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!

Support Level In April

Carolyn and I have felt so blessed to be at 44 percent of our monthly goal and 25 percent of our outgoing by the end of April.  We are thankful for every person that has participated and had a heart to join us in partnership towards our journey to Africa.  Soon we will have a link to a short video clip we made describing some general information about MAF and how God has carried us to apply.  We thank God for the talents of a friend who has blessed us with his time and skill to make this video.  Without his generous gift we would never have had the know-how or time to do it…Excited for everyone to see the final product as I haven’t seen it yet myself!!!

What’s Next

The first step of the overseas journey is to build a team of partners that will support us in prayer and financially.  We cannot go without financial backing to move overseas and maintain a ministry with monthly supporters.  It would also be foolish to attempt such a feat without a team praying for us and bringing this journey before the Lord.  We begin this new stage of life in the most NW part of the U.S. outside of Alaska (which who counts Alaska?)…Lynden!

Home sweet Home

You sure your not in Canada yet?

After one month of support raising we have felt absolutely blessed from local churches, friends and family that have come along side of us.  We hope to raise 10 percent of growth towards our financial goal every month and we are on our way to see 15 percent in the first month…

If you want to become a part of our team sign up at www.maf.org/monson on the right hand side of the page!!!