We hope you are doing well and that God is active and working in your lives! Here is our next installment in our journey to the mission field! We are excited to have added several new people to our updates and want to give them a brief background of our plans for the future!
Kacy and I moved to Waco, Texas in September of 2014 after we were married so that I could pursue my Airframe and Powerplant mechanic rating, which would allow me as a missionary pilot to work on the aircraft I will be flying. Most mission organizations require this from their pilots. While I am at school, Kacy is busy working at First City Financial Corporation as a tax analyst. Our roles are a little flipped right now, but we are thankful for God’s provisions. While we are here we are also pursuing Bible school to prepare us for the mission field. Our rough estimate of being able to join a mission organization (after all of our application requirements have been met) is January of 2017 when we should be able to start the interview process followed by training and raising support in the US. This can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. Once we have the needed funds pledged, we will move to the country we have been assigned to go through a year of language school before beginning our first term in our new roles as missionaries.
We will be celebrating our one-year anniversary soon and it has been amazing this last year! As Kacy and I reflect on this year we both feel like the time has flown by, but that it feels much longer than just a year. God has done so much in us this last year and it is awesome to be drawing closer to one another. In our last letter we asked for prayer about finding a bible school to prepare us for the mission field. God answered that prayer and we are currently using Liberty Home Bible Institute for training. The cost was appropriate for us and we enjoy that we can work at our own pace. Since starting on April 5th, we have read through and studied most of the Old Testament – there were only selected Psalms! It has been a great study and we both have learned so much about how amazing God is. We also prayed for ways to build friendships here in Waco. God has answered that as well as we have gotten plugged in with a local church, Highland Baptist Church, and have been involved with a young married Sunday school class. We have also had opportunities to work with the missions pastor and spend time getting to know the missionaries of Highland through a summer Wednesday night program. These evenings really spoke to Kacy and me as we are in this interim period and also gave us a chance to get to know others at our church through a meal before the teaching time.
My schooling is going well; however, I will need a lot of prayer soon. I will finish the Airframe portion of my training and be signed off to take my written exams as well as my practical in about 3 weeks. Please be in prayer that I would be diligent in my studies and that the testing process would go smoothly. Also, in regards to school, please pray that I would take this opportunity to share the love of Christ with my classmates.
In the last letter I spoke about Wings for Christ and our partnership to build hours. I am steadily gaining time in the air as I prepare for the mission field as well as getting some experience in ministry. Recently the ministry went through a re-organization to focus on what our mission is and what God would have us do with His gifting. The team at Wings and myself spent a lot of time in prayer and we have started to build teams so that the ministry would be better organized. During this process I have been blessed to take on some roles as an ambassador with Wings to spread the news of our mission with the website, Facebook, and also through letters like this. The mission of Wings for Christ is to use aviation to spread the gospel through training missionary pilots as well as offering mission flights within our area in any way we are capable. I have been able to work with Wings to get a Mooney transported to prepare it for mission flights, also to work on ideas and areas we can improve so that we can become an efficient flight training institution, and of course flying to build hours. Please pray for Wings for Christ in this transition and also so that we can be good stewards of what God has blessed us with to further His kingdom!
For the past few months we have been wrestling with the idea of taking a vision trip and whether or not it could or even would happen. We have battled with the thoughts of taking such a costly trip to get a small dose of what our lives will be like in just a few short years. Is it right to spend so much just to go scope out the country? Would we actually be able to use this opportunity to use our gifts? Does taking this trip give me a reason to back out if I am too far outside of my comfort zone? Would God even send us on a trip like this and could it possibly be taking away from the faithful element of giving up our life in the US? The last few questions in particular have been a huge struggle with me. I don’t want a second option – there’s fully committing to going where God has called us, despite my selfish desires, and simply put, disobeying the calling He has put on our family. Also, I want to live faithfully. Did God send His disciples to test the waters before they went out among the nations? No. It doesn’t seem like I can be growing in my faith if I have to get my toes wet before fully jumping in, but the Lord has answered all of these questions in some incredible ways.
We had initially planned to visit Indonesia through MAF, but because of scheduling conflicts during Christmastime, we were unable to make it work. Daniel and I contemplated waiting until next summer to try again, but with the unknown ahead of us after Daniel finishes school, that wouldn’t be a guarantee. Daniel decided to reach out to Jim and Michele Axelson, missionaries he knows from Rocky Bayou Baptist Church in Florida, that live in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. They have very graciously accepted us and immediately began contacting others to help us get the most out of our trip. Through one of these contacts, we found out that their financial department at the aviation center in Ukarumpa is in need of some help, so I now have the chance to serve as an accountant while there! We will also meet up with another mission team that is starting up a Bible college in Port Moresby. We began to get excited to see how God was shaping this trip and giving us a purpose to be there other than seeing the land – we now have opportunities to actually get involved! Then we looked at airfares. Some prices were double, almost triple, what we had found while looking up air travel to Indonesia. The topic of maybe holding off started to creep back up into our frequent discussions. Daniel spent hours looking at prices online for tickets (the best price being over $5,000 just to get there and back – not travel while there) and we felt defeated. If only the price would come down a couple of thousand dollars or even just one thousand we would feel so much better about it. The very next night Daniel was looking up prices again and yells out, “I really think this can work!” He found prices that were $1,500 cheaper than before! God heard our cries (more like whining) and faithfully answered even though we hadn’t come to Him first. He met us in our doubt.
While the idea of taking a vision trip and the lack of faith I feel by going has weighed heavily on my heart, God is teaching me to trust how much He cares and wants to do for His children. Whether going on a vision trip means I am not exhibiting as much faith as just packing up my bags and going would, God is growing my faith daily through this process. The road He has already paved for us so far is so overwhelming that the excitement has begun to extinguish the fear. We are still praying for finances to come through and ask that you pray with us. God has been so good to us, and when are confident that He will not leave us half way through this journey.
Together we want to thank you for joining us on this adventure, for praying over us, and for the words of encouragement. The working of the “church” no matter where you are is so evident in our lives with the sweet messages you have sent us.
- Our marriage to be focused on Christ and that others will see Christ’s love through us
- Daniel’s studying for Airframe tests
- Wings for Christ as an organization and their growth
- Our focus and continued work on Bible school
- Vision trip to Papua New guinea; travel, finishing details and finances
Daniel & Kacy Bristol.