and it's good to be reminded of that as we go back to taking tests instead of giving them and absorbing information instead of teaching it.

Kevin is also having some new learning experiences this week as he attends Moody Bible Institute-Spokane's missions conference. He's learning about various organizations that do a number of different ministries. He's interacting with mission reps and others who came to present at the conference. And the experience is taking him back overseas to what he knows and making him ponder next steps as he learns about more needs in more places all over the world.

Some of the challenging information Kevin is learning is in relation to people in the 10/40 window. While a huge part of the world's population lives there, apparently only 1% of the financial support for missions from North America goes into this area. That surprised me. I would have assumed that missions from North America is currently focused on this area of the world, but maybe not. Kevin has also enjoyed learning more about mission work to First Nations people in northern Canada, an area close to home but needy.

Our impending move is bringing neat things to Kaleb as he interacts with his friends in the neighborhood. Sometimes only in light of leaving do we get feedback on the ways our lives have impacted others. This is true of Kaleb these days as his friends contemplate the fact that he may be moving to a different neighborhood.

So many things this week remind me that God is both powerful and creative. How amazing that He gives us the ability to learn, grow, and change! How incredible that He allows us to partner with Him in His work in the world, being a part of others changing, learning, and growing.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

New Blog Started

I recently began blogging at This is a more reflective blog, includes an updated "About Me" page, and focuses on living life well, particularly as we serve within the mission aviation community.

In time I will be migrating this blog to there, but for the time being I'll be blogging at both locations as I sort out how to integrate the various aspects of life and ministry I want to focus on.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Training and Drills

One thing on Garry's agenda for today is a fire drill. We all remember fire drills as kids, the noise and momentary chaos until a teacher or other adult called things to order and we lined up and evacuated the building. As a kid, it seemed funny to me. I figured that in a real fire, not even the adults would be calm. I thought the drill was a useless exercise. My views have changed since then. I realize that the value of a drill is creating a memory that we can fall back on in stressful times. Things we drill become automatic responses to situations or sounds. Athletes perform drills hundreds of times. Much of magic of art is created through countless hours of practice. Performers practice and practice some more, drilling themselves and one another on how things should be. And their hours of practice pay dividends in the quality of their performance, in the seemingly effortlessness of their actions.

Many of life's outcomes are also determined by what we've been drilling: in stressful times we respond much like we have been training ourselves to respond in less stressful times. We can choose to blame other people or search for solutions. We can see life as filled with hope or perceive our situation as hopeless. We can take action or wait for someone else to take action. The possibilities are nearly endless, but it's interesting to reflect on our own intuitive responses to life, and how those responses have become intuitive.

Yesterday I took a short walk with a friend and we chatted about life and ministry. I was blessed by her near-constant references to scripture. I was encouraged by the way she is changing as she walks through life. I was challenged by her thoughts on living quiet lives. I was blessed by the way she interacts with her kids. And I realized that day after day she is practicing living better and choosing well. Her efforts made her a blessing to me.

This week Garry is also privileged to take part in turbine engine training. He is excited to learn more about how these engines work and the best ways to maintain them. This is very helpful information as mission aviation is using more and more turbine engines overseas as avgas becomes harder to find and more expensive.

Our house is going on the market this week. It's challenging. I find I'm not fond of having photos of every room on the internet, of having strangers walking through and checking things out, or of having a device on the door that allows realtors access to the house. It's giving us a chance to practice what we've been practicing.

I suppose fire drills are, after all, quite valuable!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Faith in Action

This week I've been reminded that faith requires action. Faith means not only believing what you say you believe, but acting on it. Not just talking about what needs done, but actually doing it. And sometimes the hardest action of all is waiting. Not passively letting life go by, but refusing to take action until you know what action you need to take. Not sitting by and hoping someone else will get involved, but engaging in this moment while you wait for clear direction for the next moment.

As housing and paperwork questions continue to require prayer and attention, this week we've been challenged to keep doing the things in front of us, getting involved in the things we see God doing around us. This week Kaleb has had some unique opportunities to attend and serve. The first was attending "Skate Church", a local ministry to skate kids. He is a BMX and dirt jumping guy, but he enjoyed trying some tricks on a scooter and connecting with various kids. It was fun to "do church" at an indoor skate park! This group has an amazing passion and God-story, and it was neat to join them for last Sunday's service.

The second opportunity Kaleb got involved in was "Trunk or Treat" fall festival at our church. I was impressed with how many of the youth volunteered at this event, helping build a huge box maze, face painting, serving, and interacting with the kids who came to the festival. Kaleb enjoyed serving with his friends and interacting with various kids. One of our neighbors who is typically very distant toward anything religious showed up, and Kaleb was able to chat with him a little. What a blessing to see the many ways God is calling His Body to interact, serve, and bless the community and one another!

Garry has been working on forms for the safety program this week. I am continually amazed (but not surprised!) at his attention to detail and his thought processes as he develops a program that is simple, helpful, and practical. It looks like he may be able to take some turbine engine training in a few weeks, which would be super helpful as he continues to invest in technical excellence here at Moody Aviation. He's also been chatting with real estate people, talking to the lawyer, and overall being amazing with the things that need attention.

This evening I am privileged to host a staff wives prayer and planning meeting. After having to miss the last meeting, I am excited to catch up with the other women and hear what God is doing in their lives. What a blessing to ask God together for His direction for the ladies involved at Moody Aviation and to serve together!

