Just over three years ago (March 2009) we travelled out from the UK to Ohio for a week to visit MMS Aviation, as the final part of our assessment and evaluation in the MAF UK application process. We had already been through various rounds of interviews to get to that point, this was the final hurdle. It's not an easy process to become a missionary and believe it or not, we know friends that have had even more complicated applications than ours! (As you can see, Abigail has grown up a lot since then ... she was just 6 months old at the time!)
So much has happened since then. We moved out here 6 months later (September 2009) after raising our support, settled in small town America, added to the family with the arrival of Naomi, taken various trip through and to different States and now are beginning to look ahead. Mark's 4,800 hours in the hangar are almost completed (I'm so proud of him!) and then only the imminent round of exams, before we start preparing to pack up and move again ... to only God knows where!
It's amazing to look back and see how much has changed since the evaluation and to remember that week. Being 'on show' and being evaluated by everyone that you meet with day time and evening appointments, after travelling to the States with a young baby and adjusting to the 5 hour time change! Knowing that you are exactly where God wants you to be and just hoping that everyone else is on the same page!
Why am I remembering all that today? Since we've been here there have been various other families come through for evaluation, some have continued with the application process and are in the support raising stage, some are already here and other decided that actually MMS wasn't the next step that God had for them. This week another family are here and today the apprentice wives and children had the pleasure of hosting a lunch for the wife and two kids of the prospective candidate. A chance to find out more about them and for them to ask us what life is really like here.
It was a time of fun and laughter and making new friends, an excuse to eat some yummy food together (including the Lemon Cheesecake that I mentioned the other week) ... and possibly the start of an exciting journey for another family just like ours.