Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The end of a long silence

It had been a busy busy 2 months. Nick has been off on many adventures, which started off with taking him from Alberta to Wichita, Ks where did he one week of flight safety training for the Cessna Caravan that we have in Kinshasa. Over the past 2 years he has been checked out to fly the 206 (6seats) and the 182 (4seats) but now he is all checked out to fly the Caravan which has 9 seats. He did this in part because the Kinshasa program has fundraised for and purchased a PC-12 which has the same amount of seats as the Caravan but is pressurized so it can go farther quicker letting us cover more of the the great expanse of Congo in a shorter time (which means less overnight trips, which makes us wives very happy :-)) So he is now checked out on the Caravan which gives some of our other pilots time and ability to fly the new PC-12. 

After that he flew down to Idaho, to MAF-US headquarters where we were for leadership training and there participated in Chief Pilot, Chief of Matienence and instructor pilot seminars. Because he will be becoming the Program Manager of our program in Kinshasa he has to be know what is required in different positions that he will be in charge of... And doing some things around the house like build a chicken coop.

Game night with my cousins!
During this time Ruth and I were at my parents house, having some quality time with grandma and grandpa and I started a course, statistics to be exact. Which I soon realized that it would be quite the feat to do the course, be pregnant and take care of Ruth. However I did just finish the class last week and ended up with an 'A'which was very exciting. 

So after Nicks time in Idaho and my time in Grande Prairie, Ruth my Dad and I drove to Edmonton to my sisters house and Nick came back to Alberta for a week to spend a little bit of time with Ruth and I. Then Nick headed back to Congo. He has been quite busy there, spending time with the current program manger, talking and learning about what his role will look like. He then headed to Turkey for the annual managers conference, which was a week full of meetings, meetings and more meetings. Hopefully I will get him to be able to write about the experience to you soon. He found it all very beneficial and was able to learn a lot and meet some really cool MAF people from all over the place.

Just today he headed back to Congo where our Family conference has kicked off, so he will jump right into that being able to encourage our families there before he heads back to be with us in just 10 days!! 

I am 37 weeks today so we are hoping that this little guy will stay put until Papa gets here in just a week and a half. We are so looking forward to being reunited as a family and be able to have some good debrief time from our weeks apart. 
Ruth and I hanging out! 
Thanks so much to everyone in Canada and Africa that have loved on us and encouraged us we love and appreciate you. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What do I miss? Pt 2

Now that I am in North America, back to the land of plenty I find myself like I thought I would when I wrote my first 'What do I miss' post missing things about our lives in Congo. Again not to say that I am not enjoying our time back in North America but over the last 2 years before we left we really did make Congo 'home'.

So here they are:

I miss not living out of a suitcase.
I miss people understanding me when I talk about Fufu and the Roulage.
I miss fresh mangos, pineapples and avocados.
I miss the Rains down in Africa :-)
I miss our MAF team, they are really such a fantastic bunch of people that have a heart to see God glorified!
I miss our house.
I miss being able to go out side without putting 80 layers on.
I miss speaking French.
I miss our Congolese staff and friends that we have come to know and love. It is them who will truly change their country, they are a resilient and God fearing people. 
I miss quiet. North America is such a busy place it is easy to get caught up in just being busy and not having time just to be quiet. Kinshasa is not 'easy' but there are many times when you just get stuck... in a traffic jam, at home cause your cars broken or just that its too much effort to go out; so it forces you to take the quiet time. Where as in North America its easy to go out, run to the store, go out for dinner, drive to jasper etc; so that quiet time had to be scheduled along with everything else. 

I love the ease of driving around and just being about the 'run' to the store only takes 30 min, not 3 hrs.
I love my friends and family. This is only Nicks second time in Grande Prairie so it has been nice to introduce him to some important people I grew up with and impacted my life.
I love power and water, ALL the time. 
Ruth loves putting on all sorts of cute winter outfits.
I love nice people, where your are innocent before you are guilty instead of the other way around. (AKA if you bump into someone they say sorry like it was their fault no matter who's fault it is... well most ppl do) 
I love being able to take Ruth to indoor play places and have her interact with other kids. 
I love the snow and crisp cool air (though Nick would disagree with me :-P) 
I love having been able to spend everyday all day with my husband for a couple months... (Though now I miss him like crazy) 
I love all the time Ruth gets to spend with her Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and many others. 

This is a life that I never expected that I would be able to live. A life without doubt full of adventure. There are many difficulties of living the Missionary Expat life; there are lots of books written about how to adjust well both into the culture you invite yourself into and then back into the culture you grew up in. They both change you and thus you are not fully integrated into either; however instead of becoming a 'third culture kid (adult)' I hope that we can become bicultural. Were we as a family can be fully comfortable in both cultures realizing that there will always be people that don't understand us and what we have experienced and also those we do not understand. We must take the initiative and rise above, ever learning, ever thinking of others; realizing that we are never better then anyone else. No matter they be Canadian, American, or Congolese. 

This is a tiny little planet with a eternity of things to learn and appreciate and I hope I love and miss them all. 


