Just a few more quick updates. We had a board meeting last night and began planning for some exciting fundraisers to generate buzz in the area and raise money to purchase our airplane. Stay tuned for some great ways to be involved!
We are also in the process of being approved to receive donations through smile.amazon.com. This is a cool thing Amazon does that contributes .5% of all your regular purchases through Amazon to your selected non-profit. we will send out a notice when approved. We are also doing something similar through Ebay. Stay engaged!
Daniel is currently studying for his CFI writtens and will begin training soon.
It is hard to believe that a little over a year has past since our last major update. The major events of 2015 were us building a house on our land we purchased in 2014 and moving in right before Christmas. Building the house was a truly challenging and rewarding journey as we encountered far more obstacles than expected. The spiritual warfare that it entailed came as a big surprise because it seemed like such a normal endeavor, but I am reminded of Peter's warning to "not be surprised at the fiery trial that has come upon you". We also FINALLY got our 501C3 paperwork finished and submitted to the IRS for consideration this last January. We are hoping to hear back by the end of April.
The other big event that came as a surprise to us was to be directed to a new church community right at the end of 2015. We were certainly not looking for a new church home but the Lord made it quite apparent that He wanted us to migrate to a new fellowship to assist with the youth. We have been at Calvary Community Church for a few months now and are getting to know the body and leadership before we step into a roll serving with the youth. More updates to come soon.
Our vision for 2016 and Paraclete Aviation consists of
We hope to have more updates in the near future as we are expecting big things for this year!
It has been a season of transitions for us as we try to forge forward into the things God has in store for us. There has been discouraging times, encouraging times and a myriad of emotions in between. We closed on the land in September, put in part of the driveway, and a small workshop this October with Bob Dietz's help. One amazing "coincidence" was that God orchestrated our closing date to happen on September 13th as opposed to the original September 15th date. Seemingly insignificant at the time, but that afternoon as Dawn and I drove out to the property she realized that it was 8 years to the day from when we arrived in Spokane Washington to begin this journey. Some may not see much relevance to that, but we choose to recognize that God was giving us an encouraging moment. For 6 years we labored and had many trials in Spokane, going through school, having very little finances and walking by faith through many difficult situations. The 7th year was spent transitioning from Spokane back to Iowa and included "resting" from our labor. This time was also met with many trials, the largest of which was an employment situation that was very discouraging. I was making such a meager wage that we were going into debt just paying regular bills, and making no progress toward ministry. But a very accurate word was spoken over us in the fall of 2012 by a couple at church that was getting ready to go work on an Indian reservation as missionaries. He spoke of seeing Jesus calling us through an open door, spoke very accurately as to the youth ministry we would endeavor into (sharing detailed plans he saw God doing that was private to only Dawn, I and the Lord), and also mentioned he thought the door was in regards to employment. As many already know, this word was fulfilled 6 months later in February of 2013 when I was offered a job at MidAmerican Aerospace (see A New Adventure a Test and Ice Cream for the testimony). That job made it possible for us to pay off our debt. Because of how quickly He moved in this area we decided to be adventurous and go look at a 20 acre farm plot knowing that we wouldn't be able to purchase it anytime soon. However, it was something that had been in our heart to do for many years. Obviously God loves doing the impossible because we closed on the land less than 6 months after He put in on our hearts to go "spy out the land" :).
The reason I share those backdrop details is because the missionaries were back a few weeks ago for a short rest and we took the opportunity to spend time with them and sow into each others' lives. They shared again about the future of the ministry and what was going to soon take place. That God has had his eye on us and will continue to watch over us. They shared that discouragement would soon come, but "do not fear". That this was simply a predecessor to a big breakthrough in the ministry. The discouragement came very quickly in the form of trials with Dawn's mother's health, as well as a few other battles. Praise the Lord that he prepared us before hand because we have been able to pray through and continue on.
Based on what God has been showing us in prayer and through others' encouragement we see the next year being a very fruitful season into more full-time ministry.
The Sunday after our meeting, three youth were present at our church service while I was teaching. Many words of encouragement were spoken to them through various church members that were very significant to us personally. Through these words, Dawn and I realized that God is going to raise up youth around us to assist in this ministry. He also stirred in our hearts to be more focused and attentive to sowing into the lives on those young people that attend our church.
