What a difference a few weeks makes! It was only a number of weeks ago that we were saying goodbye to Hans and Melissa Cools and their two girls; and sending them off on mission with MAF to Australia. Here, Hans reports back to us with an update on these early days—including a possible change of plan. If you are able to support Hans and Melissa or if you would just like to find out a bit more about their missionary work, then visit their page here.
Greetings from Down Under. I can’t believe that we have been here a month already—and what a month it has been! The girls did so great during the flight. They mostly slept, and Olivia was excited to watch movies on her own personal little TV screen. We had a stopover in Singapore, which was worth it.
The first two days we stayed in Cairns, after which we drove up to Mareeba, where I started my standardisation training. I was a little nervous before the course started as I hadn’t flown in so long, but this worry soon changed into excitement. The first week was mainly theory; at the end of week one we had our first flight. I have passed the course, without any issues, and now we are looking towards the future.
Meanwhile at home, Melissa and the girls are settling in well. Although there is the odd conversation of things that are being missed—which is very normal I think—the girls seem to be settling in well. The family of the other pilot on the course live just next door and they have three kids: a two year-old girl; and two older boys.The girls disappear to go and play with them, which is something we are having to get used to. But it is great to see them come out of their shell.
Please pray for some wisdom for our future. Long story short is that we have been asked to stay here in the training base (at Mareeba in Queensland) a bit longer so that I can be trained up to become a 'check and training' Captain—eventually in Arnhem Land (in Northern Territory). We are thinking and praying about this option, as this would really help the Arnhem Land programme out, but it would mean that we will be staying here in Mareeba until this time next year. We will explain more of what this will look like if this becomes official.
MAF base at Mareeba, Queensland (inland from Cairns)
Mareeba in relation to eastern coast Australia