Update January 2016

The water is returning to Victoria Falls after a long dry season.

The water is returning to Victoria Falls after a long dry season.

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year and welcome to the latest edition of my newsletter. Our flying has been slower the last few months, but we have still been busy! I enjoyed a bit of down time around the holidays, but otherwise we have been working on projects and catching up on paperwork and organizing from our busy season. The rains have FINALLY come to our part of Zambia, and Victoria Falls is slowly filling with water! Our power outages have not been helped by below average rainfall thus far this rainy season, but we are hopeful the fresh rain will ease the problem at least for a while.
Sonia and I are excited and have been busy with wedding preparations. We are now down to the smaller details. I will be traveling soon to New Zealand, to officially (I’ve met them via Skype) meet her family, do some support raising, and finish the wedding preparations. Then we will be married on April 1st, 2016. As it turns out, the most in the middle spot for both families to come to for the wedding is Hawaii! Rough place to get married and honeymoon I know. 🙂 But with a small wedding it will be less expensive then throwing a bigger wedding in either of our home cities.
Many people have asked for a gift registry or how they can help us with the wedding and honeymoon. Seeing how it isn’t really in the budgeted support I raise, we are asking anyone who wants to give a gift to donate towards the expense of the wedding and honeymoon. You can send in extra gifts to Flying Mission through the usual method Here, or give to the special site we set up Here. If you choose this second method note that you do not have to give the additional 6% to You Caring that they recommend (at the bottom simply click on their recommended extra donation and change it to “Other Amount” and change the amount to $0.00). We really appreciate all of the love and support we have already received from you all, and are excited to see how our future unfolds. Currently, we plan to return to Zambia at the end of April and continue serving with Flying Mission Zambia, with the hope that we will also spend some time studying at a Bible School sometime towards the end of the year. Sonia has never had any formal Bible training, and it will be a good chance for us to spend time together during our first year of marriage.

SME (Share my Experience)
Around mid 2015 we found that two of our Cessna 206 aircraft were developing cracks in their landing gear castings. This problem is a common one for higher time aircraft that are used on rough bush airstrips, but is of the highest importance because eventually it could lead to a failure of the landing gear! It is a monumental project to undertake, requiring removing most of the floor of the aircraft to get to the casting, then removing the casting itself and replacing it with a new (and expensive) one! Our guys were up to the task! We planned the projects for a time when the aircraft wouldn’t be needed for a couple of weeks and got down to it. The first one went well, and the second went even better as they now had the experience to do things more efficiently. Our friends at JAARS (the transportation branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators) have a modification that gives the new casting a longer life and makes it easier to change in the future, and they were kind enough to share it with us, so we followed their plans for our project. My role is no longer as much hands on work, but I checked on the progress of the project, did the final checks to make sure everything was put back together correctly, and completed the paperwork signing the aircraft back off as Airworthy at the completion of the project. We are back to flying both aircraft with fresh life in the landing gear!

The floor of one of our c-206's being put back together after changing out gear castings.

The floor of one of our c-206’s being put back together after changing out gear castings.

If you have any questions or comments please email me, I’ll be happy to answer them and give you even more information on what life is like here in Zambia!

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan

 

Praises For:

  • The rains that have finally come to our part of Zambia.
  • Our wedding plans coming together well.
  • Safety in all of our activities at Flying Mission.

Prayers for:

  • Safe travel to New Zealand and for the wedding.
  • Final wedding plans to come together.
  • Good support raising in NZ as we need some extra monthly funds to be in Zambia as a couple.