We have been in a waiting season for much of the last year, wanting to carefully move only where we feel God is actively working. Because of this, somethings have not progressed as quickly as I would want, but as we learn to trust Him we realize the necessity of this. He is now beginning to stir up the nest and wanting us to learn to jump out of the nest and see if we can fly.
We are beginning to pray and strategize for the upcoming year to make sure we focus our time and energy toward what God is directing us toward.
Please stand with us in prayer for our Impossible God Goals for 2015 that only He can accomplish:
It is with great excitement that we officially announce the future ministry site of Paraclete Aviation. Daniel has spent the last 4 months working on a land offer to a local farmer. There were many facets involved and the process is not entirely complete, but we made an offer on it a week ago, and, after some back and forth negotiations we settled on an amazing price. It is 20 acres located about 30 minutes outside of Cedar Rapids, Iowa with access to the Vinton airport just a few miles away. This will be the future site of our home and ministry house that will be used to disciple youth of all ages.
Please keep this in prayer as there is still the need for the land to be approved for rezoning. Our offer was contingent upon the land being rezoned from farm land to residential. We should know by the end of July whether it is accepted from the Benton County board.
We are also currently fasting and praying for God to provide an airplane soon and clear direction for the next step in the ministry process. We are beginning to reach out to local youth and are asking God to put a hunger in them for deep and true discipleship that leads to greater impact than we have ever seen before!
More to be revealed soon...
So quite a few things have happened in the month since our last update. Probably worthy of a newsletter, but it is hard to find the time to sit down and write and plan that all out. After 4 months of waiting and resting, God hit the gas pedal and said "let's Go Dietz's, it's time to follow again". It reminds me much of how our journey started within a 6 month period when Dawn and I were called to an aviation ministry, got married, moved to Spokane and got pregnant. Here is what has transpired in less than a month...
Not a week after our last update I got a letter from Moody in Chicago informing me that I had a credit to my account. I wasn't really sure how that happened because for 6 years it was always a letter informing me of how much I owed! So, for once the tables turned and Moody wanted to know where to put the $2752 that they owed me... Well Praise the Lord, we were in need of some provision so that we could start flight training again to become an instructor. That was enough for us to be overly excited and were about to post to the blog, but then more cool stuff happened...
The next week I talked with a gentleman at church who had some awesome ideas for how to draw kids to the ministry and also do cool fundraisers. He had ran a previous ministry and successfully navigated it from a place of debt and infectivity to a surplus and many youth coming. He is going to be very instrumental in us moving forward.
Completely unrelated to that is the second meeting that came about through a friend. He invited me to his men's group at his church and I reluctantly went. I didn't really have a lot of free time and didn't want to go. I did anyway and boy am I glad I did! I mentioned aviation ministry and one of the men gave me a local contact. Turns out I already knew the guy vaguely from years before, but couldn't get ahold of him when we moved back. Called him up, met for lunch and brainstormed together. Some very good ideas came out if it which will be revealed later when they are more developed.
He offered his hangar for ministry and his plane to give students intro flights. He also got me in contact with a Flight Instructor so I can finish my rating.
I called up the Instructor that day and met him for coffee. We talked about training but I said I didn't have plane. I mentioned my dream of owning a Mooney in passing. He started to day something but then stopped and said we would talk later...
Two days later his friend Mike called me and said he had a couple Mooney's he had available. I went to look at them and was honest about not being in a position to buy currently and it was more curiosity than anything. He came back with his offer which was that we could lease the airplane very reasonably. He is going to put me on his insurance, lease the aircraft, and we can use it whenever we need for training and ministry! It is set up exactly how I would want with avionics etc and he said when we are in a position to buy, it would be available in the price range of much older, less equipped Mooney!
So in a matter of 3 weeks since out last post praying for direction and doors to open we were:
Please continue to pray for favor, for wisdom in moving forward with our options and finally for a door to open in a local high school to begin doing this ministry.
I am meeting with a local youth ministry as I write this so more to be revealed soon!
