Fall update and Future Plans

Hello and Welcome…
…to our fall/autumn update

Firstly, we’d like to say thanks to those who attended Jonathan’s dad’s visitation and service; prayed, and sent cards and flowers to the family, following his passing in June. We appreciated everyone’s support. The family continues to adjust to life without him around. We are glad to have been in the USA for his final days, and for this time after.

We are happy to advise that Sonia’s trip to New Zealand for the visa was successful. Sonia knew people were praying when she got a row to herself on her first flight, upgraded to a sky-couch on the next, and an exit row for the final flight. Thanks praying friends!

15,000 words and less than 2 weeks!
That’s the length of Jonathan’s dissertation and how long he has left to complete it!

Overall, he is progressing on it well, but as you can guess, his life is very focused on this goal, studying 40-50 hours a week to get the dissertation done by October 6th and complete his Masters in Contextual Theology. Its all go! To facilitate, Sonia takes care of things on the home front, and makes trips to the library to pick up MORE books! When not doing this, she looks after our nieces helping home school the oldest, Addie.

In July we took a family vacation, and have since been blessed with opportunities to fellowship with new and old friends through dinner invitations, hiking, a small group, and for Sonia- a ladies book study. Thank you to those who have blessed us with your company and hospitality- it has been wonderful connecting with you.

What’s next?
As Jonathan’s studies come to an end, we are looking to our next steps- returning to the mission field in Zambia. In preparation for this we will do a furlough in the USA and New Zealand. We hope for opportunities to speak with individuals and churches, to share about our return, and raise further support- both financially and in terms of prayer.

If you’d like us to share our mission plans with your church or small group, in USA or NZ, please contact us. We’d be grateful for the opportunity.

We’re hoping to see as many of you- our wonderful friends and supporters, as we can, before we depart to Africa, so please feel welcome to come along to the events below. More locations and dates to be advised.

FURLOUGH TIMELINE (so far)

September 24 – South Side Bible Church, Battle Creek, Michigan. 10.45am
October 15 – Grace Baptist Church, Kent, Ohio 6pm
October 22 – First Christian Church, Salem, Ohio 9.30am/11am
November 12 – Youngs Corners Fellowship Baptist Church, Wadsworth, Ohio, 11am

November 24 – Depart USA
November 26 – Arrive NZ (Yes, 2 days later!)
January 24 – Depart NZ, return to Zambia.

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan and Sonia

Praises for:

  • Opportunities to connect with others through bible studies, a small group and meals
  • Sonia’s visa approval and good travels
  • The outpouring of love and support following John’s death

Prayers for:

  • Jonathan’s dissertation writing- due October 6th
  • Preparations for furlough time in USA and NZ, and our return to Zambia
  • For Jonathan and family as they continue to get used to life without John

Just a few of the books for Jonathan’s paper!!!

Send us Mail!!!! NOTE the NEW mailing address. (if you send it now it might arrive by the time we do…)
Flying Mission Zambia
Jonathan and Sonia Weaver
PO Box CA197
Makeni
Lusaka, Zambia 10101

On vacation with Jonathan’s family. Our nieces Addie and Bailey.

Sad News…

Dear All,
It is with sadness and yet hopeful joy that we send this update. Jonathan’s dad peacefully passed away on Friday night surrounded by his family. We read scripture, prayed, and shared memories until the Lord took him home. He will be missed greatly, but we rejoice in the hope that he is now in the presence of God enjoying perfect peace and joy. For those interested, the information about calling hours and the memorial service are below.

Services:
Redmon Funeral Home in Stow will host visitation Friday 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM.
Grace Baptist Church will host the memorial service on Saturday at 1 PM (5915 Rhodes Rd., Kent 44240).

  • Please be in prayer for our family over the next difficult days. We are thankful to have been able to spend extra time with each other over the past few months.
  • We are also thankful that Sonia’s visa was approved on Friday to stay in the USA for a longer time period! Please pray for a safe and speedy return back to Ohio for her.

