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Monday, April 03, 2006
Saturday April 1st, 2006 (JAARS TRIP)
Today was a really amazing day! So many things happend I'm not even sure if I'll remember everything. I woke up around 8:00 or so and prepared myself for the day. I ended up getting downstairs for breakfast around 9:00ish. Mrs. VanDoren had muffins and cereal sitting out for us. She was actually trying to get some other things packed because she had plans to go meet her husband and the boys at the camping site they went to the night before. So both Allie and I just ate breakfast while we talked to her between her running around the house. The JAARS tours was going to be opening at 9:45 but before leaving the VanDorens that morning I had called Willis Ott who is another missionary that is working there at the JAARS location. (He is a freind of my grandparents). So we made plans to meet up at 9:40 so we could find each other and talk for a bit before the main orientation started. We didn't have any trouble at all finding him because he said he was wearing a yellow hat. That yellow hat stood out really well and we spotted him really easily. It was cool to have a breif conversation before we started and he just gave us a quick verbal tour of what he does there. We made plans to meet for lunch though because the tour was about to start. He had more work to do over at his office so he went back there while Allie and I headed into the auditorium for kick off. The kick off speech mostly just talked about a little history of JAARS and then went into thier current goals and projects. They also did a skit showing how one missionary ends up getting stuck with being a translator, mechanic, computer tech, teacher, administrator... etc. They were demonstrating that missionaries need support workers, and that is what JAARS is all about. I thought it was a pretty funny skit. Directly after the orientation Allie and I headed over to the hangar for the airshow demonstration of the JAARS STOL aircraft. Roger (the one that we had dinner with last night) was the pilot in the demonstration. It was really really exciting to see it. He was able to get the plane to take off in 4 lengths of the fuseloge. That is really amazing! He also demonstrated the ability for it to sustain flight even in speeds as slow as 33mph. He showed the manuverablity of the aircraft as well and he did tight turns and swift altitude changes all only about 100ft above us. It was really cool to see. Then he of course had to show us the short landing as well and he was able to land in about 5 lenths of the fueseloge. That looked so fun and I can't wait until I can do that!!. After the demonstration was over I went and bought Allie and I some tickets for a helicopter ride. They were also selling plane rides for the same price but I can do that anytime. A helicopter though was a new thing so I had to do it. We were in the second group that went so we had to wait for about 15 minutes or so but that gave us a chance to watch the chopper take off and land right in front of us with the other group in it. That was even fun to see. We got some good pictures of it. After the other group landed we headed up to the Helipad to get in. I had the privledge of sitting in the front seat and it was a fun experience! The pilot and I had a good conversation as well. Turns out he was philipino and a JAARS missionary lead him to christ in his part of the country where there was no bible in his language. So he was able to be a part of translating the bible into his own language. During the time of translating he also had the privledge to learn to fly and become a part of the JAARS team. Then once the bible was completed he was able to be the person that flew the copies back to his own people. It was a great testamony. I'm sure I didn't even give it justice. He wanted to meet up with us later that day, but we never actually got a chance to do that, it was pretty sad.
After the helicopter ride we had about half an hour left until we had to go meet Willis Ott for lunch. So we went to try and walk through the Alphabet Museum, we only made it about 25% of the way through though before we had to give up and decided to come back later. That was goign to take a lot longer then expected. So we headed to the cafeteria and waited for our new friend. This time he found us and brought us to eat. He ended up buying our lunch for us also and that was really generous of him. He was a fun guy to hang out with. I was glad that we had met him too because he was able to talk about things Allie was interested in. So far she enjoyed watching my excitement with the aviation work, now I was able to see her get excited over all the linguist stuff. After lunch we went to some workshops they were putting on. One was on computers and another on linguistics. SO we went to both. They had some really cool things to show us. The comptuer stuff had all kinds of tools they use for tranlating work. Allie even got excited about being able to see how that all worked. Then in the linguistics workshop, the teacher tried to have us demonstrate what happends on the field when it comes to learning the language. So he role played and talked in another language and he was trying to learn english. So he brough out objects and I would have to name them and then we would figure out how to count. Just a bunch of things like that. It was a fun workshop. The teacher and his wife prayed for allie and I afterwards too before we ended up leaving. Once the workshops were over we were going to meet up with Mr. Ott one more time. This time he was going to take us over to his office building and show us a personal tour of that. The regular tour never even covered his administration building so we were privledge to be able to see that. You need a special id card to get into his office. He told us of all the translating work that his department has been working on lately and it is amazing to see how much progress the organizaion is making. God is doing amazing things through them. After Mr. Ott showed us all of his work and building area we then left to finish looking at the museums. They had a mexico musem and that alphabet museum. I thought they were kinda cool, but I wasn't all that excited about it. Allie however loved them both and she took a ton of pictures of everything. So it was well worth going there for her sake. By this time it was about 3:00 and everything that was part of the organzied tour was over. So Allie and I headed back to the hangar to try and meet up with the helicopter pilot. Turns out that he had left already though, so that was pretty sad. Roger was still around though so we were able to say goodbye to him before we left.
The whole day was so great! I really decided I like JAARS and it is a very real possibility for a missions organization for me wheter I do aviation, comptuers, or both they will have a spot for either. Allie and I also got prayed over by at least 4 different missionaries this weekend. That was really cool and I know God will use us both in great ways! I loved everybody we meet down there and I think we build some very good relationships as well. We were offered a place to stay again if we ever decide to go back.

Once we left the JAARS tour we headed back to the VanDorens one last time to say goodbye, leave a thankyou note and also transfer the pictures we took off of the camera to teh computer. Once we got done doing that we hit the road back to lynchburg. We got on the road about 5:00 or so and ended up not making it back home until around 11 that night. On the drive back Allie and I stopped in Charlotte to have dinner in the big city. It took forever to find a parking space close to a restarunt though. I actually got a little frustrated over that fact and I think there was a little tension in the car. (sorry Allie) But once we finally found a place to park all was well and we ate at a restarunt called fuel that had the "best wings in town" Allie said they were the best wings she's ever had so thats gotta be good! After eating and getting back on the road we ended up missing a turn somewhere and ended up about 35miles out of the way. With a quick call home though, Jo was able to tell us a nearby crosshighway that got us back on track and only about 45 minutes later then expected. After so long we made it home and was able to crash for the night. Both of us were exahsted from the long day. I know both of us learned so much from going on this trip. I am really glad we had the chance to do it.
posted by Jeremy Dillinger @ 1:35 AM 

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