As I write this, I'm struck with a rush of emotion- excitement, sadness, gratefulness, nervousness, anticipation, and more.
At 6:15pm (Eastern US) tomorrow (Friday, August 22) my precious family and I will board the first of 5 flights that will take us to our new home in Libreville, the capital city of GABON. At 6:30pm (Eastern US) on Monday, we will climb out of our last flight and enter into a new chapter of our lives.
Will you please pray for us as we take this journey? The LORD has graciously gone before us as we have moved through our time of preparation that has lasted over 2 and 1/2 years! Psychological evaluations, interviews, paperwork, over 90 formal ministry presentations, countless miles on the road and in the air, pilot & mechanic evaluations, cross-cultural training, 10 months of language school abroad, and more! We've been blessed to have you on this journey with us, supporting us and lifting us up in your prayers. Our family has been blessed and strengthened as a result. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
DID YOU GET OUR SUMMER NEWSLETTER? We hope that you all got our summer newsletter in your mailbox. However, we know that many of you have only given us your email. We have many newsletters that still need to find a home, so PLEASE email me (Straw@aircalvary.com) your "snail mail" address and my associates (aka. my parents) will gladly put one in the mail for you.
AIRPLANE UPDATE: Airplane or no airplane, we begin our time in Gabon with faith that our Great Provider will accomplish the task in HIS timing. HE is always faithful. We still have our eye on an aircraft (C207 Turboprop) that is currently in the state of Washington, under contract doing for parachute jumping. As the contract ends this fall, please pray that the Lord would provide the remaining needed funds so that a purchase can happen. These aircraft are rare and in high demand. We need about $200,000 more raised. Those funds will then be matched, by a very generous donor, and we'll have the $630,000 needed. At that point, I will return to the US for pilot and mechanic training before crating the aircraft on a shipping container bound for Africa.
OUR NEW HOME: Arnie and Cheryl Solvig have been working hard to find just the right place for our family and they've done it! We'll be living in a home just a 1/2 block from the Libreville guest house that their family of 5 currently administrate! WOW! The Lord graciously provided a 3 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath home! Being close to the Solvig crew is great- our kids are homeschooling together, Alace is learning to run the guesthouse, and they'll be helping us "new-bees" in our new community! We are so thankful. If you're interested in a tour of the home, thanks to Meredith Brokopp, CLICK HERE . The Brokopp's, Sovig's, and others have already started to do some prep work on the house to be more liveable by our arrival... THANKS GUYS!
COMMUNICATION: No doubt, we will experience a "blackout" period as we get settled in Libreville. As soon as possible, we'll have a vonage phone, email, and more set up and running. Be patient as we "find our feet" in Gabon. If it's anything like France, it may be a month or more... YIKES! We'll provide new contact info as it becomes available. Until then, you'll find me making frequent trips down the street to borrow the Solvig's computer... get ready Arnie! HA!
SUMMER WRAP-UP: This summer has been a mix of excitement and frustration as we have had time to meet with many, but not enough to meet with all. We've been taken care of so well by our family and home church, York Alliance Church. They have all gone "over the top" for us. I can't tell you all of the times that people thoughtfully had taken care of our needs, paid bills for us, provided fun events and sleepovers for the kids, and much much more. In fact, I'm writing this in the tranquil environment of Tim and Margaret Shuey's back yard in York, using their "wifi" connection... or maybe it's their neighbors... I can't be sure... THanks to all! You've blessed our socks off!
We'll talk to you soon! Please stay in touch and come visit anytime!