WE ARE Jerry and Breanna, volunteer missionaries with Africa Inland Mission. I am a pilot / mechanic / and base manager for our Lokichogio, Kenya base. I grew up Papua New Guinea, a Wycliffe MK, and went to LeTourneau University.
Breanna grew up in Washington state and Costa Rica, almost always knowing she would be a teacher. We met at LeTourneau University.
Between PNG and LeTourneau I had an unexpected break. A WWII veteran Army pilot (artillery observer) named OD Miller worked with me until I received my private pilot license so I could eventually use it for ministry. He never charged me a cent.
After LeTourneau, I worked at Cessna Aircraft as an engineer for almost eight years. Then we moved to Minnesota to spend a year at Proclaim Aviation. During that year they helped pay off the remaining school loan and gave me a chance to get the rust off of my Airframe and Powerplant mechanic’s license.
We normally live in northern Kenya, supporting the missionaries working in South Sudan. Breanna home schools two of our kids: Grace,and Isaiah. Olivia attends boarding school at Rift Valley Academy. Our newest miracle, Jack, was born premature February 2012.
This is our blog 2.0. This one, we hope, evolves into a simpler website to look at, offering us more options to create and form it, and offers our friends more compelling reasons to visit and read.
The unvarnished, bare all aspects of publishing thoughts onto the internet is at once attractive and sometimes unnerving. I found it easier to plan an open-souled, brutally honest blog this side of the Atlantic. When we began serving overseas, it became a challenge to know how much to say, not wanting to offend any specific person or culture, or convey personal details beyond being tasteful or secure, and yet offer supporters, friends, and family a taste of our new life and experiences.
So, with a new blog we’ll hone in the fine edge of mundane set against the wonderful. The shorter stories of a daily grind against a backdrop of God working in a moving way, well beyond what any of us could conceive. Not every post will be uplifting. I have been blessed with a cynical outlook and a dislike of sugarry emotionalism, but I also promise to report the small and large joys and celebrate where God is moving. It encourages me and hopefully you.
The bottom line is Africa is changing, and in many ways improving. The church is growing rapidly, and also maturing. Countless servants there do the work of the Church, many times with very little money, and enduring tough conditions. However, corruption remains a major problem, and with a strong absence of accountability, it can go unchecked. Politically, South Sudan is holding onto a fragile peace, and quite possibly the material work that missionaries invested could quickly become undone.
However, we never know what spiritual fruit will come. The AIC church in South Sudan is already very missions focused and determined to share the Good News with distant tribes in this newest nation on Earth. In a commissioning service, several bishops washed the feet of their Sudanes missionaries being sent out. That’s amazing in light of an authoritarian culture where position equals status.
Many times missionaries have to leave. The reasons are varied, but in South Sudan it is always on everyone’s mind. What we do with the time we have is a major question, and AIM AIR works within that context. To support the workers of this harvest in the window of time they have, could mean a significant impact for good over a marginal one. To speed up their efforts by flying in supplies and personnel so that more Christ Centered Churches can flourish. Because, if order collapses into a violent tangle, that small but important effort could be all the local church has to work with while outsider missionaries have to pull out.
And yet, the bigger picture is God is in control. He uses us because He wants to. And that’s the reason we are there. He created us for this role, and there is no greater worship, no better way to live, move, or breathe, than to join in with Him, flying modern heroes of the faith around East Africa.