Saturday, May 23, 2015

MAF Global Leadership Conference

We had a woorl-wind  3 week trip back to North America and now we have been back in Kinshasa for about 2 weeks. I will do a couple blog posts going over what we all did during our time there.

This trip back to North America was one of our most interesting trips that we've made. The kids and I all got colds before we left and we had two, five hour layovers; one in Brussels and one is Chicago. The flight from Kinshasa to Brussels was the most difficult with both kids refusing to sleep and the only way Pascal wouldn't cry was if we carried him around. We convinced him to sleep like this a few times but usually as soon as we would sit down then he would wake back up.

He however took a nice nap in the Brussels Airport for a hour or two, however Ruth was going on 14 hours awake and going strong.
When we finally got on the plane to Chicago, she literally just could not stay awake any longer, her body gave out and she feel over and slept for a good 5 hours. We then had another 5 hours in Chicago then the last flight to Idaho everyone slept the entire flight.
Our good friend Doug Harrison picked us up from the Airport in Boise with carseats and dropped our exhausted selves off at MAF-HQ.
We had 2 days to adjust to the time change and get some business done with different staff at HQ before the leadership conference.
My mom, sister and niece all came down to hang out with Ruth and Pascal while we were at the conference. They were not able to come till after it started so I missed the first day but was able to go to the rest.

The Conference was very interesting and helpful for everyone involved. As many people can probably understand, MAF is a technical ministry and attracts people that are mostly technically minded, detailed orientated, introverts. This is great when it comes to airplanes and IT but when it comes to 'soft skills' we typically need a little bit of help. So this conference had a lot more of those soft skills and less of the technical ones. The first speaker was a Gentleman named Tim Elmore, he specializes on working with leaders on how to lead the 'next generation', Generation Y, which is actually my generation. So it was quite an interesting experience listening and learn about the perceptions about my generation and even learn how to make working with us easier for those that are apart of the older generations.

We did some sessions on coaching people, talks from previous owners of Airlines, a talk from the head of one organization that helps international NGOs determine how to best take care of their own staff. We had the founder of the Jesus film project talk to us about unreached people groups, there was even a paper airplane competition :-).

Though the sessions were awesome it was the in-between and after time where a lot of quality discussions happened. Every break, lunch and supper you could see people strategically making the time to talk to people that they probably hadn't seen face to face in a year or more. 
It is amazing that one face to face conversation can accomplish what 4 months of emails can not. Nick and I did the same, I had quite a few people I wanted to be able to talk to (like the other PM wives that were there) and Nick had his. Then we went out every evening for either more serious meetings or just with people we really wanted to catch up with. 

All the while the Kids had a great time playing and catching up with Grandma and Auntie. My Dad was even able to come and it was really fun to be able to give them a tour of the office and have the opportunity for them to meet some of the people we work closely with in Idaho. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Little Bit of Business, Little Bit of Fun

Here we go, T - 4 days until we all jump on a few airplanes and head our way back to North America for a short visit.
There are some that have been wondering about where we will be and what we will be doing and if they can come and see us? Here are your answers.

We leave here Saturday April 18 and arrive in Boise Idaho Sunday the 19th. We will be there until April 30th. During that time Nick and I will be attending a MAF global leadership conference with some of my family looking after the kids. If you are in Idaho and you really want to see us, let us know. Though I am anticipating being quite busy. 

We then head to Alberta where we will be doing some not-so-rustic camping at the Territima lodge.
We will arrive there late Thursday (30th) and will be there till the following thursday May 7th. We will have a celebration for Pascals first birthday and hopefully do lots of sitting around camp fires :-). If you would like to come out and visit we would love to see you! Bring some s'mores! 

Then on the 7th we will go to Ontario where we will be attending a wedding and getting some more MAF business done. We will be doing an open house at Nicks sisters house Sunday May 10th. If you would like more information on that please let us know. We would love to see you there as well. 

Start Packing! 
We then make our way back to Congo starting May 12th. So there you go, hopefully we will get to see some of you! 

Do pray for us as we travel, as this will be a lot of changes for the littles in just a few short weeks. 


The Freys

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Family Conference 2015

This year I had the privilege of helping plan and organize our family conference here in Kinshasa.
When we were home last time we had asked Nicks missions professor from Bible College if he would be interested in coming to be our speaker. Charlie McCordic and his wife Cindy where missionaries in Chad and have been consistently close to MAF families through the years. 
We also had an awesome couple come from the States, Steve and Laurie Patee. They are advocates of MAF and they came to help look after our kids while the adults were busy. Steve and Laurie came a few days ahead of time and they were able to go on a flight with Nick, see the office and even do a bit of shopping with Randy and Vanessa. We are so thankful for them because they were able to bring many treats for our adults and children alike. Everyone felt so blessed by their presence at this conference.  A special shout out to Lydia who helped Laurie take care of our kids during the conference.

Sandy Francis, Andew McAllister and a few people from IPCK's choir came to lead us in worship for the week. It was a blessing to have them and they did such an amazing job.

The Confence was held at Tasok and Jody and Sandy were gracious enough to let us use their rooms! We had 2 sessions with Charlie Monday and Tuesday and then in the afternoon had a optional computer class with Randy Clairmont and then played softball and Volleyball together. 
Monday evening we all went to Mama Cs; a nice restaurant in our neighbourhood. During supper we gave out some certificates reconizing 4 of our couples for being with MAF for 10, 20, 25 and 30 years. 

Tuesday night we had a Date night. Emily Hochstetler and the entire Hochetetler family decorated their house and helped us cook up a romantic Spaghetti supper. Our teenagers, Lydia, Nicholas and Daniel served us supper. They did such an awesome job and it was so fun to see them serve everyone. 
Wednesday we had our all Staff day, where we included our National staff, their spouses and their children. Only some where able to bring their families but we had a great time hearing a message from Charlie, then playing and eating together. Kevin Spann did a great job is putting together a team building activity. It was very cool to see very one working together, and learning about how communication is essential. 

Wednesday night we had supper at MPH (thanks Cindy!!) and we were supposed to do a talent show but I double booked it with our Ladies/ Mens night so we did not have time to do it. But the ladies night went great :-). We had a small baby shower for Vanessa Clairmont (who left right after the conference in preperation to have her baby ) and painted our toe nails :-), thanks Mary and Tasha for all your hard work. And from what I heard from Kevin Spann the guys 'talked about their feeling' haha... but I heard it was very good. 
Tursday the guys had a tech day, which was full of talking about airplane stuff, the future of MAF in Congo and where MAF as a whole is going. I think they could have talked for an entire 2 days but I think that they accomplished a lot in the time they had. 

Charlie stuck around till Monday; it was good to have some time to ourselves to visit with him, though we were sad his wife Cindy was not able to come (thanks for all the gifts Cindy!). He was also able to continue conversations with different families that were started during the conference and then Monday was even able to go and see the hanger before his flight out. 
Sorry, I feel like this blog post is one big name drop, but there were just so many people that helped out. None of us could have done it alone and though it was hard work we all worked together to make it a really awesome time. 

Thanks for everyone who prayed for us during the conference and we hope that next year will be ever better :-)