Many of you wonder why we would decide to leave everything and everyone we know, move to the other side of the world and live in a remote town in Indonesia. Rightly so. We may wonder that, too, if we were you. Well, it really is quite a story.
Ten(ish) years ago, in 2004, I (Fawn) became very serious about helicopter flight training (while pregnant with our son) – we lived in San Diego. At the same time, the Lord was putting a strong fire in my heart to love others around the world, especially those who had no access to hear the freeing news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was no coincidence that these two things were happening at the same time.
A year later, living in Montana, I began flight school (now pregnant with our daughter – I know, I know. Crazy.). I received my private pilot’s license with an instrument rating. Then the school went bankrupt and my training stopped. Which, was okay. It allowed me to be a mom full-time, which I have been since.
God’s plan all along…
Fast forward three years, to 2008. Michael was told he had to be medically retired from the Navy because of a severe shoulder injury that occurred in 1999 during a rescue (while repelling from a helicopter!). The VA was enrolling him into their vocational rehabilitation program for post-military training and asked him what he wanted to do. He said “be a pilot”. So, we moved to Oregon and he began flight training.
Over the course of the next 4 years, Michael gained every rating possible in not only helicopters, but also airplanes, all at no cost to us whatsoever. Well, now if that didn’t get our attention, then what would?! He also gained valuable experience flying all sorts of types of work – instruction, charter flights, tours, agricultural (spraying and timber), firefighting, Christmas trees, power line construction, and disaster relief. During this time, Michael’s heart was being pulled more and more towards flying for Jesus somewhere in the world where helicopters would be very useful.
Also, during all these years, we fostered a relationship with Helimission, based in Switzerland. It grew over the course of time, until in 2010, after the Haitian earthquake, Michael was asked to fly helicopters with Helimission during the relief efforts. In the summer of 2013, we were officially accepted with Helimssion while at Candidate Decision Camp (CDC) at the headquarters in Switzerland.
But why Indonesia?
For the three years prior to CDC, Michael prayed and prayed that we would end up wherever the Lord had planned for us, and that we would be servants found faithful. Each and every time, Indonesia was in his heart and mind. We said nothing to anyone at Helimission, as we wanted to readily accept whatever assignment we received – there are several bases in Indonesia, Madagascar, and Ethiopia. As we sat down to meet with Helimission’s director, personnel manager, and missionary care expert at CDC, we were asked to serve in Indonesia, to which we tearfully and joyfully replied, “Yes!”
So. That’s how we decided to move to Indonesia. Really, we didn’t decide, we just replied.
Next post: What will we be doing in Indonesia anyway? Stay tuned!
We are wondering – what is one thing in your life God has clearly directed? Please share, we love to hear of God’s work!