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Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Note from Andrew

First of all, thanks for your kind comments and prayers over the past week.  Our family has really been encouraged by that!  For the first time in nearly three weeks, we're all feeling mostly back to normal--a feeling we won't take for granted!  We really need and depend on your prayers, so thanks!  Incidentally, regarding comments, it's come to my attention that sometimes comments that are posted on my blog do not actually show up there.  It's like they vanish.  If you have written a comment and later you see that it's not there, please take a moment to try again.  I apologize for that inconvenience, but it's not something I seem to have control over.  I really appreciate your feedback and value your comments.  Thanks!


This week I received a short e-mail from a guy named Andrew.  I've never met Andrew, and before he e-mailed me I didn't even know who he was.  But I was both challenged and encouraged by what he said, and I thought you might be as well.  With his permission I'm copying his e-mail down below (I've added the pictures to the blog, just cause every post needs some pictures.)  Please take a moment to read it.


We have never met before, but I have been following your blog for several months now and your stories are very inspiring.  My name is Andrew and I live just outside of Memphis, TN with my wife, Jennifer, of 6 years and two children, Hannah, 3 and Caitlyn, 1.  God has been doing a great work in our lives over the past year or so and we have felt the call to overseas missions with MAF.  I have been flying for the airlines for the past 3 and a half years and felt the Lord wanted to use my skills for missions.  Reading your blog has been very inspiring and excited us for what the Lord will have for us as we begin this journey.  

I am scheduled to quit my job at the airline in about 3 weeks to go back to school full time for my maintenance training for 18 months.  I have no background whatsoever when it comes to mx, so this will definitely be a challenge, but one that I look forward to.  My wife and I took a trip out to Nampa back in May to see the campus and meet with several people to put a face with MAF and find out all the information we could.  I have been in contact with Brian, an MAF recruiter for the past year and he has definitely provided much encouragement through the process.  We are just now beginning to see the faith and vision that comes with missions.  Quitting my job with the airlines, a job that I worked very hard to get, goes against everything that I thought I wanted several years ago.  I imagined moving up the ladder of success, gaining seniority, and living off an easy six figure income.  Well, God had other plans apparently!  We are in the process of raising support through a non-profit organization we were able to get plugged into, so we are already experiencing the joys, struggle, and process of raising support since all of our income with disappear in a couple of weeks.  

Reading Scripture definitely helps keep us grounded, but reading your blog about all your experiences over in Kalimantan also gives us much to be excited about.  We still have a long journey ahead of us before we even step on the plane to leave the U.S., but we know that in His timing we will be where He wants us.  I will be praying for you and your family as you serve over there.  God bless and thanks for all the good stories and encouragement you have provided for me!


"He is no fool, who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" - Jim Elliot

Isn't that encouraging?  I get so stoked whenever I hear or see someone who is taking a leap of faith to follow the Lord's leading!  For many--most in fact--that probably does not mean going overseas.  However, I'm afraid many of us are often guilty of being too scared and insecure to even get a little bit out of our comfort zone right in our own communities, churches, or places of employment.  Many times Joy and I have had folks mention to us how they wished they could be doing what we're doing, but... and you can fill in the blank with a ton of reasons.    Well, how about looking at this temporal life through some lenses with an eternal perspective.    

This life on earth is short!  One day, when I look back on what I did here, I would like nothing better than to know that I lived life to the fullest, with no regrets, ALL for His glory!  Right now, that means we're serving Christ in a remote part of Indonesia.  Life here is not always easy.  In fact, there are many things that are quite difficult about living and serving here.  However, when folks comment about our having made "a sacrifice" to be here, or implying that it takes some sort of extra spiritual grit or determination to pack up and move overseas, it's sometimes hard to keep from responding sharply, "You have it all wrong!  We're not making a sacrifice, we're blessed!  Where you are is not important.  What you're doing (as far as a skill or "job") is not important.  It's Who you're doing it for that is important.  It's why you're doing it.  We are right where God wants us to be in this season of our life, and we wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Andrew and his family are taking a leap of faith that many of us will look at and admire with a sense of awe.  "Wow!  They must be really spiritual--quitting a high-paying job, walking away from a career for what?  I could never do that!  But maybe I'll pray for them."  In a few years, I dare you to check back in with Andrew and Jennifer and see if they have any regrets.  The road they face will be long, challenging, and full of many faith-stretching speed bumps.  But if they're journey is anything like ours, and many others I know from small towns in America to remote corners of the globe, the truth is I think they are about to embark on the best journey of their that they will never regret!

