We got back from Idaho yesterday and we have a good report! Daniel passed both the flying and maintenance tests and we are invited to come back for what they call candidacy. Which doesn't really mean we're accepted, but they said it was 90% for sure that we would be accepted. They said pretty much the rest of it is on us-when we can come back for the candidacy.
It's kind of a complex journey, so let me explain:
After you pass the TE, you
1. Go to the candidacy class which is offered in January or July, which is a total of 5 weeks. The first two weeks is more interviews with the candidacy committee and more personality-type testing to see where in the world you would best fit. At the end of those two weeks, you are officially accepted and you are told what country you'll be sent to. You also start to receive a salary from MAF full-time. The next week is safety training and then the last two weeks is packed with classes on how to raise support. I've heard that this is a really intense five weeks. Classes are from 8-5 for both husband and wife, so you have to have a babysitter for your kids (MAF provides them and they are still in the building with you in case you're nursing)
2. After your candidacy classes, you spend time raising support. You can't have another job because you are on staff with MAF and you receive a salary from them to live off of.
3. When your support is at about 90%, you go back to Idaho for what they call flight standardization. This is where Daniel will spend 8 weeks in classes and in the airplane learning the MAF way of doing things. (I'll be able to stay with the kids during this one!) There is also 2 weeks of cultural training for both pilot and the wife.
4. When you are at 100% of your support (they say this takes 6 months to a year total), then you go to language school for about a year near or in the location you'll be serving. Then, you go to your final destination to serve!
Whew! That is a lot! :) But, while in Idaho, we got to see how much the staff at MAF cares about the missionaries and how they want you to be FULLY prepared so that you will have the least amount of trauma as possible. I really appreciate this! :)
Daniel's two weeks was pretty stressful, as it was really a two week interview with people watching over his shoulder and quizzing you one everything he knows as a pilot/mechanic. But, Reece and my two weeks was pretty relaxing! I loved being a full-time stay at home mom. Plus, there was pretty much no "to-do" list for me! Except to figure out which park we were going to for that day! We were in the MAF apartments, so there were lots of MAF families around us. They were all in different stages of the process, and one family was just back from their first 3 year overseas. So, I got to know a few of the wives and children and I got to ask them tons of question about MAF and what life was like as a missionary pilot's wife!
We thank God for a great trip and his perfect timing. We were originally planning on going to the January classes, but now for several reasons probably won't make it until July. Daniel is okay with this and knows that it is all in God's timing and control, but I'm still a little disappointed (mostly because it's half me that is the hold up--I thought I only needed 3 more Bible credits which I was going to take this fall, but I found out that I still need 6 more Bible credits.) Oh well, God knew it the whole time and it's no surprise to Him!
I have some good pictures of our Idaho adventures, so check back later this week for those. THANK YOU for everyone who prayed for us and for all your encouraging words. You have know idea what a blessing it is to know that people are excited for us and support us.