Dear Family and Friends,
When I worked at Joy Manufacturing one of my co-workers had a sign on his cubical that said; “Yesterday I cudn’t even spell “injunier” now I are one!” So, before I am accused of being a typical “injunier”, i.e. being totally unable to spell, the title of this post is intentional. Also before I am accused of being creative the idea was plagiarized from our Pastor Alan Muchiri’s sermon this past Sunday.
Looking at the song Mary sung to God in Luke 1:46 – 55 two themes seem to stand out. God’s favor and God’s faithfulness. The onset of this young peasant girl’s miraculous pregnancy was the fulfillment of many prophetic words through the centuries before. Even as far back Genesis 3. Though so much time had passed God was faithful and true to His word. Indeed this young lady had found favor with God as Gabriel had told her but through her offspring that favor passed to us as well. This was announced later in Luke by the angels: Lu 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” For Mary the wonder of God’s faithfulness and favor seemed to fill that first Christmas.
Melinda and I have also experienced the wonder of God’s faithfulness and favor and very often through those of you who receive this letter. Twenty five years ago when we began this crazy adventure with God many of you were there encouraging and supporting us through that time of preparation. For the last 20 years you have prayed and helped sustain us while we served our Lord here in Kenya. Some of our prayer warriors have graduated to heaven but many of you continue to astound us with your faithfulness and favor. We certainly serve an awesome God who has wonderful children.
For Melinda and I this may be our last Christmas in Kenya for, well we don’t know for how long. That is in His hands. That comes with a certain degree of sadness. We are confident of God’s faithfulness and favor which we have experienced again and again. I think of my Moody Aviation class theme from Psalms 139:9-10, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” That has certainly been true for us going West to East and we are confident it will be true going East to West as well.
If you are believer in Jesus Christ today then undoubtedly you have experienced both God’s unwavering faithfulness and his incredible favor. We pray that, like Mary, you will cherish God’s faithfulness and favor in your heart and soul this Christmas. In doing so you will have a great deal to be “Merry” about!
Have a Mary Christmas!
Steve and Melinda
Steve went through another audit by the US Federal Aviation Administration. There were a few issues with the manuals we work by that needed correction but otherwise no major problems. This was our last audit by FAA inspectors from their Frankfurt Germany office as they will close that office in 2015. From now on our audits will be from the Miami USA office. Otherwise there has been plenty of work and planning to keep Steve busy and wishing for more help. Our avionics facility is one of the few remaining locations in Africa that is licensed to service US registered aircraft and that has brought a few outside agencies desperately needing our help. Planning continues for a major avionics equipment upgrade to one of our Cessna Caravan’s in 2015.
Though the difficulties of operating in East Africa can be daunting at times AIM AIR continues to serve an amazing variety of Christian mission work. We encourage you to visit www.aimair.org and get a taste of what is going on and some great photos as well!
Melinda had an amazing week at the SYIS (Sharpening your Interpersonal Skills) course the first week of November. The group of 25 was very diverse, including Norwegians, Aussies, Kenyans, Americans and one Canadian. The interaction was rich and affirming, and the facilitators led us through sessions on Relationship Killers, Loving Listening, Confronting Well, Building Trust, Maintaining Margin and Being an Encourager, to name a few.
Since then Melinda has been busy with her normal work on behalf of AIM ABS missionaries as well as the end of year activities such as AIM’s annual Kenya Conference, an ABS Christmas party, and the Sunday School Christmas Program at AIC Ngong Road Church. Our Associate Director, Judi Troutman, leaves for home assignment this week, so Melinda is anticipating an increased work load over the next few months.
Please pray for both of us as it seems our remaining time in Kenya will be quite a marathon run. Pray that we run through the finish line and are not struck by “exit mentality”.
Olivia just finished a week of volunteering in Detroit with a group called “All Hands”. They were cleaning up houses that had been destroyed in a bad flood a few years back. She returns to her regular job this week. Natalie has moved back to Pennsylvania (she had quite a road trip on her own from San Antonio to Franklin) and is currently living with Steve’s parents. She has started a job at the Mosaic Café in Oil City as a waitress. She’s going to be looking for additional part time work, and hopes to work on her art projects in between jobs. Christine finished up the semester at Taylor this last week, and she arrived here Dec 15th! We are thrilled to be able to spend Christmas with her! This is bittersweet, as we will miss the other two girls so much, but they have plans to spend Christmas together in Indiana.