These simple, ordinary things are where our faith is taking us these days. And yet, the journey is anything but ordinary and the choices seldom seem simple. After all, faith always calls us to engage in the epic battle of good and evil, passion and complacency, and the invisible.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


This week when Kaleb went to work at his internship he worked on writing a script. Now, Kaleb works hard at his internship, doing what's asked, watching what's going on, and trying to learn. But sometimes, the mundane tasks make the time crawl. Other weeks the time flies as he engages with more interesting tasks. When he came home this week, he was super excited. His work may actually become part of something that is produced for the public! Suddenly, he could see the value in what he was doing. And not only did he come home excited about that work, he was excited about the editing and scripting he is doing at home on his own projects. The goal or reward makes all the difference.

In much the same way, when I read about the relief work NTM is doing after Typhoon Haima in the Philippines, it makes me excited about what we do here. When I get news of a translation project being supported by mission aviation it makes me smile. Word of a medical evacuation made possible by an airplane makes my day. These are the things that we are about, not just the physical work being done or physical help being given, but the Good News that is spread, the transformation is that is being supported by missionary aviators. As one student put it last week, "It isn't about flying and maintenance. It's about loving Jesus."

Garry has been looking for different ways to share information that is gathered, ways to make sharing learning experiences helpful for more people. He has begun to send out a QASAR letter, each one focusing on a possible hazard. He has also had his share of meetings this week. Beyond the scheduled meetings are many "chance meetings" with students and staff.

Kevin and I are both part of a writing guild started by Jerry Jenkins, and this week we were able to meet him when he was in Spokane for meetings. It was great to connect with him for a few minutes. I was thrilled when he gifted us a book he wrote about MAF's relief work after an earthquake in Indonesia, The Night the Giant Rolled Over. It's amazing to me how many things he has written about  and I feel super privileged to be learning from him on the guild.

Learning and teaching, it's really a great cycle. Growing and investing. Giving and taking. Passing on what so many have invested in us. Doing today what we can today to help future mission aviators succeed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Opportunities to Trust

This week has presented an extraordinary number of opportunities to trust God. Not exactly big things or urgent things, but things coming to light that could dramatically change our lives. Things like new laws and paperwork. Things like a tree threatening to fall on our house. Things that can feel like you're standing on a mountain of pebbles that is starting to shift. 

These opportunities have made us ask God new and different questions. They've put our prayer lives in overdrive. They've made us sit down with our boys and discuss life and God and faith. They've made us ask for backup from the people who stand with us. It shouldn't be surprising that these opportunities for faith are also allowing us to see God work in a different way.

The tree didn't fall on the house, and as I sit here it is being removed by a small team of professionals. However, until it leaned over the house last Friday, I wasn't aware of the danger nor in awe of the size of that tree. As we've been watching it lean, measuring its location, and trying to predict which way it would fall if it did, I've come to respect that 100-foot tree in a new way. It's enormous.

This morning I got this devotional by Sylvia Gunter in my inbox. It reminded me to pray God-sized prayers. Like with the tree, focus makes all the difference. Prayer allows us to see God's power and goodness in new ways. Focusing on Him brings Him to the foreground and dwarfs our circumstances. And I am so incredibly thankful for the Body who constantly reminds us of this truth!

When unexpected things come at us, we sometimes forget the everyday things of life. Still, it is the building of day after day that creates growth and grows opportunity. Garry has enjoyed instructing in labs this week as students have completed a section on the landing gear. Various students and staff have shared experiences that helped them learn something, and he's been figuring out the best way to share those experiences with staff and students. He is also beginning to plan for our safety seminar that is coming up early next semester.

Kevin wrote an article for the Mosaic, Moody's newspaper, last week. He is enjoying connecting with some of the other Communications majors through that. Last week were midterms, a nice reminder that the semester is half over for him.

Kaleb has had a great opportunity at his internship to work through the various stages of creating a commercial for a company. It's been a great learning opportunity as he's researched and organized and planned. One of the blessings of the internship is a chance to work with Josh, a creative young man who is also interning with Mortimore Studios.

May we enjoy the journey and see life in God's perspective, whether we are facing the unknown or a world where we feel comfortable.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Mission Aviation

I've been thinking about mission aviation as a whole this week. My reflections have been on the fact that we've spent our lives in a tiny niche, and the opportunities and the impact of that niche. Most of my growing up years our family was totally dependent on the airplane for transportation, anxious to look through the incoming mailbag, sustained by groceries that arrived in the mission airplane, and living in a house held together by transported supplies. An emergency medical flight saved my life when I was a toddler. The red and white airplane was my school bus every quarter as I came and went from home. The pilot was our biggest source of encouragement, news, and interaction with the outside world in the years our family worked alone. I grew up quite convinced that pilots were superheroes.

I eventually married a pilot and found out that while he isn't a superhero, he is a hero. Together we served missionary teams in four countries and trained new pilot families at our headquarters. We served in a large program and several smaller ones. We were leaders and followers. Now we serve at Moody Aviation, and some days I think about what we're training people to do and where mission aviation is headed. 

