It’s Baby Blob Monson

photo-4 2Top Secret Bio

Name: Baby Blob Monson

Born: TBD (July 22nd 2013, ish ish)

Favorite Activity: Baby Sleeping (As stated by Caleb)

Favorite Prank: Making Mommy Sick

Personality: Adventurer (I’m moving to Africa people!)

With great excitement we get to meet a new member of the Monson family this summer.  Baby blob can’t wait to join the team and start this new adventure overseas.  Baby blob is excited to be born in the United States and meet the extended family, but can’t wait to travel…quiet the adventurer for only being 8 weeks old.  Baby blob has a strong heart beat and lots of attitude.  Baby’s favorite prank from the womb is to make mommy sick…what a sense of humor already!  We all can’t wait to see you, especially Caleb, who continues to remark how much baby is a good sleeper…it’s obvious, if baby is not playing, baby must be sleeping.  Sleep well little one, can’t wait to meet you.

Lesotho Videos!!!

Here are links to All Over the World: Lesotho.  This is a wonderful video, which features the work MAF does where we will soon live. The video is  30 minutes long, broken into three 10 minute parts.  Check it out…

Part 1: http://youtu.be/vZmfNCmSPCo

Part 2: http://youtu.be/zBtYNPKGINA

Part 3: http://youtu.be/x-q6bV_x0j0

Lesotho Continued…

Carolyn and I will live in the capital city of Maseru.  The city sits 5,000 feet above the sea and by Heading East the mountains rise quickly peaking at 11,400 feet.  The average of these altitudes make it the most elevated country in the world, which is why people refer to it as the mountain kingdom or kingdom in the sky.

The MAF team has been present in Lesotho since 1980.  Nine families and many nationals currently serve in the program meaning we will have many mentors and friends.  MAF Lesotho is blessed to have a national pastor Sefiri part of the team, expanding the opportunities and effectiveness of the ministry.  We are excited to see how God has orchestrated the uniqueness of this group to serve Him in Africa.  MAF has a fleet of five Cessna 206 aircraft to serve the mountain people and this plane is sure a workhorse.  It has the versatility of carrying a heavy load while flying in high terrain and landing on a small landing strips…exactly what we need.

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Having a national pastor on staff has had a great impact on reaching the Basotho.  I will include some wonderful stories from Sefiri soon

Lesotho


Lesotho (La-Sue-Two) is a small mountainous country landlocked by South Africa.  Without the small airplane, nearly 75 percent of the population would be a great challenge to reach as there are very few, mostly impassible roads through the ongoing peaks and ranges.  The country side is some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen photographed.

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The Basotho shepherds are the most un-evangelized and unreached people in Lesotho.  They live very simple lives and are taught their trade at an early age.  Nearly one-quarter to one-third of these people are infected with HIV/AIDS, which is one of the highest infection rates in the world.  The government has asked MAF to come, serve, and help combat the challenging medical difficulties the people face.  We are able to show Christ to the people in a physical and tangible way.  This service has opened the door and people’s hearts to see that Jesus is Lord.

Carolyn and I will live in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho.  We heard that many people speak English in the city, which will help our transition overseas.  We will invest in learning their language, Sesotho, on our own.  There is no official language study course.  Sesotho is very different than any latin based language…there are even a few click sounds thrown around.  Should be fun.

Send us any questions you may have?  mmonson@maf.org

Where in the world are the Monsons?

Since the beginning of our MAF journey life has been full of surprise and change.  In the last five years we have moved five times.  Some moves were planned well in advanced. Some moves happened quickly, but it never seems to get easier…just faster.  Two years ago we were 25 years away from applying with MAF, but God changed our timeline and allowed us to apply, interview, and begin deputation in under a year.  During our application the doctors found an abnormality in my left lung, which potentially would end my dreams with MAF and my entire flight career.  While I waited for the results from the doctor over the weekend, I had a chance to lay down my career at the Lord’s feet, but the results were healthy and I was able to continue.

