Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21
Dear Ministry Partners,
Fall has finally arrived to North Carolina! Mid-August through Mid-October has been very dry, but that also made for lots of good flight training days.
We continue working the Woockman and Maust apprentice families to prepare them for their fields of service. The Mausts did an internship with Artic Barnabas in Alaska this summer and discerned that is where God would have them apply. They have been accepted and plan to move north in summer of 2020. You may remember they were also interested in a ministry that serves central Africa. While both locations start with the letter “A” they are obviously quite different. As they got to know both ministries they felt like the Alaskan one was the best fit for their whole family. Jason also has a counseling degree that will come in handy as they serve remote pastors and missionaries living in remote corners of Alaska. Among other events, the Artic Barnabas ministry hosts an annual retreat where those serving in such remote places can be refreshed and meet for fellowship. Anita is a certified cosmetologist which is a great blessing to these families. This retreat is where they are spiritually filled and receive their annual dental work and some pampering.
Even with fewer apprentices at the moment, Sean’s flight instructing schedule is still quite full. In leading the training department his role is both for MAG staff and apprentices. This year, a huge task we are working on is preparing MAG staff pilots and their families for deployment to Honduras. We are launching a four family team to our new base in Guimaca and as a couple we are heavily invested in getting this crew ready in every way for the ministry that God has for them in Honduras. Getting a whole team ready like this is new for MAG so we continue to innovate as we go. Carmen’s focus is on the emotional, spiritual, inter-personal preparations and Sean’s focus is on pilot standardization and making sure each pilot is on track flight wise.
One of the families that will be serving with MAG in Honduras is the Hochenburger Family from Austria. Carmen has been working with them in a mobilization capacity for sometime. We were so excited to finally meet them in person as we welcomed them to the Burlington area at the end of August. While they are with us in Burlington this year Christoph will be doing the last 100 hours of the apprentice curriculum so he will be ready for MAG pilot standardization and also gaining maintenance experience as he did not receive his maintenance training with MMS as the apprentices do. They are a very sweet family with 4 young children and we have learned a lot for them already about what church life is like in Austria. I think living in the U.S. Bible Belt is a culture shock to them!
We have both taken trips down to JAARS (In Waxhaw NC) this fall. JAARS is the transportation and technology solutions side of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Sean went in September for a day of their ATC (Aviation Technical Conference) and to meet with some pilots on our apprentice advisory team. Carmen went in October to be a part of their Learning that Lasts training. This is the model of adult learning that JARRS uses for its Learning and Development. Carmen met some amazing folks and received some new tools for the learning we do at MAG.
While not glamorous, this fall has also had plenty of administrative work. For instance, Sean has been working on the AOM (Aviation Operations Manual) for MAG. This is needed to have the MAG way of flying organized on paper so MAG pilots can be consistently taught to apply the same standards. There has also been a learning curve to convert Christoph’s European Pilot Certificates to U.S. ones which is needed as he will be flying U.S. registered aircraft in Honduras.
In September, a maintenance team from MAG supported Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. Agape Flights in Florida does regular ministry flights to the Bahamas. With the substantial increase in flights (from 1-2 a week to 1-2 per day) they desperately needed maintenance help to make these critical flights possible. As you can see from the pictures, lots of supplies were donated and needed to be delivered into reliable hands. Agape Flights worked within established relationships to meet this urgent need. We sent a team of 3 mechanics down for 2 weeks to help.
Carmen’s job title is now Mobilization and Pastoral Care Manager. This includes many of the tasks she had already been doing but includes the greater breadth of her work in her title. Even still, missions ultimately comes down to the 2 great commandments Jesus distilled for us: love God and love people (Matt. 22:37-39). Carmen enjoys shepherding people though their initial inquiry with MAG, the discernment process and then preparation for field service. It is exciting to see some of the families Carmen been working with start their cross cultural work and others getting so close to launching. For instance, the Hoblit family began language school in Honduras in October. Carmen video chats with them twice a month to stay connected while they adjust to their new surroundings and life.
We are glad to make these investments in God’s kingdom workers. Thank you for your prayers and financial gifts so we can help get these workers into the harvest!
In Christ’s Love,