With Love,
Jonathan and Sonia

Continuing Transitions – May 2017

a694eb81-e9e2-43b9-aa86-1c8ed2c78783Hello Friends,
Sometimes the life of a missionary is all but dull. In the short time we’ve been married we’ve travelled from USA-NZ-Zambia-UK-USA-UK-NZ-UK-USA-UK-USA, travelling to NZ and USA for family reasons, we’ve done many long flights and time zone changes!

We don’t say this to brag. The travel has been tiring and we haven’t had much time in one place to feel settled. We often have a need for something and realise its in another country. Our possessions were spread across four continents, and generally not in the same one as us when we needed them!

Well, that number has now been reduced as recently we made another hard decision in our lives… to leave the UK and our place of study and relocate to Ohio, to be closer to Jonathan’s family as John (Jonathan’s Dad) battles cancer. We felt our support was needed to spend quality time with Jonathan’s family, and assist them where possible. So after spending four weeks in the USA over our holidays, we went back to England to pack up our stuff and return to the USA, where we are intending to stay for most of 2017. We were very blessed to sell our car, make arrangements for the remainder of our house lease, and have some goodbyes. This was good closure on this unanticipated move. We were sad to leave the UK, but feel this is the season to be in the USA.

So what does this mean for study and ministry?

Jonathan has completed most class work for his Masters in Theology, so he is able to skype into the remaining class each week, and complete the rest of his masters remotely online. He has access to a theological library here to help with resources. His studies have become part time, and the timeline extended so he can combine study with family support needs. Sonia is unable to continue her studies remotely, so it has been deferred, with the option to finish at a future date.

We are still supported missionaries with Flying Mission, and remain on a leave of absence. At this point we still intend to return to the mission in Zambia in early 2018.

But thats not all….

As Sonia is not a U.S citizen, she can enter the USA on a visa waiver for up to 3 months at a time, provided she is not deemed to be living in the USA. We thought Sonia could get another visa or extension to stay as long as needed. We looked into a green card but it was expensive, time consuming, and wasn’t right for our purposes as we aren’t planning to live in the USA long term at this stage. (The visa isn’t granted for short term circumstances and gets revoked if we leave for an extended period- eg back to Zambia). Also as she entered on a waiver, we learned she is not eligible to extend this visa.

After researching, we found a more appropriate visa. It enables Sonia to enter the USA for up to 6 months at a time, can be extended if necessary, and is valid for 10 years. However, there’s a catch… applicants must apply from their home country! So- we have used our own and others airpoints for Sonia to return to New Zealand to interview at the U.S consulate to apply for this visa. She leaves on May 28, has an appointment on June 16, and hopes to return to the USA in late June. Please be in prayer for the application and that she can return to the USA. We have already spent two months here this year, and applying for more time may be seen to look like she is trying to live in the USA, which can be grounds for denying entry. The consulate assume you are an intending immigrant until you prove otherwise. Obviously, we very much want to be together in the USA during this time. While not ideal to be apart for a month, Sonia is excited to spend time again with friends and family. Please also pray for travels. Its a long journey, and to be honest, we are both a bit over the long travels, unpredictability, and unsettledness!

Please pray for Jonathan as he remains in the USA and balances his masters studies with family time and support. We are hopeful we will be able to see many of you over the next few months, after Sonia returns. And we intend to keep you updated with the visa situation as it eventuates! Please also continue to be in prayer for John, Janet, Laura and family.

God’s Blessings on you all,
Jonathan and Sonia

 Praises For:
– Good closure in the U.K, valuable learning at All Nations
– Quality time with John, Janet and family in the USA
– Air points!! 😀
Prayers for:
– Sonia’s visa application and travels back to New Zealand
– Jonny balancing Masters studies with family support
– Full recovery for John, from lung cancer and for family as they support John

Update April 2017

Our College looking alive with Spring!

