Family Life in Zambia

Sunset at the airstrip

Sunset at the airstrip

Hello from a hot and dry Zambia!
Its getting warm here, with temperatures in the mid 90’s F/35 C. We are eagerly awaiting the rains, which have not been seen since April!

Recently, we were very blessed to be visited by Jonathan’s mom, Janet, who came to meet her newest grandchild. We had a wonderful time over the three weeks she was here- visiting some local spots and spending nice time reconnecting. We are grateful for the time we could share and the help she gave in looking after Judah and preparing meals. We even were able to get out for a date night! She was also able to bring many things for Judah purchased with money so many of you donated to us for him.  We are so very thankful for all the cards and support he has received!

Judah and Sonia are in a good routine as they spend time at home. Judah is healthy and sleeping well. Sonia has a small role with the mission, helping publish news stories to the flying mission website.

The departure of our Aircraft Maintenance Manager has meant Jonathan has had to step back into this role until someone else is found. Other recent departures have left us with just one other mechanic regularly helping in the shop, and he also does part time pilot duties.  Jonathan is currently working as pilot/mechanic and a manager! He and the other staff at the mission are spread thin! We appreciate your prayers for the team during this time as many juggle multiple roles.

As well as looking for a Maintenance Manager, and more maintenance people and pilots; the mission is also seeking personnel in the areas of administration, finance, guest house management, facilities and logistics work. Please contact us if you have any skills you could offer and are interested in joining the team- short or long term.

We are blessed to be living and working in a country that deems itself a Christian nation. As such, Zambia recently declared a national day of prayer. On this day the Flying Mission team got together and spent the day in prayer-for FMZ missionaries and departments, for the Zambian people, regions and leadership, and for our Zambian workers. This was a lovely day spent being closer to the Lord through prayer together. We are so glad the mission sees this as important.

Jonathan has been pleased to restart the weekly bible study he leads with local Zambian boys. Please pray he can connect well and disciple these guys in the ways they need.

Well, thats all from us for now,
God’s Blessings on you all,

 

Jonathan and Sonia

Praises For:

  • Safe travel to and from for Janet (Jonathan’s mom), and a blessed time together.
  • Judah’s continued healthy growth. 

Prayers for:

  • More people to join FMZ, and for those that are taking on more to have stamina.
  • Jonathan in the Maintenance Manager role.
  • Sonia as she spends her time raising Judah.
  • The boys bible study on Wednesday evenings
    Sonia and Judah

    Judah already enjoys books!

    Judah and Janet

    Judah enjoying time with his Abuela!

Introducing…

Rocking his first airplane outfit.

It’s a Boy!
Judah John Weaver
Born July 6th 2018 at 9:08pm
7lbs 4oz

In Hebrew Judah means ‘praise’ and John means ‘God’s gracious gift.’ John was also my (Jonathan) father’s name. Judah would have been his first male grandchild, and my had dad hoped for a boy to carry on the family name so we are blessed that Judah will carry on his legacy in the next generation.

Mum/Mom and baby are doing well, he is feeding well and seems very content. We have prayed for a baby that will travel well and so far he seems like he will. You can join us in praying that he will travel well in all that is ahead for him and for continued good health for Sonia and Judah. The current plan is to stay in New Zealand for about 6 weeks before heading back to Zambia.

With Love,

Jonathan and Sonia

Team Weaver has grown to 3!

Ready and Waiting…

Greetings friends, from a wintery Wellington, New Zealand!

Jonathan arrived on NZ soil late in the night of Sunday 10th June to the delight of his very happy (and much larger) wife! Its so great to be together again after 7 weeks apart, as we now prepare for the arrival of baby Weaver due in 2 weeks (July 4th).

Since we last wrote, Sonia has been busy in NZ preparing for baby’s arrival, acquiring all the necessary items needed, and setting things up; as well as reconnecting with friends and family; being very spoilt at her baby shower; attending midwife and hospital appointments; and prenatal/birthing classes (thanks to Tess, Sonia’s sister who came along to all the classes and took notes on Jonathan’s behalf!). Sonia has continued to feel really good and be healthy and well, as has baby.