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ontario to Alberta

We have officially arrived in Alberta! We had a great rest of our time in Ontario. We visited many friends we hadn't seen in a long time, and though we tried very hard we were unable to see everyone that we wanted to. We will be back in Ontario after lil frey #2 is born and hope to see everyone again then. 

Emily Beatty Photography
We even got a chance to speak at Hawkesville Mennonite Church (Nicks home church) and met the new pastor. We are so encouraged and blessed by everyone who loves and supports us there.

We were also VERY excited to be able to be around for our Niece Emery, first birthday!! 

It is hard sometimes living in Africa because we don't get to be a part of milestone times in our loved ones lives and they don't get to be there for ours. Yes we get to Skype and see pictures but it is different then being there in person. It is a difficult thing for both us in Congo and though in North America.

Emily Beatty Photography

So we are so excited and extra thankful every time we are able to be a part of events like Emerys first birthday. Ruth also really enjoyed all of the time we got to spend with Charity and Emery. Every morning we would come down stairs for breakfast and she would yell 'EMERY!'. It was really so much fun to see them play together and get to know each other. 

We are now in Grande Prairie (Jocelyn's home town). This is only Nicks second time here and there are many people that he had never met. He got the opportunity to go to my home church CFA and met many friends of mine. 

Nick leaves in 2 weeks to continue on with his training in Kansas and Idaho. Ruth and I will continue our stay here in Grande Prairie and make our way soon to Edmonton where we will stay until the baby is born. I will be starting a class while Nick is away so I can continue plugging away at my degree. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winter Wonderland

We have been in Ontario about 2 weeks now and have had a wonderful time spending time with family and preparing for Christmas! This has been our first Christmas in Canada in 2 years. Not long after we got here Ontario was hit with a big freezing rain storm which left hundred of thousands with out power. Nick and I went straight into power out mode making sure we had everything we needed; which was a bit of a fun adventure here in Canada instead of Congo. However regardless of our efforts our power here never went out. We had to cancel some of our engagements because of it which I think was nice to have some some to rest hanging out with Auntie Charity and Emery. 

We had a great Christmas morning here unwrapping presents and enjoying a fantastic time together. Then in the afternoon we went to Grandpa Murrys house for brunch. 
We then had Christmas with Nicks moms side of the family on boxing day.

Waiting in line for Santa

Ruths first Doll

Playing at the park! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Training and Turkeys

We have been in Idaho for over 2 weeks now and have passed our half way point in our leadership training. As we have accepted and been accepted into a management position with MAF they want to try to prepare us in the best way possible and not only in how to do a budget or ministry plan but how to continue to develop ourselves in the discipline of leadership and to empower and encourage those we have a privilege to lead. 

We have been doing this training along side some great friends from Kinshasa Matthew and Lisa Lind; Lisa and I have been apart of the 'soft stuff' training with member care in the mornings and Matthew and Nick continue on in the afternoon with more technical skills.

While here we also had the opportunity to celebrate American Thanksgiving. It was tons of fun with about 30 ppl involved with lots of food and games planned by Joselyn Thiemann who's husband was in Kinshasa helping with some avionics stuff when our electrical box started on fire. Awesome people.

We will be heading to Ontario for Christmas in about 2 weeks and we are so excited to spend some great time with family and friends there. I hope that everyone is having a great start to their Christmas season!!!!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Just Maui'ed

I know that everyone felt really sorry for us with our trip to go to Maui so I just wanted to post a few pics to let you know that it really wasn't as bad as it seemed ;-)

We had such a great time being able to spend some really quality time with family and friends. We felt so honoured to be a part of Nicole and Jasons wedding day and be able to be there to show them how much we love and support them. They hung around for about a week after the wedding as well hanging out with family and now they are off on their own doing their official Honeymoon! It was also a great time just to rest and debrief after 2 years in Congo. It was hard to say 'see you later' to so many friends and to our house that we have been working so hard to get in working order because well 6 months in a long time but we hope and pray to return in no time rested and refreshed with Gods love and vision for MAF in Congo fresh in our minds.

My mom and Ruth on Halloween 
So Ill just do a quick picture show of our time there so you can get a idea of what we did for our vacation in Maui, I would recommend it to anyone it was a lot of fun!

My Dad, Ruth and Nick.

Nick and I

Sunset at Napili Kai

Night before the wedding we went to a Luau

Ruth got to learn about tradition hawaiian instruments  

Wedding Day!

She is beautiful! Getting her hawaiian wreath put on

All Dressed up

Perfect day for a wedding

Getting pictures done at sunset

I even did a speech

Love her!

After wedding activities

We even carved a pumpkin :-)

Lava flow from about 2000 yrs ago

A Volcanic release valve that now is beautiful to snorkel in

Much to Nicks surprise he really had fun

Just a really awesome fish.

My Grandma even came out! 

All the family that came out for the wedding!

We are good at family pics :-)

How to get Ruth pose for a picture! lol
So there you go I hope that you enjoyed looking at the pictures almost as much as we enjoyed being there. We are now in Nampa Idaho staying in the MAF apartments with our manager training starting tomorrow! It will be lots of talking, learning, sharing and working together to try and figure out best how we need to be prepared for this role we are stepping into. Be praying for us that we would be able to soak everything in as much as possible and God to change our hearts to match his better!

Love you all!