Hello Friends
We are pleased to report that the dreary winter has left the UK and beautiful spring has arrived! Term two passed swiftly as we juggled the requirements of study- classes, lots of readings, assignments and presentations. It was a busy time! Life has mostly consisted of attending classes from 8.30am until 1pm then staying on and studying- doing readings and assignments, until usually around 5 or 6pm. We then come home, have dinner, relax a little, go to sleep, and repeat!

Sonia has enjoyed classes studying the New & Old Testaments, Integral Mission, Personal Development, Interpersonal Skills, World Religions, Worship Theology, and a ministry placement on Saturday mornings. She has especially enjoyed finding out more about herself- such as her evangelism style (hospitality) and spiritual gifts (helps, administration, hospitality). Sonia has also been pleased to get good grades at College.

Jonathan has studied anthropology, contextual theology, and leadership. He also had the opportunity to preach during the weekly worship service at College. Many commented that he did really well and they enjoyed hearing him talk! Jonathan too has been doing really well with grades.

We have been placed at a small local Anglican church called St Catherine & St Paul’s. The demographic is different to what we are used to so we have been appreciating a different style service and building relationships with the congregation. To facilitate this and be part of the church community we serve on the tea & coffee rota and do readings during the service.

All this hasn’t left much time to explore the UK or socialise but we did manage a trip to Oxford with a friend who visited from Belfast, and we have been able to host others for dinner. As we write, we are currently in the USA during the break between terms. We thought this was a good opportunity to spend time with Jonathan’s family and provide support and assistance where possible. Please continue to lift John’s health and wellbeing up in prayer, and the rest of the family during this time. Please also pray for wisdom for us as we make decisions about how we can best support family in the USA in light of studying in the UK!

Whilst here we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. Time has flown, and while life has included a lot for us both during this time, our marriage has been fantastic! We praise God that he has blessed us with each other as we walk through it all, and we are sure this will serve as a firm foundation for our years ahead.

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan and Sonia

Jonathan preaching during the College’s Wednesday morning worship. The subject was Hebrews 12.

The life of a Masters student! These were just some of the books used for ONE essay!

Update December 2016

Hello and Welcome

general_md_slider_compressedHello from the U.K!
In August we departed Flying Mission and Zambia. This involved Jonny tying up lots of loose ends in the Chief Engineer role so things were in a good place to be handed over to his replacement. We also packed our belongings into storage so a new family joining the mission could move into our house. On August 31 we said ‘See you again’ to Zambia and on 1 September arrived in England. The cooler temperatures of the U.K were our first shock, as were the continuous cloudy days. Quite a contrast in comparison to the ever blue sky and warmth of Zambia!

We settled into our little one bedroom flat in Hoddesdon in the region of Hertfordshire, about an hour north of London. We were very blessed by the provision of a cheap and economical vehicle which we use to get to and from school.

As many of you know Jonathan’s father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer in April and has been undergoing treatments since. The treatments seem to be working and his tumors have shrunk, but we still request prayers as this type of cancer is inoperable. Because we hadn’t seen the family since the diagnosis, we dipped into our reserves to make a quick trip to Ohio to support the family. We felt this was a good time as we knew the next few months would be busy with school. On Sept 19th we started orientation at All Nations Christian College, full of excitement to see how the Lord would stretch, teach, challenge and grow us during this time studying.

However, it wasn’t long before life threw us a curveball. A week into lecturers, on 28th September, Sonia’s younger sister Karen passed away suddenly of, as yet, unknown causes. This was a devastating and shocking loss for her family. This necessitated a trip back to New Zealand to be with Sonia’s family and attend Karen’s funeral. Unfortunately we were only able to stay a week, but are glad we were able to be there. We are extremely grateful to those who assisted with help toward airfares and use of a car while there. Please continue to keep Sonia and her family in your prayers as they grieve this sudden loss, and get used to life without this special and joyful young woman who was an important part of their lives.

On return, we jumped back into week 4 of school and spent the remainder of the term catching up, going to lectures, doing readings, papers, exams, presentations and all that comes with studies. We have both now finished term one and are very much looking forward to a break to rest and relax, and explore more of our local area.

