Dear Friends in ministry,
As we look ahead to 2017 we are excited about the new ministry opportunities that lay ahead. Carmen will be kicking off the year with a 2 week trip to Honduras to take part in the annual VBS ministry for the children of the Rus Rus village (where one of our field bases is located) and, the Lord willing, 2 other nearby villages as well. Carmen is looking forward to learning more about the MAG way of doing short term teams so that she can facilitate other teams in the future. The plan is for Carmen to preach in one of the local churches as well as the team will be in the area over several Sundays.
Early January is also the kick-off of the pilot apprenticeship training program that MAG is pioneering. Sean has been working to finalize the curriculum and getting the flight operations area ready to be a good training environment.
In December a future apprentice to MAG made a one year consult visit. The purpose of these visits is that one year into the maintenance apprenticeship at MMS that those in the pilot training “pipeline” are evaluated to make sure that future pilot training with MAG is still the right fit for both parties. The visits include flight time and are also 360 degree in nature as the whole family comes to Burlington. Carmen enjoys getting to be a part of the relational part of the visit as we get to know the wife and kids too and learn how God is leading and preparing the whole family.
Sean will also be traveling to our field program in Honduras in February 2017 to help with a large medical event that occurs at the hospital in Rus Rus. This is the biggest event that MAG hosts each year with around 1500 people being seen for various medical needs. The medical staff that assists in this annual brigade comes from the International Health Services (IHS)
In the midst of all these happenings Sean is working on his CFI-I which qualifies him to do instrument instruction. His goal is to complete this rating in early 2017 as well. Sean is praying about doing a one week all-inclusive program which is more expensive, but would expedite the process and be most efficient.
This fall we have been meeting various missionaries who have benefited tremendously from mission aviation in the ministries they do. For instance we met a women who is a nurse in the Sudan. Recently she had to leave the Sudan due to instability and violence occurring there. She shared how mission aviation organizations that serve there enabled her to stay much longer because she could fly over the most troubled areas and roads when travel was necessary. Another family who are our neighbors at Siloam Missionary Homes serve in Papua doing Bible translation. They simply wouldn’t be able to get to the area they serve without the use of aviation. Stories like these encourage us as we labor in the slow but needed ministry of preparing future mission aviators.
The bulk of Sean’s flight instruction time this fall as been working with MAG’s own pilot Ben Powell who with his family will be deployed to our field program in Guatemala in late spring 2017. Sean’s job was to help re-familiarize Ben with flying smaller Cessna airplanes which are slower than the airplanes Ben has been most recently flying.As we reflect on 2016 we are ever aware of God’s faithfulness in the substantial changes that have happened in our lives this past year. Besides the relocation, the other biggest change is how our family’s needs are met. Last January Sean was still working with the research and development company he had been at for 11 years and the bulk of our income came from his paychecks and Carmen’s income serving as the Director of Youth Ministry at Sugar Creek. Saying yes to God’s call to serve in Mission Aviation meant also saying yes to leaving the more typical way of providing for our family’s needs to relying on partnerships with individuals and churches who sense God’s leading to be a part of the work that Christ is doing through Missionary Air Group.
We are so blessed by how so many have responded to the invitation and joined us in this partnership with Missionary Air Group. We have made such significant progress in this area in the past year, but we are still in need of $1,500 in monthly partnerships to be sustainable long-term. With 15 more $100 a month commitments we could be there! Annual or single gifts are also a huge blessing. If you are not already, we would be thrilled to have you on our team. We would love to have a conversation with you or follow the link on the sidebar to MAG’s secure giving page. All gifts received or post marked Dec. 31st or before will be receipted for 2016 giving for tax purposes.
We thank God for all He is doing to draw us closer to Christ and to show us His loving kindness. We pray that you know Christ’s love in a new way as this New Year unfolds.
In His Service,
Sean and Carmen Garrigan