Perhaps you've felt that tug or prompting from Christ to step out of your own comfort zone a little more at work, school, in your community or church?  Perhaps you've even ignored a persistent feeling of being drawn into overseas missions, or praying more fervently for the missionaries who's faces are stuck on your fridge, or giving more generously to your church, or helping out in a local ministry in your town or city?  Why not make this the day or week that you get started on that new journey.  Go ahead and chuck that sense of insecurity in the gutter and take a leap of faith!  I promise you won't regret it!


Sean Cannon said...

This is a good reminder for even me Dave! Thanks for taking the time to post this. Going through language school twice, on purpose, has made us question our sanity...although not our calling. What a privilege to live the life we do and not have any regrets when we are called skyward...lets go out "with our boots on"...for His Glory!

hondacubber said...

Great to hear God is still calling people to serve with MAF! Philip Tsai's book, The Eagle That Lost Its Feathers: Aviation Mission in the Jungle, is another great testimony of someone being called to serve with MAF. Philip served in East Kalimantan and was the program manager before they went to serve in China. The book is translated from Chinese to English and it would be best in Chinese. I believe there must be a copy in the office in Tarakan. I lent my copy out and it has not returned yet.


I just stumbled across your website. May God bless your ministry for Him.

Unknown said...


Thanks for the last post...I found it encouraging. My wife Amy and I are currently in the fund raising / pre-field stage with MAF (we're Canadians - I'm an aircraft mechanic), and we found out not too long ago that we'll be heading to Indonesia thru MAF US.
I must say I identify with what Andrew posted and what you wrote about God's calling on people's lives. It does not make any difference if God calls one overseas to be a pilot / mechanic, or to stay 'home' and work a 9 to 5 & serve in the local church...The imortant thing is to be obedient to God's calling on your life, to put Him above all else. We all serve the same King, will all be judged by the same Judge, and we will all bow & praise the same God in a new heaven and new cool is that? Now I'm way off topic.
I just wanted to let you know I appreciate your blog, it is quite valuable to those of us who are headed in the same general direction. I've 'stolen' a few of your pic's off your blog for the purpose of use in our MAF support raising presentations - I hope you don't mind. I promise not to sell them on ebay or anything.
May God continue to watch over and bless your family in Indonesia.

-Ben Eadie

Janet said...

Is it possible to get Andrew's contact information?

Dave said...

Janet, if you click on the name, "Andrew", in the second sentence of the letter that I copied from him, (his name should be written in a different color, indicating a link if you click it,) that will take you to his personal blog. From there you should be able to leave a comment or get in touch directly.

Anonymous said...

I admire those women's ability to accessorize they're modesty head coverings!

Me in the Tropics said...

Love that last shot of the little guy--he is sooo adorable!

Shannon Hazleton said...

I know this is an old post, but I'm just now stumbling upon it... My husband and I served in SE Asia for a few years, and then traveled to several countries doing missions... and we still would love to be overseas. We have so many people tell us, "I just couldn't do what you do." And I always want to say (and sometimes DO say), "yes, you could. There's nothing special about us." It never sits well with me when people think we have some kind of special ability that most people don't have - it's simply not true. We're just as broken and sinful as everyone else.

What's been difficult for us is being BACK in the States for several years now, and having a 'secular' job for the first time in our lives. So thank you for reminding us that it doesn't matter where we are, or what 'job' we have (currently MINE is taking care of our 3 little ones) - it's WHO we're doing it for that counts.

I find your blog and Joy's blog so encouraging. Thanks so much for sharing... and posting so many pictures.
Shannon in SE Texas