Thank you for being part of our journey this year- in friendship, financial support and prayer. We are grateful to you for the part you play in our lives and especially for your support and encouragement in being in the UK as we study. We wish each of you a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Merry Christmas,
Jonathan and Sonia

Praises For:

  • The knowledge we have gained through studies, it is a blessing to be here and become further equipped for future ministry. We are confident God is going to use this time to work in, and through us.
  • Gods provision of accommodation, a vehicle, assistance with airfares to NZ, and the building of friendships.

Prayers for:

  • Sonia and her family, following her sister’s death. Please pray for peace and comfort, especially as Karen’s Birthday and Christmas approach.
  • Jonny’s dad, John as he continues cancer treatments.
  • For a restful and refreshing break between school terms- there has been a lot of life changes for the Weavers this year- we’re looking forward to a period of relaxation over the holidays.
20150112_201603-copy

Sonia’s sister Karen passed away unexpectedly in September aged just 35. She will be very missed.

Hertfordshire

During our time of study we are living and studying in Hertfordshire (pronounced “Hartfrdshure”) which is the county just north of Greater London.

Many Transitions – July 2016

Hello and Welcome
to the 2nd edition of the Team Weaver newsletter.

We have been busy here in Zambia for the couple of months we have been back. Sonia is now helping out part time in the finance department of the FMZ office, and Jonathan has continued to be busy with his Chief Engineer and flying roles. We are adjusting well to married life here in Zambia. For Jonathan its returning to his current home, for Sonia this now means a long term future as a missionary in Zambia.

One of the conditions for acceptance as a long term missionary with Flying Mission is that everybody complete a course in cross cultural living, usually with a missionary emphasis. Because Sonia has always come on a short term basis, she has never completed one of these courses, nor has she ever had any formal bible training. It has also been on her heart for some time, that if she is to be a long-term missionary, and to be the best one she can possibly be, she should complete bible and cross cultural training.

Flying Mission has also recommended that we spend some time during our first year of marriage away from the mission field to give us a chance to adjust to married life in a less stressful environment.

All Nations Christian College is a missionary training school just north of London in the UK that several Flying Mission members have attended for their cross cultural training at the recommendation of Flying Mission. After considering various options, All Nations seems to be the best fit, and we are currently in the final stages of being accepted to study there starting in September. Sonia will be doing a Certificate in Biblical and Intercultural Studies, and Jonathan will pursue a Masters in Contextual Theology. We are excited for this opportunity to be enriched, and to qualify and equip ourselves further for our missionary work in Zambia. Check the school out HERE!

We will continue to be under Flying Mission during this time, as we will return to Zambia after study, and the way we receive our support will not change. In the UK we are going to try to live on the same budget we have had in Zambia. All Nations has already blessed us with some scholarship funds and by connecting us with a couple who offer an “in-law suite” (granny flat) to couples attending the school at a highly discounted rate. Its awesome to see how God is already attending to our needs! Next request is a car to use while we are there. 🙂

Share OUR experience

Recently, Jonathan went on a flight to a rural area area and ended up bringing two missionaries (who were going to take the 18 hour bus ride) to Lusaka for a few days to get visas. They were hoping to use FMZ’s guesthouse, however it was full. While Jonny was flying up, Sonia was asked if we could host this couple for accommodation and meals. We have a spare room so hosting others is a great way to bless and serve in these situations. So Sonia set to work making up the spare room and preparing dinner, and advised Jonny that his passengers would also be our house guests. Later, Jonny and the missionaries arrived. Turns out they were from New Zealand! That night we all enjoyed a meal together. It was nice for Sonia to hear NZ accents and talk of things ‘home.’ The guests ended up staying three nights and were served by FMZ in terms of air transport, accommodation and car hire, making their time in Lusaka quicker and easier. We were happy to be part of that. Jonny was scheduled to fly the missionaries back on a Saturday and stay overnight up there to bring someone else back the next day. Sonia is getting used to Jonny being away on weekends and overnights, but this time, there was space in the plane both ways, and because Jonny has built a relationship with people up there, he arranged for Sonia to accompany him on this particular overnighter. Our guests ended up hosting us for an afternoon while we awaited our own hosts, and we were then blessed with wonderful hospitality on a bonus night away to a beautiful rural area!