I always believe in open, honest dialogue with other believers, so I wanted to update everyone on where we are at with ministry as of today. After sending out the internship proposal to Moody, we went into a waiting period to see what they would say about approving our internship. I also was taking my final class online (Psychology) for the completion of my degree. Seeing that we were so close to the finish line, I began to coast with school work because the new job was taking up most of my energy. I gave it a decent effort but failed the midterm exam, got discouraged and gave up on the class. The frustration from that bled over into discouragement about other facets of the ministry and us being unsure of what to do moving forward. We prayed and sought direction over the summer and felt that the Lord was directing us to wait for a short season and rest. So much of the last 6 years have been checking things off a list and getting whatever was in front of us accomplished. It left us fatigued and needing a break. That is what we have been doing the last 3 months. Now we are beginning to see the Lord move again and we are wanting to follow. Much like Israel in the Desert, we have been camping when the Pillar stops and moving forward when we see Him moving again.
The job has been a tremendous blessing and I am starting to reap the benefits of the hard work, but it can also be overwhelming at times and difficult to wade between work, home life, and ministry. We are currently seeking that balance. We are definitely encouraged by it though, and positive it was the fulfillment of prayer and God's provision for our ministry. Other Christians in the company confirmed that I was the first person ever hired from walking in and dropping off a resume. God sure can open a door!
Here is where we are at now. I have been talking with Moody about the internship again and trying to get it sorted out. We need to submit a more detailed description of the internship duties but it sounds like we have a green light, so praise the Lord! I also did some research and will be able to CLEP out of psychology so I do not have to take it again. Very grateful for that. Just finding the time and discipline to study is the prayer need. Finally, there is a former director of a youth ministry that started coming to our church about six months ago and he is excited to come along side us and has some good ideas for getting an airplane and attracting youth to the ministry. We are excited to see what God has in store... STAY TUNED!
P.S We forgot to add that we need direction in where Daniel can finish Certified Flight Instructor. Daniel did not have peace about the place he began for a variety of reasons. We are needing to get this accomplished before Summer 2014!
Daniel is sending off his proposal of internship to Moody Aviation today and is in need of your prayers! This is the final step in his education process and is also a key step in moving forward into full-time ministry with Paraclete Aviation. The internship requirements from Moody are that you serve with an active ministry, overseas/cross-culturally, for 8 weeks, and it involve aviation. Daniel's proposal only meets one of those criteria and therein lies the prayer request. We wanted to do an internship that furthered our ministry so we wrote a proposal to the committee. We want to work with youth in public high schools, so we submitted a request to work with Heartland YFC for 4 hrs a week for six months. At this time aviation won't be involved, but would eventually once we have a plane and are able to offer flight training. We are praying that they look favorably upon our request and approve it, otherwise we are looking and being delayed in moving forward with our ministry. Also the logistics of Daniel going overseas for 8 weeks on internship would be difficult with his full-time job, family, and mortgage. Not only that but it would not incorporate the future vision of our ministry LOL!
So the the new job is working out very well. Daniel has been there a little over a week and really likes the employees and the way it is ran. There is room for growth and the management is already prepping him for a move into a better position. He will be going to Atlanta in mid April for training. The old journal entry comes into play because he happened to be reading in his journal and came across the journal entry below. We had looked at selling airplane parts as a way to raise money for ministry back then, but totally forgot about the entry. Now, 7 years later Daniel got a job where they sell airplane parts and avionics, the very description he wrote about! Love God's sense of humor. We had been praying for a new job with better pay and benefits, were told by a solid Christian that He was opening a door for us to new employment 4 months ago, and now here we are and it is everything we needed!
On another note, Daniel took the CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) written exam this Saturday after studying the last 2 months. It is a 100 question knowledge exam that can have some pretty tricky questions in it. He passed it, so now it is on to ground school and flying to prep for the final test to become an instructor. We hope to be finished with it and ready to instruct students by mid April. This training costs approximately 3-4 thousand dollars.
Also, after speaking at our church Sunday and sharing his testimony, a young man is very interested in learning to fly. Daniel's testimony of having God bring aviation back into his life meant alot because he wanted to fly since he was 4, but it didn't work out and he got discouraged. Might be his first student!
Today will be my last day at the Airport as a mechanic. It has been good building experience but The Lord made it pretty clear, as we sought him that it was time to move on when I got a new job meeting all our criteria after one day of looking!
Now deciding whether to continue CFI at the Marion airport or another local airport. Please pray for us as we make this very important decision and also look to finish up 501c3 paperwork and select a board of directors.