I can keep going with this for awhile, but I think you get the idea.  We experienced life does not occur at our pace, for our reasons, the way we think it will happen.  God is in control.  He knows what will grow us in His image. He uses change and surprise to refine us and forces us to rely on Him as we recognize we are not in control.  This is another one of those moments and opportunities…

Carolyn and I have been redirected to serve Mission Aviation Fellowship in Lesotho, Africa (La-Sue-Two). In the change of course, God has revealed His presence in the details and we have a great excitement for this new location.  Lesotho is a wonderful fit for our family and we believe God has prepared this Southern area of Africa for our service.  Our timeline has changed because we no longer learn French in Quebec this January, but we are planning to travel in July/August of 2013.  Overall, we will be serving in-country sooner.  Check out our newest newsletter with more information here: www.maf.org/monson and I will be posting more information about MAF Lesotho soon…

The Frozen North…Sherbrooke, Quebec

A few pictures, diagrams, and thoughts…

Looks cold…is cold…cold

The cold season lasts from December 3 to March 10 with an average daily high temperature below 33°F. The coldest day of the year is January 20, with an average low of 1°F and high of 22°F.

Average Temperature Band in Sherbrooke, Quebec

I just want to point out that the above graph needed a “frigid” section…oh dear….

Carolyn and I cannot believe we are counting down the months until language school.  Last week we were officially accepted to attend the Winter class in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  This week we received our informational packet and things got real…we are actually moving to Canada in 3 months to learn French!!!  I wasn’t thinking about packing, or moving, or leaving my home town, or not seeing my extended family…it’s crazy how all of this stuff is upon us now.  I would like to give more of my time to planning and thinking about living in a strange and foreign environment, but the activities of support raising is drawing most of my attention.

In the next three months we pray to increase our support level 30 percent.  That is an ambitious task and one that God could easily overcome.  First of all, I give so much praise to God for giving us nearly 70 percent of our support by September.  This is such an amazing thing to experience…I have seen God weaving together people and unique stories to build a partnership team to help us serve in Africa.  There is nothing like support raising.  It can be so exhausting and yet exhilarating at the same time.  God has shown me so much during the past 7 months.  It’s one thing to say you trust the Lord with the things of your life, but another to see him caring for the things of your life.  So the next three months will be quite an adventure.  I’m excited to see God work in many situations and am looking forward to church presentations and the individuals we meet and begin to build stronger relationships with.  It is always fun to think about a person we meet at a random church may be someone we have as a supporter for 20 years…a stranger now, but such a bond and connection as we minister together for the Lord.  

I would like to praise the Lord for a few things…

  • We have on campus housing in Sherbrooke, which means we have a fully furnished place to live.  We also have easy travels to school.
  • Caleb is such an amazing kid.  He is rarely ever upset and loves to be social and engages people in his activities…this is such a wonderful trait when you are visiting with many people.
  • There are many doors that are cracked open for our support to increase.  I am so thankful for these possibilities and am excited to see what fruit God produces through them.
  • Carolyn and I will be at the MAF headquarters in October for culture training.  I am so grateful to have an organization that will invest in our success in foreign environments.
  • 4 years of marriage.  Carolyn is wonderful and I would have never expected to have grown this much and seen so much change in our lives in such a short time.  She is the perfect person to have for this adventure.

Summer update

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Matthew was headed out again to do a “church tour” as he calls it. South this time. I sent out prayer emails and asked the Lord the send his mighty angels out ahead and clear a way, and prepare the hearts of the people that Matthew would come in contact with. Late into the afternoon Matthew returned, tired, but encouraged. He had dropped off 10 or so packets with different churches in the Skagit Valley area and followed up with a few other pastors from a previous trip- (making the total number of church “cold” contacts over 100!) He shared his good news with me- Ed, a pastor from a AG church had invited us to come and speak at their church in three weeks at an evening service, AND there would be a family there who has served in the Congo for over 20 years, who had their lives saved by MAF! THis all came together during their conversation, as Matthew saw the missionary pictures on the wall that the church supported and noticed that one of them was from the Congo.