Jonathan had a very busy time in Zambia during Sonia’s absence. There was a lot of flying to be done with less staff at the mission and subsequently there was also several airplane inspections to be completed when not flying. Jonathan had quite a few overnighters in various places around Zambia, flying to conservation camps and rural hospitals with surgeons. He enjoyed that he was busy while apart from Sonia, but is now glad to have arrived in NZ before Baby Weaver’s arrival.

Well, just a quick, short update; but expect another update on or around July 4th! 🙂

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan and Sonia

 

Praises For:

  • Jonathan’s safety flying in Zambia, and safe arrival in New Zealand
  • A few sunny days in Wellington allowing us to get out and enjoy some of our favourite places together
  • Sonia and Baby Weaver’s good health

Prayers for:

  • Baby’s arrival- pray baby arrives naturally on or before 4th July so we don’t have to be induced
  • The birth- that things go smoothly without complications
  • Our transition into parenthood and having a new baby
  • Those back at FMZ as they continue to be short staffed through the beginning of July.

 

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J + S are glad to be back together again! And the baby bump keeps growing!

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One recent flight Jonathan did where the airplane was absolutely as full as it could be!

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Had to remove all the seats but the front two and luggage all the way to the front!

On The Move Again! (For 1 & 1/2 of us!)

Hi Friends
We hope you are well, wherever in the world you are.

Here in Zambia it seems the rainy season has come to an end (not before Jonathan caught the above pic of an incoming storm), we have continued to enjoy being back and reconnecting with local and international friends. Jonathan has had regular flights and maintenance work, including flights to a mission hospital, a conservation camp, and even to South Africa. This was a long day involving a 4.30am departure from home and a 10.30pm return the same day!

Sonia has been working part time at the front desk and recently took over the Guesthouse ministry for two weeks while the manager was away over Easter. She enjoyed serving missionaries who come for rest and relaxation, and facilitating some recuperation for the usual manager. Easter was also our two year wedding anniversary. Despite so much life change, it has been a wonderful two years. We feel so blessed to have each other. We have also been busy turning our spare room into a nursery.

The Flying Mission Team recently took four days away for a spiritual life retreat. It was a good time of refreshment, bonding and learning. The ladies of Flying Mission also threw Sonia a surprise baby shower. We appreciated the love and generosity they showed us in doing this.

Bible studies with locals

Jonathan has resumed his weekly boys bible study with local teenagers. The group is smaller than previously but this affords the chance to have good discussions, build better relationships with the guys, and discuss practical life application of scripture. Jonathan has also taken over a weekly bible study with Zambian workers at FMZ, and is enjoying the opportunities this brings to share his faith and knowledge from recent study, and also learn more about the insight of the workers.

Here we go again!

The international travels are not over yet for Team Weaver! On Saturday 21st April at 1pm (Lusaka time), Sonia will board the first of three planes back to New Zealand. She has to return before 30 weeks due to insurance and airline travel restrictions. On arrival she will have more prenatal midwife and medical appointments and prepare for baby Weaver to join the family. It will take about 30 hours to get to Wellington, please pray the travels will go smoothly and that she will be able to get some rest and sleep despite her big belly. Please also pray for the time we have apart. Jonathan will not arrive in NZ until June (7 weeks later!). Its a long time to be away from each other.

Baby Weaver continues to grow and baby seems to be practicing to be a soccer player or acrobat as it moves around! We continually feel blessed and in praise of the Lord, at the miracle of this baby. Its especially fun now that Jonathan can feel (and see) baby moving! Please also be in prayer for baby’s growth and development and for Sonia as she gets more cumbersome!! We do praise God that Sonia has generally been feeling very good, despite a dip in energy recently which turned out to be anaemia. With iron supplements she is feeling much more energetic again.

Well, thats all from us. The next update will be from New Zealand when we are reunited again! We look forward to seeing those of you there soon.
God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan and Sonia

Praises For:

  • Sonia and Baby are doing well, we’re grateful her anaemia was picked up and treated.
  • The opportunity to return to New Zealand and have support of family and friends

Prayers for:

  • Safe flying for Jonathan in Zambia
  • Jonathan’s bible studies with local boys and workers
  • Sonia’s return to New Zealand on April 21st
  • Our time apart, its going to be hard!