 

The window and door bars are in! The church is now "secure" and services are being held in the building!! Next up is glass to keep wind and rain out!

The window and door bars are in! The church is now “secure” and services are being held in the building!! Next up is glass to keep wind and rain out!

Beautiful African Sunrise before an early morning flight.

Beautiful African Sunrise before an early morning flight.

Thank goodness I only had one passenger on my flight the other day; everything behind the front two seats was filled with groceries and supplies for a mission hospital!

Thank goodness I only had one passenger on my flight the other day; everything behind the front two seats was filled with groceries and supplies for a mission hospital!

 

Praises For:

  • Married life- its going well and we are both enjoying it
  • God going before us and providing well priced accommodation in the U.K

Prayers for:

  • Final preparations for studying at All Nations in the U.K, in September
  • Jonny in his role as Chief Engineer
  • Provision of more people at FMZ
  • Full recovery for Jonny’s Dad John, from lung cancer

Update May 2016

Hello Friends!
Welcome to Team Weaver’s first update as a married couple! We are writing from back in Zambia where we’ve been for the last several weeks settling into Jonathan’s house, and life here. After a week to get over jet-lag, unpack and set up our home together, Jonathan is back at work in his role as Chief Engineer and has managed to get back in the pilot seat a number of times too! Sonia has been busy with various domestic duties around the home, tending to the garden and looking after and supporting Jonny to do his work. And is looking to find her own niche at FMZ as well.

To take a step back, we thought we’d update on Jonathan’s time in New Zealand, as well as our beautiful wedding.

Sonia left Zambia early last December, following our engagement a week prior. After a few months apart, Jonathan came to NZ to meet Sonia’s family and friends, finalise wedding plans, and help with additional support raising. We were also able to go hiking and camping in a few spots in New Zealand, including the Abel Tasman National Park (see top picture), Tongariro National Park, Queenstown, and up a volcano in Auckland. We were blessed to have time to take part in a 6 week pre-marriage course through Sonia’s home church.

The time in NZ was busy, but a great opportunity for Sonia’s family and Jonathan to get to know each other well and spend some quality time together. We feel very blessed that Sonia’s family could get a good sense of who this guy was that Sonia said yes to! We are so grateful for the amazing hospitality of those who hosted us to stay, and for meals. We also had amazing provision as a number of people helped with,and contributed to wedding necessities (including an engagement party, donations, being loaned a dress, photography, rings, domestic flights, and flowers done at cost, to name but a few). We were overwhelmed by the way the Lord blessed us through others. If you were one of those people, we wish to thank you so very much for your contribution.

The wedding itself was a really special time. We chose to get married in Hawaii with 24 family and close friends as Hawaii is the mid-point between Wellington, NZ and Ohio, USA. The location was beautiful and both before and after the wedding we were able to spend good quality time with friends and family we hadn’t seen for a while,and weren’t going to be seeing again for some time too. It was also a chance for our families to meet as well. We enjoyed a week long honeymoon on Kauai island where we were able to go hiking and kayaking and relax after the busyness of wedding planning!

Back in Zambia now, and a few changes have occurred at FMZ. Four couples/families are departing in the next couple of months,and two will return. This will have a big impact on the organisation. Please pray for provision of people to fill the roles, and for those who remain to cope with the extra workload.

