Have you ever prayed for something for a very long time just waiting for an answer? Well, after five years we are seeing prayers answered for our Chihuahua airstrip base! This is where we have a hanger already, but due to a lapsed registration we have not been able to use it. Because we are not owners of the land, we could not do anything to renew the registration but pray and wait. During this time, we have based our plane at the international airport. This means parking the plane outside on the ramp where the weather causes damage, paying fees, and later morning starts for our ministry flights. Regular maintenance has been a challenge, either being done outside, in a borrowed hanger, or flying the plane to another location where needed equipment is available. This month we received the exciting news that the preliminary six-month authorization has been granted and we can now return to using our airstrip!
There is still much to be done before our plane can be stationed there. First, there is a list of things the Mexico City officials are requiring … mostly paperwork that has to be completed by the airstrip’s owner. Once those tasks are done, we are told, Mexico City will issue a 15-year permit! Second, we have a to-do list to get the hangar ready.
Cleaning (see the dirt layer in the picture,) setting up an alarm system to make the facility more secure, and hooking up water and electrical service are a few examples of the items on our list. We, of course, want all this to happen as quickly as possible and ask for your prayers to complete the jobs needed and get our plane based there again. This all has a positive impact on the ministry in Mexico.
UIMA partners with other ministries in various ways. Well, between the many inspections and work Paul does on the planes, he recently joined Wings of the Way in a relocation flight for a survivor of human trafficking. These are always encouraging as he gets to be part of the flight and action … not just behind the scenes fixing the planes. God has so blessed us in placing us where our talents are utilized in many ways. We never thought Tucson would be where God would place us, but HE knows best and had the perfect spot for us. Thank you for keeping us in prayer as we minister both here and by extension in Mexico. Your friendship and notes now and then are such an encouragement to us.
Recently we had a pressing need to replace two damaged gear castings. We sent out info. sharing that need and saw God supply through many of you. It was so exciting to see the response. Paul was able to order the parts to get the plane back flying and in service again! Thank you so much for jumping in to help supply the need.
Much has happened in our family lately and we thank you for praying for us! On March 23 Bethany & Filipe were married. The ceremony was unique with a Brazilian flair that everyone enjoyed… especially memorable was the selfie taken mid-ceremony by Filipe’s dad and the vows to the parents. Bethany posted tons of pictures, which I shared as well so if you would like to see them, go to my Facebook page: Laurel Watkins Timblin. While I am talking about Face Book, do you follow the UIM Aviation page? This is a great place to see pictures and keep up on what is happening in this ministry you are part of.
Two days after the wedding (yes, this was crazy!) Gabriel had knee surgery– and two weeks of yucky recovery with medication issues and the flu! In April, I drove with Bethany to McLean, VA, where she and Filipe live, AND Matthew & Karizma became engaged in April! (Looking back I don’t know how we fit so much in and it’s no wonder we aren’t bonkers….well, maybe we are!)
May 4 was our huge fundraiser dinner at FCA for 200 people. Miriam and Gabriel were both in major parts of the program and Miriam won first place for her white chili! She was so excited! Miriam turned 15 on May 7 (we somehow fit in a party) and on May 18, Gabriel graduated from FCA! He left a week later for NC to work the summer at Merriwood Christian Camp. So, since January we have had three of our kids move out (one just for the summer, of course.) I gotta tell you, we do NOT like this stage! Paul said it well when he explained to Gabriel that just when your kids grow and mature enough to be friends that you can relax with and enjoy, they leave! As missionary kids, Paul and I have had lots of experience with goodbyes but saying them to our own kids is the hardest!
Paul & I were in Florida the first week of June for the International Association of Missionary Aviation conference, a visit to Faith Baptist in Palm Bay, and a few days of time together. On June 18 Matthew graduates from the Sheriff Academy so we will go as a family to San Diego for that, combined with a week vacation-YAY! (Gabriel is the only one who will not be with us.) In July, Paul & I fly to Wisconsin to represent UIMA at EAA AirVenture. August 5 school starts here with Miriam in 10th grade and Jesse in 5th. Gabriel plans to attend community college this fall while he works to save for a year of Bible college at Word of Life, in Hungary, starting in January 2020. And… yep, we are expecting another wedding sometime in the near future! If we seem a bit crazy, I think we have a good excuse!
Life is full and we are so very blessed!
Hugs from us,
Paul & Laurel … and the growing crew.