Baby Weaver (and Sonia’s belly) have grown a lot!!

Jonathan had a “friend” come to visit the window while he was flying for a conservation organisation in one of the National parks here in Zambia.

Settling in…

The new office next to the hangar is almost done!

Hello from hot and rainy Zambia!

Settling back in
We have settled into our old house and unpacked belongings we had in storage. It was like Christmas unpacking things we forgot we even owned! Our cat Randy was happy to see us and our garden has grown significantly in some places. A banana tree we planted was about a metre high when we left, and almost 18 months later has sprouted many more trees two of which are about 20 feet/6 metres!! Both trees even have bunches of bananas we are looking forward to harvesting. We have enjoyed picking lemons, mulberries, passionfruit, mangos, avocados and guava from our garden and the FMZ grounds. We have also really enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, and colleagues at FMZ.

Jonathan started back at work and was able to renew his pilot licence with the Zambian Civil Aviation Authority and do some recurrency flights and is now back on board and did his first passenger flight this past week. Sonia has started her role as Front Desk Manager at the mission. This is an all new and diverse role for the mission so she is figuring out how the role looks and putting processes and procedures in place for the future.

Baby related news
The Baby Weaver bump continues to grow and Sonia is feeling really good. All the most recent health tests on Sonia and baby have come back normal. After research, advice and prayer we thought it was best to return to New Zealand to have baby. The healthcare in New Zealand is of great quality and under the socialised healthcare scheme, is free. We will also have support of Sonia’s family and friends during this important and new time as we adjust to being parents. We are grateful the mission has approved the time to be away. Our plans are as follows…

April 21 Sonia departs Zambia

June 9 Jonathan Departs Zambia

July 4 (approx) Baby Weaver due

August 20 Weaver family departs NZ back to Zambia

FMZ news
Flying Mission has developed a lot while we have been away. Previously we were all crammed into very tight spaces. Sonia’s old desk was in the kitchen, or wherever there was a spare place, and most people had little room to do their jobs. Now there is an all new office facility which has been built next to the hangar, (see top photo) and there is much room for people and things. Flying Mission’s vision is also to serve missionaries in a new way by offering office and conference spaces for their use, as well as to expand the support we offer to them through other ‘logistics’ services. We are excited to see how these are utilised by the church and mission community in Zambia as we serve them in new and different ways. A new couple and their young child have also joined the mission to help with logistics and possibly the guesthouse, so its great to have more hands on board!

Thats all for now,

God’s Blessings on you all,

Jonathan and Sonia

Praises For:

  • Safe arrival and good transition so far back to Zambia
  • Sonia’s Healthy pregnancy thus far
  • Jonathan quickly getting back to flying

Prayers for:

  • A continued good transition back into life in Zambia
  • Baby Weaver’s continued healthy growth
  • Safe flying and good health here in Zambia

Just a normal drive during the rainy season!

Sonia doing her job at the “Front Desk” in the new FMZ office facility.

Jonathan and Jason painting the staircase in the new office area.

A growing Sonia with our now fully grown Banana tree!

Landed in New Zealand

Wellington Harbour

G’day from New Zealand
to our family and friends!

After about 30 hours of gruelling travel, we have arrived in Wellington, New Zealand and been reunited with Sonia’s family.  Now we are in the process of adjusting to our new time zone and doing all of the things that need to be done when you arrive in a new place.

We are very thankful to everyone in the USA for the great hospitality we enjoyed while we were with you, (we were so glad to spend good quality time with so many of you), but are thankful and excited to see our NZ friends and family here, and enjoy a bit of summer and all that comes with it.

NZ friends- stay tuned for more info about events and opportunities to catch up and hear about what we’ve been up to, and our future plans.

God’s Blessings on you all,

 

Jonathan and Sonia

 

Still looking reasonably ok on our 4th and final flight, but ready to be at our final location!

Sonia told her family not to make a huge welcome sign for her, so they made one for Jonathan instead!

Praises For:

  • Safe travel and good homecoming in NZ
  • Beautiful warm summery NZ weather
  • A blessed time with many people  in the USA

Prayers for:

  • Good quality time with family and friends here
  • Furlough time and meeting with potential supporters

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.