While some of the paradigms and opportunities in mission aviation are changing, the reality is that mission aviation continues to have countless opportunities to impact the world. Traditional avenues of supporting remote church planting teams still remain. Business as mission opportunities are growing. Mission aviation steps into places destroyed by natural disasters. As I look at these realities, I believe that the potential impact of mission aviation continues to grow. Mission aviators are serving all over the world, interacting with a great number of people. The Gospel's growth in many areas continues to be possible because of mission aviation. Humanitarian aid gives mission aviation a unique voice in a world of pain and chaos.

As I ponder, I believe that the investment is worthwhile. And I am thankful to be a part of it! This week the investment looks like office work, presentations, and interactions with students and staff at Moody Aviation. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Colors of Fall

It's fall! I'm not sure how this happens year after year. Living in North America it feels like every time I turn around it's a new season, either it's warming up, cooling down, freezing, or blistering hot. And it seems to happen without notice. Maybe that's because I don't know the signs of upcoming change, or because I want it to stay this way for a while. I'm not sure, but the changing of leaves has made me ponder other changes in our lives.

Garry is back into the swing of things at Moody Aviation, and the incoming class is changing the dynamics of things in the hangar, as is the lack of last year's seniors. We are thrilled to have the software we have been pursuing, and it means training others in its use and imbedding its use with other safety training. New staff also means things change slightly. These are just a few of the things that are changing as the leaves turn color and temperatures begin to fall.

I am also thankful for the ways I am involved at Moody this year, meeting new students and investing in women in mission aviation. I am amazed at what God has done and how His themes are timeless. I'm also enjoying a ladies Bible study at our church this semester, a new thing for me.

Kaleb is a senior, so this is my last year to make decisions about school for the coming year. The last year to scramble around for curriculum, only to realize I didn't get it right and repeat the process about a month later. The last year to introduce myself as a homeschooling mom. Homeschooling will be one less thing I have to juggle in upcoming years, and the thought is both relieving and terrifying.

Kevin is in school at Moody Bible Institute-Spokane, beginning to build a local badminton program, and doing his best to train for international competition. We are enjoying having him here for this chapter, enjoying his stories of school and learning. He is embarking on yet another chapter in his journey, and it is exciting to see him take new steps in that journey.

The fall colors remind me that summer is gone and fall is beginning. Winter is coming. And that reminder is good because it causes me to stop and reflect on things that have changed and ways I have changed. The ways God has changed me, changed us. We are a blessed family to be on this journey with Him, constantly pursued and in pursuit of the God of the Universe.

Fall is, after all, a blessing. And this MAY be the year I say the same thing about winter, though that may take a little longer, given how current my feelings on being cold are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Zambia thoughts

I've heard of Zambia most of my life, a place of exotic animals and African safaris. I've seen photos of lions up close and elephants standing in the shade with a safari jeep close by. I didn't believe it, not really. After all, many of the places I've lived are supposedly the source of amazing photos and yet provide a somewhat less-than-incredible reality. However, Garry experienced a real African Safari in Zambia, complete with lions at rest, elephants, many birds, monkeys in the lodge dining room, and many animals I didn't recognize. The tour guides were knowledgeable about the wildlife and the country. The service was exceptional. 

Zambia is, in fact, a beautiful country. And beyond the outward beauty, God is at work! Garry was privileged to spend the majority of his time with folks from Flying Mission Zambia, once more looking into the work that's done and the interviewing the people who do it. Checking out airplanes, accompanying pilots on flights, and looking through the paperwork filled his days. 

What he found was a unique, inter-cultural team of great passion and purpose. He heard their hearts for the people of Zambia and their passion to share the love and truth of Jesus. He experienced some of their investment in this land and the work that God is doing as a result. A young German couple were a special blessing as he is a pilot and she runs the guesthome. Their desire for excellence was outstanding, their hearts for ministry amazing. 

Another blessing of Garry's time in Zambia was attending a local church and fellowshipping with believers. He enjoyed the sermon and was challenged by it. After church there was a fellowship time on the lawn, and Garry heard from a couple how God is allowing them to be involved in the country with high-level government officials. 

Far back in the history of Zambia is colonization by the British, and the British influence remains. So, also, does much of the infrastructure that the British built in Zambia. Soon after discussing this with Garry I was listening to the radio and heard a statement to the effect that God has left His people on earth to colonize it with His people. I was challenged by the thought, challenged that what we do can make a difference in a hundred years, and what we build in truth and justice can last. 

Angola Reflections

I didn't go to Angola, but I love hearing Garry's stories. I've laughed and I've cried. I've been shocked by the pain and by the good that has arisen in that country. I'm impressed by what MAF Canada is doing in there. I love that Garry got to meet a doctor whose family spent the years of civil war there, helping victims.

To be honest, before Garry went to Angola I had no idea where it was, beyond that it was in Africa. I had no clue that getting a visitor's visa would take months or that it would require such an investment of time and paperwork. I didn't know it was a relatively closed country or that civil war had destroyed so much of it. I'd never heard about the land mines that cover much of the agricultural land or the many people who have lost limbs to the mines.

The missionaries who serve in Angola do so in a very difficult environment. They face unique pressures and unique joys. The team is multi-cultural, blending nations on a relatively small compound and reaching out from there. Garry stayed with a young Dutch couple, people of passion and purpose who are giving their lives to share Jesus and help the people of Angola. He was offered meals by others in the mission community. He spent days talking with missionaries and local employees, walking through the hangar, and flying with the pilots. What a privilege to encourage each of these people toward knowing and loving God more and serving Him with excellence!

As Garry shared what he learned on his trip, I was struck by the fact that this is home to about 21 million people, and yet to the rest of us it is a distant land, a name on a map, or less. But for 21 million people, their home and community in Angola is their life. And God knows each of them by name! And this is true not only of Angola, but many countries in the world that we are not familiar with that God is invested in. And He is not only invested, but also at work. The further we go, the more places we visit, the bigger God becomes in my mind. Not because He is growing, but because I am becoming ever more aware of what He is doing and the vastness and uniqueness of this planet where He placed us for a few short years.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Life's Reality

Garry has had some incredible opportunities in Africa. He's met amazing people and seen amazing things. He's journeyed for two weeks primarily with people he would never have met without this trip. He has looked into two flight programs and interviewed various people within those programs. He attended a local church in Zambia and met passionate believers, some of them missionaries, who do a variety of things. He went on an African Safari and saw incredible wildlife from close range.
This week we at home had a first when Kaleb was beat up and his bike stolen at a local park. He wasn't exactly overpowered, but rather caught off guard. The bike is important to him, and his biking has been a great opportunity to connect with kids and minister to them. We were shocked and hurt. Some stranger had taken advantage of one of us, and in so doing, offended all of us. We called the police and were surrounded by badminton friends as we looked through security camera photos and filed the report. 

News from Venezuela, the land of my birth, has been double-sided. Peaceful protests took place yesterday, and many prayers were answered as protesters went home without the bloodshed that could have happened. Yet the reasons for the protests are heartbreaking, the reality of everyday life in that country alarming. We grieve for what is and ask God for mercy and grace for this country.
The Philippines is also making the news as a new president begins his term and reportedly battles drug abuse. His methods inspire fear at many levels. We pray from here and wish we could do more, but we have no clue what that would be. 
As I look at the photos of Africa, it looks different, and yet so similar to places we've lived before. And I wonder why we are so blessed. You see, when we faced the mugging and theft, friends were somewhat shocked. Police showed up. The process reminded us of all the ways we are blessed and the obstacles at-risk kids in our country face as they grow up. In many other countries, a great percentage of the population is at risk, facing danger and difficulty we can barely imagine. God must weep at what evil has done in this world, and lately we've been reminded of His heartbreak as our hearts break at the evil, pain, and suffering we see. 
The tears have reminded me once more that light is greater than darkness, that good has the capacity to overcome evil. My resolve to live in light and righteousness has been strengthened by the stories I am hearing and living. My prayers for others have grown longer. My view of the battle going on all over the world has shifted, my appreciation of what God's people are doing has grown. My heart to see God's people fight evil with good has deepened. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Family, Summer 2016

As the summer draws to a close and the school year looms closer I am thankful for our little family of four, our extended family, and a great circle of friends who bless and encourage us. Life in our family is changing as it is in yours, and I thought it might be time to get a short update on our blog.

Kevin is studying at Moody Bible Institute here in Spokane this fall, continuing to pursue a degree in communications. He started classes on Monday and is enjoying his profs and getting to know a few other students. We are enjoying having him live at home and being a part of this journey with him. Kevin also continues to pursue badminton and is investing in the program here in Spokane. Earlier this month he had the opportunity to attend a great training camp in Vancouver, BC.  This summer he has had various jobs, currently with Parks and Recreation. He's enjoyed helping in summer camps for kids and looks forward to working in other areas where Parks and Rec runs programs during the school year. His time quickly fill with coaching, training, and international tournaments.

Kaleb will start his senior year in just over a week. He really enjoyed working at our church camp in Canada for a week this summer as well as connecting with friends in Manitoba. He loves people and loves to encourage and help his friends. On our way back to Spokane  we stopped in Montana to ride a single-track trail Kaleb found online. It was incredibly beautiful and a great thing to do together. Since we returned to Spokane Kaleb has met a number of other riders and has enjoyed hitting some of the bigger jumps and riding with more experienced riders. His next Lego story is nearly scripted, and set building has begun, so the living room once more looks rather like a studio. He also continue to spend time at the local studio where he is currently interning.

Garry is enjoying a couple of weeks in Africa, doing aviation safety audits. The team he has been helping this week has been great to work with and he has shared several stories of all that God is doing and has done in Angola.

I'm thankful to be able to hold down the fort at home. Since we arrived back in Spokane I've been busy catching up on office work, reconnecting with friends, and doing the normal things of life.

We are on an amazing journey together and love the places where God has planted us and the ways He is growing us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Home and home again

We arrived home in Washington last Thursday after spending a just over three weeks at home in Manitoba. Yes, from home to home it's been. Each place we've lived has become home, and Manitoba has been our home base for nearly 25 years now. Sometimes I think I miss out on having a home, and other times I am reminded that instead of just one home, I have many homes. This summer has put me in the "many homes" mindset once more.

I will try to add a few more posts about our time in Manitoba, but for now a few random thoughts and a couple of photos of our trip back to Washington. We were blessed with sunshine and open roads on the way home. We had decided to do a few fun things on the way, and actually did that! We stopped at a mountain biking train Kaleb found near Butte, Montana and I did my best to keep up with the guys on the beautiful trail. We listened to radio dramas and talked about new memories we made in Manitoba. We had coffee at a local shop in Bozeman. All in all, it was a great trip!

We've been unpacking and repacking as Garry prepares to leave for Africa on Friday. He is going to do aviation safety audits in both Angola and Zambia, a great opportunity to encourage those serving in challenging situations. He is also hoping to learn more about mission aviation in those countries and some of the challenges and joys that are common there.

The other fun we're having this week is meeting new students here at Moody Spokane. Student services hosts several events to allow us as staff to connect with new students, and we signed up to join a couple of those. Monday evening we joined a large group at a local park for a BBQ and on Thursday we plan to head to a camp that is about an hour away to spend a bit more time with new students. These are great opportunities to get to know students and hear what kind of dreams they are entering the program here with.

As Kaleb and I settle back into life here in Spokane and Garry prepares for his time in Africa, we are blessed to know that we are not in this alone. We have a great team of people behind us, cheering us on and praying for us each step of the way. Thanks for being that kind of team!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travels and Camp

Two weeks ago today we were at home in Washington, packing our bags. Wednesday morning we hit the road, and it's been a bit of craziness and a lot of fun since then. On the way we stopped and met a couple of guys who were selling used bikes. It was standing in the sunshine in Banff chatting with an Aussie that I realized Kaleb is at "that point", the place where dirt jumping is serious and he's in it for the long haul. At the drive-in burger joint in Calgary we ordered a shake because Kevin had a great one there last year, and I was amazed at the parts of the country we have explored. Stopping beside the road in Saskatchewan I felt quite at home cramped in the front seat trying to get comfortable to sleep. And somewhere in the blurriness of dawn I realized that friends in Manitoba are some of my longest-time ones.

Our first days in Manitoba have been awesome. We enjoyed working at our church camp for a week, helping in the kitchen while Kaleb was a counsellor. We met new people and experienced a bit of camp for ourselves. (More about that in another post!).

Since getting "home" we've enjoyed many great conversations, too much good food, and many cups of coffee with family and friends. We've caught up with some of our family and a number of friends. We have been reminded both that we belong and that we don't. We have laughed and tried to hold back the tears. We have shared and listened.

In it all, we've been reminded that we are a Body, a team. Our lives are intertwined with so many, and we are blessed by that reality.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer's Shaping Up

Summer in Spokane is lovely! Some days are quite warm (some might think it's really hot) and many days are cool. Everything is green. People are enjoying the outdoors, and walking around the neighborhood has become an relationship-building experience. Lots of friends are camping, and we are looking forward to doing some of that later this summer also. We are also planning a quick trip to Manitoba to visit family and friends next month. Yes, summer is shaping up beautifully.

We are finding a different rhythm working at an aviation school, a rhythm that is mostly energizing and constantly on the move in a somewhat repetitive manner. With the complexity of maintenance and flight training, summer is just two weeks without students. One week is prep for the coming semester and the other week is instructors'  vacation week. This week one of Garry's main goals is to prepare a training session for in-service, training staff to use the new SMS software we have! While his presentation will not be long, it is challenging to know what is most important to share first and how to implement a complex program in the simplest possible way.

Since my last post we have been busy with end-of-year events and gatherings. Somehow I had forgotten how many events there were. And this year there are extra things going on as we celebrate (and cry over) Cec's retirement as the head of Moody Aviation. Plus, we know more people, some of whom have kids graduating and some of Kaleb's friends have planned special things for the end of the year. All in all, it has been an event-laden few weeks, and we have a few more to attend. Each event has provided good opportunities to celebrate, invest, enjoy, and learn. And now, I am ready for the part of summer that includes BBQs in the back yard, bike rides, iced tea with friends, and picking what I hope will grow in the small garden we planted.

I am also looking forward to getting caught up on office work, particularly with some of the things I help Garry with at Moody. Garry is enjoying setting up the software for the most part, and that process is opening many great conversations with staff and students. As we look to the future, we are excited about the potential this software has to help mission aviators be safer and more effective in what God is calling them to. 

Soon I should be able to blog a bit more... there is lots going on for Kevin and Kaleb, but I'll share that in another post. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grad 2016

It's that time again-- graduation! Here at Moody Aviation, students still have several weeks of class left, but graduation is combined with Biblical Studies, so events happened last weekend. It's amazing, really, to think what these graduates have accomplished over the past years and how many people have been a part of their journey. And their journey is only beginning, there are places and people and challenges and joys that God has uniquely prepared for them. What fun it has been to celebrate with them!

As this school year comes to a close, summer begins. Kaleb has been enjoying his internship with the studio and is almost done with school for the year. His bike track continues to grow as does the number of neighborhood kids involved. He is also growing as he closes in on 6 feet tall.

Kevin is home for summer and working construction with a  local company. He also has opportunity to run a badminton camp for Parks and Recreation, which he is looking forward to. Training continues to be a major investment as he makes plans to compete at the international level. Writing is his other pursuit.

Garry has had some super busy weeks lately. Currently he is busy with paperwork for some software, preparing for his visa interview, travel plans, and meetings. There are so many things going on, but I find once again that so many of "our stories" are not really ours to tell-- they belong to other people with whom we live them and we do not have the right to share them. Yet we are both blessed and challenged by them, privileged to be a part of so many amazing stories. May your story be amazing today!