SME (Share My Experience)

Jonny recently had a big flying day. A group of 20ish American University students needed air transport to outreaches. This required all hands on deck as 3 planes would fly with 2 pilots doing the return trip twice. This included Jonny. He was to fly an approx 4 hr return flight, land back at FMZ, pick up the next group and drop them off at the same destination, then return to FMZ all before sunset. With darkness coming early in Zambia, there wasn’t much time to mess around. However into the second trip Jonny got word that the pilot of one of the flights had an issue on his trip to the destination. Nothing major or dangerous, but as Chief Engineer Jonny needed to have a look. The time looking into the issue and work required meant Jonny wouldn’t return to FMZ by sunset and instead would have to stay the night! Jonny did some on the spot maintenance that afternoon and the next morning, and thankfully both he and the other pilot were able to return in their respective planes the next day.

From Sonia’s end, she was preparing to cook Jonny as pretty awesome meal to welcome him home. Jonny did the right thing and called his new wife to advise of the change of plans. The awesome meal was scrapped till the next night and Sonia ate raman noodles instead. Not quite what either of us expected but a reminder that the unexpected can happen. (And also that Jonny should carry a toothbrush & paste in his pilot bag- just in case!).

Once again we wish to sincerely thank everyone who sent cards and contributed to our wedding. We are so appreciative of the way you blessed us so much!

Thanks for reading, and God’s Blessings on you all,
Jonathan and Sonia

Despite being April Fools Day, it was no laughing matter! Mostly! (With our wonderful Hawaiian Pastor Steve)

Despite being April Fools Day, it was no laughing matter! Mostly! (With our wonderful Hawaiian Pastor Steve)

We did it

We did it

It's for real!

It’s for real!

Great to have family attending!

Great to have family attending!

Great to have family attending!

Great to have family attending!

And some Friends!

And some Friends!

More friends!

More friends!

 

Praises For:

  • Time in New Zealand for Jonny to get to know Sonia’s family & friends (& vice versa!)
  • A special wedding and honeymoon in Hawaii
  • The generosity of so many, towards our wedding and honeymoon

Prayers for:

  • Transitioning back to Zambian life
  • Jonny in his role as Chief Engineer
  • Sonia to be used well and find her niche in Zambia
  • Provision of more people at FMZ
  • Full recovery for Jonny’s Dad John, from lung cancer

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.

 

Engagement in Africa!

Sonia's introduction to the USA in June!

Sonia’s introduction to the USA in June!

Just wanted to update on some exciting news!
As many of you know I have been in a relationship with another missionary who has also been serving with Flying Mission for some time. Sonia and I met in June of 2014 at a meeting I went to with Flying Mission in Botswana. She also came up to Zambia for a short visit in August and then for a couple of months in October. We hit it off quite well and continued talking until she returned to Zambia in January 2015. Since that time we have grown closer together and enjoy spending time and serving together.

Sonia is from New Zealand, with a lovely accent, and is a teacher by trade. She began her African missions experience in 2012 serving with Flying Mission in Botswana, participating in a teacher training program run by Flying Mission. They give national teachers who haven’t had prior teaching training practical knowledge to teach children better. Sonia volunteered for 5 months and then headed back to NZ. Within a year however she felt Africa calling again and returned again to Botswana in April 2014 and when her teacher training course ended at the end of 2014 she was invited to come to Zambia to help us with various things. Sonia is leaving Zambia and heading back to NZ very soon and was looking for a reason to return, so I gave her one by asking her to marry me!! She has excitedly agreed and so we are making plans for a wedding probably in March next year with a return in April to Zambia. Most likely we will look for a place half way in-between New Zealand and Ohio to assure that as many of our family members as possible will be able to attend. If you would like to get to know Sonia better check out her blog HERE.

Enjoying some famous American Sites.

Enjoying some famous American Sites.

There will be more details to come, but for now we are excited about the future and serving together long term in Africa. We would appreciate your prayers as there are a lot of decisions to be made in the near future!

God Bless,

Jonathan and Sonia

Listen folks, we can't get it right every time.  And we don't have a selfie stick...

Listen folks, we can’t get it right every time. And we don’t have a selfie stick…

I took Sonia on a little flying adventure to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay.

I took Sonia on a little flying adventure to Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay.