2010 started off fast. We finished Candidacy with MAF and started raising ministry support right away. In just a couple months most of Joy’s former supporters switched over from Intervarsity to MAF. My meager 22% support after over a year of fundraising jumped to 60% or more by May.
Joy was an excellent fundraising partner. She being an extrovert brought a life to our efforts that was distinctly lacking when I tried to connect with potential donors alone. She also had an extensive network of friends and acquaintances that I’d just never been able to develop. She truly brought in our necessary ministry support almost without me.
Late in the summer of 2010, Joy and I started a long road trip that took nearly a month. We visited family, friends, and a few national parks. Our ultimate destination was Nampa, Idaho again, this time for our pre-field orientation and my standardization training.
Before leaving for life overseas, MAF has each of their staff families attend orientation to help prepare them for life overseas. It’s a fun and challenging time preparing mentally for all the transitions ahead. Joy and I attended Orientation in October with several friends we’d made in Candidacy the winter before. When Orientation was complete, I started flight and maintenance standardization.
The maintenance standardization went smoothly, but two days into my flight training, an unusual snow fell just days before Thanksgiving. Two feet of snow had fallen, and more in the mountains. That made for great skiing opportunities, but all of MAF’s backcountry airstrips were closed. Since the majority of my training was based around takeoff and landing in backcountry airstrips, we had to come up with a new plan.
And to our happy surprise, that new plan needed to consider the birth of another member of our family.