Monday, April 11, 2016


It's Sunday afternoon, a quiet break in the busyness. A gift, really. So much of life is filled with things we love, and some with things we don't like so much. But a moment of quiet is a rare treat. And I love that I have this time to sit and reflect a little on the week just passed and the one that's coming.

Last week Garry spent a few hours in meetings and a many in his office. He also helped in the maintenance lab a bit. After work one day he was able to go flying with a friend and that is also opening some doors in various ways. Things are moving and changing and happening. Not always quickly, but in God's time. Last week a new family joined Moody staff for an interim position, and we are thankful for the help this will be.

Last week was Spring Break for Kaleb and we enjoyed doing some biking together. He also took a friend to a nearby biking track and they spent many hours on their track close to home. He is also busy scripting for his next animation and getting shots for his biking video.

I had a pretty normal week, apart from going to a short staff Moody women's retreat. We prayed and planned as we asked God for direction for how to be a team that can effectively minister to students and their wives. We are excited about what God is going to do.

And at the end of the week is is good to pause, to take a Sabbath, and to worship and celebrate all God has done and what He is doing. The rhythm of work and rest began just 6 days after creation, and yet it still has a powerful impact. It changes our focus and changes us. It gives God opportunity to speak in a different way. It gives our bodies time to repair and ready for a new week.

A new week, a new opportunity. Chances to grow and trust and be challenges. Opportunities to invest and care and respond. This coming week my parents are arriving for a visit, and we are super excited about what that time will hold. It's also back to school. And Garry has the normal routines of work as well as some unique things coming up this week.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

April already?!

April has begun without my permission. I was going through the motions of March, waiting for Spring, engaged in the daily tasks of living. And suddenly, we are nearly a week into April. Plus, Spring Break is nearly half over, which may be as disappointing to me as a homeschool mom as it is to my son. It has also just come to my attention that we have been in Spokane nearly a year and a half. Time moves on.

These daily tasks of living are important, in the long run they are the things that create traction in our relationships and endeavors. The daily doings of life are the things that grow into the fruit of our lives. And for the most part, I am thankful for the daily doings that God has led us to.

Garry is at the hangars at Moody Aviation every day, and is growing relationships with both students and staff. The small investments he's made over time are maturing into deeper opportunities to share truth, to get involved, to do life together and grow in relationship with God together.

Garry has also been investing in Aviation Safety issues, and over the past weeks we've seen some traction building in that arena also. Reporting is happening, students have shared how the safety seminar we hosted has changed the way they do things, and staff is resolving safety-related things that have been brought up.

Kaleb has made friends in the neighborhood, and we see things happening with those relationships. Last week after youth there was some discussion about the message in the car on the way home. This is huge when we're talking young teenage guys and the real things of life. In many ways, what is happening in his life is reflected in the property beside us. It's empty space, and soon after we arrived, Kaleb built a small jump there. One jumped turned into two, and now there is a pretty sizable track on the property and several guys who are very invested in it.

Every day, doing our best to simply trust and obey. It is paying off in various ways that we can see and maybe some we can't. And most of all, it pays off in the relationship we grow with God who loves and leads us.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Celebrating Easter

Easter weekend is a celebration of the fulfillment of an Old Testament Jewish feast. Traditional passover was actually an 8-day celebration that begins with commemorating the 10th plague and ends with a celebration of God opening the Red Sea for the Israelites to pass through. Easter commemorates the beginning of passover, which was fulfilled in Christ's death and resurrection.

What struck me this morning is that God ordained feasts for celebration and remembrance. Celebration. I often lose sight of this fact in either trying to accomplish things or trying to prepare for the celebration. The whole point of a celebration is... a celebration. Joy and thankfulness and exuberance. And God loves it when we remember Him and what He has done. Sometimes it is simply a choice of thankfulness, and other times there is much emotion as we remember what He has done. Either way, this weekend is a chance to celebrate God's faithfulness and His love!

And celebrations require effort and expense. They require planning and gathering. They usually involve inviting and preparing. We often celebrate with gifts and special food. We save special things for celebrations and put effort into making things for the person we are trying to honor. Each of these things is (or should be) done out of love for the one we are celebrating, a joyful sacrifice to honor another.

And these thoughts have brought me back to Easter and the ways I will choose to choose to celebrate this weekend. I want to do things that help me remember what we are celebrating. I want to remember with those closest to me. I want to make a party and enjoy it, whatever that looks like for us right now!

Our church is having a big party this weekend that includes carnival games for the younger kids. Kaleb is planning to help with one of the booths. A few of his friends are coming. And the way he invests with them is one of the things God has done.

Garry has been busy with safety projects, and in the process God has given him some great opportunities to invest with people. Relationships are growing and opportunities to see people come to new freedom are emerging. It's one of the things God has done.

Kevin is busy studying this weekend, processing life and preparing for the next steps. He is investing and learning, taking in and giving out to those around him.  His time at Redeemer has been a great thing God has done.

Saturday, March 19, 2016


This morning I am overwhelmed with blessings... this time several large tangible things. It's not that the material things are the most important, but they are important. And bigger than the things are the people and love behind a few incredible gifts we've received.

