"Cleared for Take-off"
Taxi for take-off: At 9:30pm, September 1st, Samuel, Megan, Joseph, Alace and I will climb aboard Aer Lingus flight 108 from JFK airport in New York City to Dublin, Ireland and then onto Lyon, France. It has been an incredible past couple of months and it's hard to believe that we're almost on our way to our 10-month language school in Albertville.
Sale of House: Thank you for praying for this very important detail. As of this writing, we have a couple of promising offers, however, we're waiting for the buyers to secure financing to come through. The prospect of leaving the country without selling doesn't sit well with us. We are certain that there is a reason this is dragging out with this, however, it doesn't make things easy on the stress level.
Pilot Evaluation: On Monday, July 23rd, after hours and hours of cross-country driving, I walked in the front doors of Missionary Aviation Fellowship US headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. 4 days later, my flight skills had been observed and evaluated very positively by Scott Channon, part of MAF's elite pilot instructing team and also a LeTourneau University grad. This affirmation is a blessing from the Lord as we seek to confirm a high level of excellence in our air ambulance efforts. As I write this, I'm in my second week of evaluation with a focus on my skills as an aircraft mechanic. A big thanks to Dusty and Chandra Benner, from the Rock Church, for hosting my stay.
Family Cross-Culture Prep: After two and a half weeks apart, I will reunite with Alace and the kids at Denver Int'l airport this Sunday (8/5) and we'll make our way to Colorado Springs and the Missions Training International campus. The 17 days at MTI will focus on assisting families as they make the huge transition to completely new cultures. Pray for us as a family as we seek to draw close and help one another through the challenging days, weeks, months and years to come.
Bon Voyage Events: On July 14th, about 50 State College area supporters blessed us with a great time of fellowship and a prayer of blessing over our family. Thanks to all those that attended and the very special ones that put so much work into setting it up (Kendra, my big sis Jane, Mom, Dad & others). The very next day, we were back at Pine Glen Alliance Church for a repeat visit with one of our most supportive churches. At the close of our visit, I was moved to tears as the congregation gathered around our family and lifted up prayers of blessing over our family. These sweet times will be cherished in our hearts and dwelt upon on those difficult days of language study. Thank you so much!
Bongolo Bond Update: We're over 90%!!! Thank you supporters! For information on joining the Bongolo Bond team (monthly donation of $50), please visit our website, StrawsInAfrica.org.
Aircraft Funding Update: Since last October, the total raised for purchase of an aircraft grow to over $60,000! Recently, Joey, Megan, and Sam donated $40 of their own from a lemonade stand fund-raiser! You can also get involved in raising funds creatively for this effort. Drop us a line if you are interested: Straw@aircalvary.com.
7/30-8/3: Nampa, ID- MAF Maintenance evaluation
7/31: Steve and Alace's Anniversary!
8/5-8/23: Colorado Springs, CO- MTI Cross-cultural preparation
8/6: Megan's birthday!
8/7: Alace's birthday!
8/16: Colorado Springs- Meeting w/ IFAP leadership at Christian & Missionary Alliance offices.
8/25: Samuel's birthday!
8/26: York Alliance Church- worship service (10:15am) and "Bon Voyage" lunch
8/29: York Alliance Youth "Sanctuary" meeting (7pm)
9/1: Mount Kisco, NY- Air Calvary "Bon Voyage" (2pm)
9/1: JFK Airport, NY- Depart for France (9:30pm)!!!
9/3: Albertville, France- Kids register for school
9/6: Albertville, France- First day of language school classes
Prayer: Above all, we covet your prayers for the sale of our house, the transitions to France, and the acquisition of the French language.
Our "airplane" is on the taxiway getting ready for takeoff… and you are all on the passenger list. We could not make this trip without support from each one of you. We are so grateful for your partnership in this journey to bring Health and Hope to Central Africa in the name of Jesus.
Steve, Alace, Joseph, Megan, and Samuel Straw