Friday, October 10, 2014

Life on the Move

It is truly a privilege to share with you all the different ways that God has worked on our behalf these past few months. We’ve been on the road since June 26, and have spent the night in 34 different places since then. This comes with its blessings and challenges! We highlighted the first part of our survey trip to the Bolivia highlands in our last update, so we’ll continue from there.

HIGHLANDS TRIP, pt.2

Staying in La Paz with a Bolivian mission-minded engineer, we made several day trips to semi-remote airstrips. At one airstrip, we held an impromptu dedication service. The mayor, several other village officials, and many townspeople showed up to celebrate!


Puchuni Airstrip, not used (for planes ;) in over 30 years,
but recently cleaned for us!
Another airstrip at some long-named place!
Group of townspeople prior to the dedication of this airstrip.
US ADVENTURES



Our State-side adventures began in northern New England. We always enjoy seeing family, hiking mountains, mowing the fields at the family “camp,” kayaking, and picking wild blueberries!
The Knott kids
Next, we spent about 10 days in Michigan doing the final preparation for and attending GMI’s first ever aviation conference. It was nice to spend time with the families who are working in the same direction all over the world.

AMA Missionary Families
A week of handing out literature and promoting missions was next on our agenda. The Apison, TN club was very kind to host our missionaries during the world-wide Pathfinder Camporee in OshKosh, WI.

The day after the camporee ended, we flew a small mission plane out to Idaho, where another family will soon take it to Alaska. A wonderful retired couple in Nampa, ID took us in as their “kids” for the next month. Why a month in Idaho, you ask? Well, someone approached us last year about sponsoring DJ to take a safety/flight operations class offered by one of the larger mission aviation organizations (MAF), and the time finally arrived! DJ learned how to safely land on sloped runways, fly in the mountains, and land accurately on short airstrips. Flying in and out of airstrips in other countries often requires greater skill and accuracy and demands more safety-conscious decision making, so this class was an excellent way to help develop those. Since we were so blessed to be sponsored for this class, we are praying and looking for the sponsorship cost to send another mission pilot there. If you’re interested in joining us in this project, please let us know.

Allison Ranch, ID

After the month in Idaho, we travelled a lot more around the NW US, visiting friends and family, and delivering the mission plane to Ceour d’Alene, ID. We were also blessed to spend the weekend with a missionary family who is planning to join us in Bolivia next spring!
Camping trip to Stehekin, WA
Hiking the South Sister, Bend OR
Sisters at Lake Chelan, WA
GRATEFULNESS

In all our travels, we’ve been so blessed by the hospitality of others. For example, on our highlands survey trip, we stopped for lunch at a vegetarian restaurant on a Friday and by the time we finished our meal, we had an invitation to stay for the weekend with the owners. They gave us their daughter’s bedroom and she slept in their room! In La Paz, we stayed for a week with an engineer who gave us his daughter’s bedroom because she was gone for the vacation. We hadn’t met either of these people before!

Church potluck near Tiquina with about 6 church groups
meeting together for the communion service.
Back in the States, we had so many people offer us their extra bedroom, some even their own bed! Mike and Francoise, the couple we stayed with in Idaho, let us use their whole downstairs and fed us all the food we could eat! Each time we went somewhere, we were always well fed and taken care of. So much traveling gives us a slightly homeless feeling, but we are so grateful for the many ways God has provided and for the generosity that we’ve been blessed by these past three months!

Potatoes, chuno, choclo (field corn), and a small salad
In conclusion, I want to highlight part of a conversation we had with a family we sat with at church potluck. As our new acquaintances were about to leave, the wife said that she would like to commit to pray for us. This, more than anything else, is the most encouraging thing to me. I know how much dedication it takes to commit to pray for someone in our busy lives, but as James 5:16 says, “…the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Thank you each one who is praying for us and our ministry! Your prayers make a difference every day! We will try to keep a running prayer list at the end of each update.

NEXT UP

What’s our plan from here? Keep posted for our next update!

PRAYER – Please pray for…
- A suitable location to base operations in the Bolivia highlands.
- Obtaining permission to fly into non-towered runways to continue the aviation medical work in Bolivia.
- The many ‘seeds’ we planted in the last few months, that they will produce missionary fruit all around the world.
- Each of us to become more like Christ so that we may better represent His character.

MAF Training, Nampa ID

Here are just a few photos from DJ's last few days in class :). He took a week of ground school (classroom training) which was excellent, followed by two and a half weeks of flight lessons. First, DJ and his instructor worked the airstrips close by learning the skills needed to be safe in the backcountry. I was really excited to be able to sit in the back seat for the last three days DJ flew with the instructor...thus the photos :)

"Mustang"
We counted about a dozen wild horses out here!
Mustang
Taking off downhill at Mustang
Landing uphill at Mustang
Mustang, again
Ouwahee Bend; Sunday Trip
Ouwahee Bend from the air
Taking off at Ouwahee Bend
Practicing techniques with Paul Jones, MAG Nicaragua,
a classmate of DJ's
Deadwood
Runway Evaluation
Taking off at Deadwood
Taking off at Deadwood
Atlanta
Atlanta
Briefing airstrip emergency and abort options
Early morning at Wilson Bar
Turn out or approach down the river
Wilson Bar
Taking off at Wilson Bar
Whitewater
Approach at Whitewater, looks high eh?
Looks are deceiving with sloped runways!
Whitewater
Allison Ranch
Allison Ranch
Taking off at Allison Ranch
Yellow Jacket Ranch
YJR
Taking off at YJR
And that concludes my back seat adventures in the Idaho backcountry! Thanks for tuning in :)