Someone gave us an upright mini grand piano! Wow, God. It is incredible! I love playing the piano, but I haven't often had the opportunity to do so. When I graduated from high school I spent a large portion of my education money on a very nice keyboard with weighted keys, the closest I could get to a piano. The piano was my sanity in high school, and I thought it would always be. Then we moved and the piano stayed. I didn't think I would ever get back to that stage, that blessing. Then God... a series of unexpected events landed a beautiful instrument in our house this week! 

The other thing is a front-loading washer & dryer set. When we moved to Spokane someone amazingly gave us an apartment-sized washer and dryer. We loved them! With a teenager and sports, we were looking for something larger. I had my heart set on a front loading set until I actually compared prices and realized it was going to be a traditional set in the end. But we haven't been able to do it yet. Then we got wind of a used front-loading set for sale. Another series of unexpected events, and the set was given to us this week... and it is perfect for us and of commercial quality. Plus, we get to pass on ours to a young couple who really need them, a couple who is heading toward mission aviation. Wow, God!

These things have reminded me the opportunity we have to invest in what God is doing not only through our time and talents, but also with our material blessings. And that puts a smile on my face, not only for us as we seek to invest but also for the many of you who have invested your resources in our lives. 

Last week we sent out a letter about how the Word is getting out and the milestones some of our friends are reaching, milestones in reaching unreached people... if you haven't seen it and would like to, check it out HERE.

And enjoy your week while you "send it on ahead"!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Normal life

This week we've been catching up on things that got left undone in the busyness of the trip and the safety seminar when we got back.  We've also had a bit of company, which is always good. Some of our very cool company was a family from the Philippines who are in transition: sometimes I think we are simply too familiar with transition. Regardless, it was good to catch up with them and share an evening and memories and truth. 
Garry has had a lot of opportunity this week to think about the next steps for the Safety Department and what mission aviation really needs in terms of safety. Things are getting more clear, and Garry is doing his best to focus his efforts where they are most likely to move the process forward. There are a lot of things involved in a safety management system, and it is neat to see various threads being combined into larger strands. 

Kaleb and some of his friends are busy building a pump track. They're working hard moving dirt and enjoying just hanging out together. It will be even more fun when Kaleb gets his bike back, which should hopefully happen this week. When he's not riding he's taking drivers ed classes (a long process in Washington), making a video edit, or doing school.                                                                      
I have had some good times with ladies in the past few weeks, and started a Bible study this week. I am excited about what God has in mind for this time together and this study. I am also getting more involved in a few things that Garry is working on, and that is very rewarding. And apart from these opportunities, I am looking forward to a little quiet to invest in writing and reflection.

I hope your week has been as amazing as ours has been. I hope you have noticed the sacred along the way and felt the unending grace that surrounds each of us.

Friday, March 04, 2016

The week & the trip

This week has been good: Garry has been busy with a safety seminar here at Moody Aviation, picking people up from the airport, meeting with presenters, and taking care of the normal things of life. We are excited about the ways Aviation Safety can help and encourage people, whether it is students, local operators, or the larger mission aviation community. This week has been full of "God-conversations" for Garry as he has interacted with a lot of people.

Kaleb and I have been busy getting back into a school routine and catching up with things at home that got behind while we were gone. We've also been trying to figure out about Kaleb's bicycle, since his second bike frame broke just before we left for the funeral. And a little company, reaching out to neighbors, and normal routines have filled our days quite nicely.

I promised a little more update on our trip, and thought I'd do some of that now. One of the blessings of a funeral is the opportunity to be together as a family, strange as that may seem. For my family who is spread across the USA and in Venezuela, these times are rare. Yet, for the second time in less than a year, we were almost all together (last time Garry and Kevin were missing, and this time my nephew Justin couldn't come). My family has spent most of the last 25 years separated as some of us have mostly raised our families and others are just beginning, and yet there is a deep connection. I'm amazed how similarly we have raised our kids, given our different lifestyles. I'm humbled by the way the next generation is rising up to love God in new ways. I'm blessed to be part of this family.

Another blessing of the trip was MANY hours of the road. We actually love driving, love the opportunity to talk and simply focus on being together while the miles roll by. We enjoyed some great messages, good music, and amazing conversations. We also found a Tim Horton's on our trip, and pulled over for a taste of home. We were reminded again and again that God is here and He is up to something. And beyond that, we get to a part of it! And you are a part of it to!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Living and Dying

Nearly 3 weeks ago, my grandma passed into eternity. It was a peaceful passing, a gift to her as well as to us as her family. Somewhat miraculously, my parents were able to make it Pennsylvania the following day. Over the next few days her grandkids and most of the great grandkids trickled in to celebrate her life and to be together after her passing.

My gram had down-sized til her worldly goods consisted of a chair and a few bags of belongings. The process had not always been easy, but it made her passing easier for us as her family. Her struggles wondered all of us, and yet in the end, I was pleasantly surprised to notice her legacy. In the midst of her pain and wondering and struggle, she had somehow raised a woman who became an effective missionary and three grandkids who love God deeply. She wanted more children, but she was given only one who survived infancy. She ached for all she had missed, and yet she somehow left behind a room full of people who have been able to enjoy so many things she could not.

In the end, it was grace. For all of us, it boils down to grace and always will. Our choices matter, our hearts are important, and yet God wants to do so much more than we can imagine. And I think if we look around, we will notice that He is already doing it. The buds of miracles are there, the beginnings of new growth and legacy are appearing. And maybe that realization is a gem that my grandmother's struggle gave to me.

