Our Return to Zambia

Hello All,
We are excited to be heading back to Zambia very soon!
We want to say thank you to the many people that we have been able to spend time with during our time here in New Zealand, it has been really great to catch up with you all!

We want to update you on our return travel to Zambia and a couple of prayer requests. We are leaving for and arriving in Zambia on January 29th (it’s amazing how jumping “back” time zones enables 24+ hours of travel to happen without it being the next day!), and would appreciate prayers for safe travel and rest along the journey.

Our original departure date had been January 24th, but due to the scheduling of a couple of specialist appointments for Sonia related to the pregnancy, we are spending a few days longer here in New Zealand. We have been assured that there is no serious issue, but the doctors just want to stay on top of the pregnancy and make sure all is well before we go. We would appreciate prayers that the doctors would have wisdom and we continue to make the best choices concerning Baby Weaver.

Thanks and God Bless,

Jonathan and Sonia

We have really enjoyed our time with family and friends in New Zealand!

No caption needed! (Sonia is excited to be starting to show).

New Years Update…Big News!!

Beautiful NZ landscapes!

 

Happy New Year from New Zealand…

Big News!

We are very excited to share the news that we are expecting another Weaver to join our team! Baby Weaver is due on the 4th of July 2018! We feel so thankful and blessed that the Lord is giving us the privilege of becoming parents and entrusting us with the life of a child. We have had an ultrasound and all is looking good (see picture below). This news has given us a lot to think and pray about, particularly as we decide where it will be best to have the baby. Please pray for us as we make these decisions- there are many factors involved. Please also pray God will ready us for this new blessing and challenge of becoming parents.

Other News…

We are also very happy to say that Jonathan has been advised he has passed his Masters Degree! (Though this is still pending final approval from the Open University in the UK).

We were blessed to go on a short holiday to the South Island of New Zealand, where we hiked in National Parks, had a boat ride in some fiords (where we saw dolphins, penguins and seals), and saw beautiful lakes, rivers and many glaciers. The weather was lovely and warm and we were both very grateful to enjoy the Lord’s wonderful creations in places neither of us had visited before. It has also been great so far to spend quality time with our friends and family in NZ.

We Depart NZ for Zambia on January 24th.

NZ Missions Update and Goodbye Event

It has been great to catch up with many of our NZ supporters and we would love to personally say goodbye, and update more comprehensively about what we’ve been up to and what’s next. Please come along, have some refreshments, and see/hear more about our study in the UK and Ministry in Zambia. Anyone interested is welcome. We hope to see you there.

Date: Sunday 14 January 2018
Time: 3-5 PM
Where: 41 Tennyson Street, Petone, Lower Hutt

God’s Blessings on you all as you begin 2018,
Jonathan and Sonia

“For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mothers womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14)

Praises For:

  • The blessing of a baby
  • Jonathan passing his Masters
  • Time to enjoy NZ landscapes, and time with loved ones

Prayers for:

  • Our final weeks in NZ
  • A healthy pregnancy
  • Prenatal and birth decisions for baby Weaver

At the Tasman Glacier, with Aoraki/Mount Cook in the background (The highest mountain in NZ).

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.

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!