I was able to attend a Women’s lunch in and hear Suzanne share about her life and ministry and their experience with MAF. She said, “if it wasn’t for MAF there would be no way for us to get in and out of our town where we served. MAF were lifesaver.” The next day her, as her husband Pat shared at the morning service he had tears in his eyes as he recanted his experience of how a faithful MAF pilot, Dave J (who we will be serving with in the Congo) remained faithful to his word, and showed up one Monday morning to pick him up from a secluded town with no cell service despite the fact that the whole area was being evacuated due to the rebel attacks pressing in from the Lord’s Resistance Army, (LRA), known for their vicious rapes and terror on many of the tribes in the surrounding areas where we will be living and serving in the NE area of Congo.    Pat reminded us why we are doing what we’re doing.  He reminded us that the sacrifice and the struggles with raising support is totally worth it. MAF makes it possible everyday for thousands of people to more efficiently serve God and each other! We are the wings that help other people soar!

We recently moved back to Bellingham! It has been the first time we have had our own home in over a year and we are loving it! Community living taught us a lot through the good and the bad, and we are thankful for the experience and the sacrifice of two church families to let us live with them.  We are thankful that the Lord has provided Matthew’s Grandparents home (fully furnished) for us to live in until January when we leave for language school. Matt’s Grandparents both passed away this Spring.

Our Summer has been filled with a trip to Spokane and Tri Cities to network and share at a church and also a trip to Nampa, ID to the MAF headquarters to get some security training. We have presented at six churches, four small groups and numerous individuals searching for the team that God has to support us and also to encourage and educate people about Mission Aviation Fellowship and the Congo. We love meeting new people and sharing what God has done in our lives! It is so clear that this is what he would have us doing, as he has removed so many barriers in our lives to get us here. To think that just a year and a half ago we had $20,000 in student loans, and Matthew was looking for a second job- even considered being a carpenter to pay off our loans, and through the help of dear friends of ours and Matthew’s Grandfather- today we are debt free and headed to Africa with MAF! It seemed it was right when i surrounded our dreams and desires to the Lord, as i help my new baby in my arms, and said, “not my will, but yours God…i will be content where ever you have me, even if it means staying here in the states…” that was the time he had friends pay off so much of our student loans that we were able to apply with MAF the next day! WOW! He is GOOD!

So as the Fall is approaching, we are still praying and working on building our support team. We are currently at 62% of our on going monthly support, and 55% of our one time fee- for moving and language school, and travel etc. We want to be at 100% by the time we leave for language school in January, in Quebec Canada to learn French! Wee wee! We would ask that you consider joining our prayer and financial team and help us serve the Lord in Africa. We’re currently looking for 4 churches to support us at $300 a month, and for 25 individuals to commit to giving $60 a month. Would you be one of them?

We would love to get together for coffee some time- call us to meet up! (425) 478-6548 Matthew

-Carolyn-

Almost half way there…

Matthew and i are almost half way to our full support!

To be at 100% of our monthly support we still need $3,670 pledged monthly.

We’ve broken down the specific amounts below:

15 people @ $100 a month

13 people @ $75 a month

15 people @ $50 a month

15 people @ $30 a month

We are also raising money to go into our “Outgoing funds” or special donations that will help pay for language school, transportation, vaccinations, and our shipment to the Congo. We have already received 35% of the money needed! Thank you to everyone who has sacrificed for us! We still need to raise $23,500 to be at 100%.

We are confident that God is calling individuals like you to be part of our team. Will you consider what category you might fall into? You can sign up to give online at http://www.maf.org/monson or email us and let us your interest. mmonson@maf.org

A story from Jon Cadd, a pilot in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

I love the variety in my life. It is wonderful to be able to help people in many different ways and it is great to have the element that makes everything come together.

The last couple of flights I have done have been interesting that way.  Besides just getting people where they need to go to get the work they need to do done, I have been able to get injured people to hospital and move men and machines around where they are needed, take some missionaries out to do work with translation teams and take medicines to a couple of clinics.  It kinda makes you feel like you got something done.  Even if the sky is dirty.  Another lovely day at the office!