There was a lot of laughter during the family viewing, a lot of joy in being together. It seemed a little strange, and yet fitting, that in the face of death we should celebrate life because dying really is a part of living. And my gram is more alive now that she has ever been.

I have a lot more to say about our time in Pennsylvania and our drive across the country, but I think I'll close for now.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Living with Abandon as a Norm

Last week we got a letter from friends in the Philippines who were planning to share the Gospel for the first time in the small village where they serve. This week we got a letter from Venezuela about how many people it takes to reach a group of people, about how believers from one group are helping in Bible translation and sharing their testimony in national churches. This Sunday in church we were encouraged to bring neighbors and friends to church, to start conversations about God and the Gospel. Yesterday we attended a prayer meeting with Moody students, faculty, and staff.

These things reminded me how different it is to serve in your own culture-- how relatively simple it is to share the Gospel with native English speakers in America that live across the street: and yet that can still be challenging!

How much investment does it take to reach a monolingual group of people in a remote area? How amazing is it really that my boys grew up surrounded by people who were willing to move to foreign countries to share the Gospel with people they'd never met, living in often uncomfortable places and doing things they'd never even dreamed of doing. And yet, within that context, it seemed the most normal thing in the world.

Which challenged me to do my best every day to make total surrender to God seem like the most normal thing in the world, to live consistently with the kind of abandon that makes it seem normal. To make the choices in each environment to live in obedience to the Father who is desperately seeking to save the lost, to redeem the world.

I think these choices to do become normal as we repeat them day after day. Obedience changes us and the Spirit enables us. And we stand in awe of what God is doing. We had those moments this week, hearing testimony of what God has done, meeting a young man from Venezuela who is pursing his pilot & mechanic license, chatting with friends, attending a prayer meeting where God was so evident, and reaching out to neighbors.

Sometimes I think our lives are so ordinary I have no clue what to say, then I realize that our lives are ALWAYS ordinary, but God is NEVER ordinary. He goes beyond our wildest dreams and amazes us. It is our privilege to know Him as Father, King, and Lord. And His story is ALWAYS worth telling.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A week

A week is a really short amount of time. An amount of time that seems to shrink with each passing year. Remember grade school when a week was an "eternity" and weekends lasted "forever"? Funny how our perceptions change as life fills up with responsibilities and activities, when what was once new becomes mundane, and when we rush through life? Over the past couple of years I've been trying to be more intentional with time and focus, seeking to live in the moment God has given me and not borrow tomorrow's trouble or joy. I haven't always been successful, and I'm not sure it's a lesson I've really learned yet. But this weekend has brought me back to that.

Maybe it was downhill skiing for the second time or an online writing workshop I joined or the school plans I've been working on. Whatever the reason, I have a new sense of moments this weekend. I want to savor them and invest them.  I want to do what only I can do and leave the rest for others that can do it better. I want to love God above all else and serve those around me well. I want to live and love and laugh.

And quite honestly, we've already been doing that often. Garry has had some great opportunities this week as he's worked as a lab assistant, helping students work through questions that come up on starter and alternator projects. Kaleb is learning to drive, and that is a super fun process. I have had some great interactions with ladies lately. Each of these are small things, but added together they are the relationships we're building, the community we're investing in, the road to where we will be. And along the way, there are plenty of beautiful sunsets and flowers to smell.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Update on us and ours...

Christmas break was amazing, and now life is settling into a more normal routine again. A lot has happened with us over the past weeks, so here's a quick update:

Garry is busy at work, making a few small changes while still moving ahead on the Safety Management system he is working on. Students will be back to class next week, but these first couple of weeks have been a great time to catch up with staff, get organized for a new semester, and catch up on office stuff that has piled up over the Christmas break. We are also working on paperwork to allow us to stay here, which has been time-consuming but which we pray will simplify things in time.

I am settling back into normal routine, trying to get organized after a busy Christmas break, catching up on some cleaning and laundry. It's good to be back to school with Kaleb, moving ahead on new material and starting some new studies as we begin the second semester. I've met a couple of ladies recently and continue to invest in a few relationships. I am so thankful for the women God has put in my life in this season!

Kevin started school at Redeemer College University in Ancaster, ON two weeks ago. It's been a whirlwind start as he has learned the ropes of a new place, started classes, and joined the badminton team. He is loving his classes, making friends, and training hard. God is good, always. In this venture, we can already see so many good things for him, though we miss having him around here in Spokane. This weekend he played his first university badminton tournament, which was a good experience. 

Kaleb continues to study hard during his school hours and fills his days with bike riding, friends, and animation. He has recently visited a local studio and is looking forward to spending some time with their crew on a shoot and learning more of the industry. The other day he spent the afternoon learning about editing, a great opportunity to see a new level of professionalism in film. He has been inviting some of his neighborhood friends to church, and one of the guys mentioned on the way that the only other time he'd been to church was at a funeral: what an opportunity! He also had a chance to try snowboarding for the first time over Christmas break, and loves this new-to-him sport. We are so thankful for a group that organizes homeschool ski days that allow him to afford snowboarding!

As we walk ahead in this new year, we're excited about what God is doing here and all over the world. He is writing an epic story in which He offers each of us a part, a part that demands faith and growth and hard work. A part that He uniquely suits us for, and which demands that we daily trust Him for the grace and strength to move ahead.