After seven years, two boys, and a baby girl (on the way) our desire for serving the Lord in missions had grown stronger. For quite some time Marc fervently asked God to show him His will for his life and the calling for his family. There were many desires in his heart from working with the Deaf community in ministry, teaching the youth, participating in worship, some kind of visual art ministry, piloting airplanes, and being a Pastor. After prayer and talking to our pastor and the elders of the church, we felt God was leading us to full time missions. Our Pastor once mentioned we needed to “turn and look at the burning bush in our life”, just as Moses did.
The “burning bush” was several events that led us to ask “Do we fit the missionary mold?” As we were sitting in church one Sunday morning a man from Far Reaching Ministries shared with us an update on his journeys to the Sudan. He will never know how God used his words, so humble and simple to open and direct our hearts on the path God had already laid out. He told us out of the 100 people there that day, maybe one would be called overseas as he was. However, he emphasized how we are all called to follow Jesus daily, wherever we are. We are all called to take up our cross and follow Him. In our minds, missionaries were holy people! They were the ultimate example of sacrifice and we weren’t sure if we could actually become a missionary. His simple, humble statements challenged us that God wasn’t looking for great holiness or skill (that was relieving since we possess very little of either) He was looking for those who were willing to follow Him. The next question was, were we really willing?
Soon after that presentation, God continued to direct our desires when John Lemmon, an MAF recruiter, spoke at our church about missionary aviation. When we walked in the sanctuary that day we both looked at each other with that look, “O.K. God, what are you trying to tell us?” The whole situation was odd because the year before Marc wanted to start training for his private pilot license at a local training center and Angela was talking about adopting children from other countries and looking into becoming missionaries.
Our minds were racing with thoughts, plans and desires so we prayed about the direction we should take with MAF for weeks. Marc didn’t want to react too quickly only to get impatient with God’s timing. Nothing happened for about seven months in spite of two e-mails that were sent to MAF recruiters and a phone call our Pastor placed with Mr. Lemmon.
Around September, we were talking together about the direction God was taking us and the MAF opportunity came up again. So we decided to take a step and see where it led. We noticed that an MAF recruiter was going to be at the Embry Riddle Job Expo in November near our home. We marked it on our calendar.
On an early Friday morning, our entire family; Logan, Parker and baby Abigail in mommy’s tummy, went to talk to the MAF recruiter at Embry Riddle. We had prayed that the meeting would be some sort of confirmation to our direction. We met with the Southeast Region Recruiter, and had a great time talking about our similar backgrounds, the MAF organization, and possible courses of action for our family joining MAF. After talking we decided there were two courses of action; (1) Marc was one class away from finishing his B.S. in Management Information Systems, an attribute that would work well with MAF as an Information Technology (I.T.) Missionary or (2) a Missionary Aviation Pilot.
We continued to pray for guidance and direction with making a decision between I.T. and Aviation. Even though becoming a missionary pilot would require many hours of flight training and aircraft mechanic training to attain certification, this seemed to be the direction God was leading us at the moment. The time it would take Marc to complete the flight training portion and mechanic certification would be about 5 years and at no small expense. It was an overwhelming decision but if God was leading us in this direction then we knew He would provide.
2007 revealed the blossoming of desires and passions with some detours in our pursuit of missionary service. We prayed and sought the Lord for the direction to follow and we were confident that we would be starting this new journey within the next few months, but instead…