In the beginning…..God had a plan…..We are a part of that plan….. Jim was born in Torrance, CA in 1955. Judy was born in Pasadena, CA in 1955. They met each other in Bible School, in downtown LA in 1974. While at Bible School, Jim had a clear calling to missions. After Bible School, Judy went home to community college in Escondido, CA. Jim went to college at LeTourneau University, in Longview, TX. He graduated with an AS in Aviation Technology and his A&P aircraft mechanics license. They were married in 1979.
After looking into the different mission boards, it seemed clear it was to be Wycliffe Bible Translators; the Jaars aviation program. At that time Jaars was asking for its applicants to have 3 – 5 years of general aviation experience. We went to Lafayette, LA to get experience in helicopters. After one year, we transferred to a corporate aviation department to get experience in turbine engines and complex systems. After three years there we went to CA to work on our partnership support base. Jim started contracting his aircraft maintenance services to different companies as a way of generating income and gaining experience in the business side of aviation.
In 1987 we had reached our work experience requirements and the required monthly financial income from our supporters and donors. We then moved to Waxhaw, NC to start our full time work with Wycliffe as an aircraft mechanic. There, Jim received the specialized training needed on the Helio Courier and Cessna 206 aircraft used all around the world. Also, because of his recent experience he was asked to manage the day to day operations of the hangar as shop foreman.
In 1990 we moved to Brussels, Belgium to start a 20 month French language program in preparation for our work in Cameroon. Our arrival in Cameroon was a dream come true! On, the foreign mission field, at last.
1996 we moved back to Waxhaw, health and children’s education needs. Jim had developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. To much repetitive actions in the maintenance arena. He did have his right hand surgically repaired, but it was not a cure all. He never has been able to return to full time maintenance work. Soon after returning to Waxhaw, Jim started work as the aviation maintenance chief inspector, mostly a desk job. 1999 he was asked to manage the Waxhaw aviation maintenance program. Jim found he excelled in these types of jobs. Most mechanics have a high dislike for paperwork. But Jim found it very satisfying.
2001 God called us out of aviation for a season. We went to work in the youth ministries department at Jaars. We worked with missionary kids. Many had spent a significant part of their lives over seas. The re-enculturation process can be difficult for them. These are “third culture kids”, meaning they grew up in one culture, while having parents from another culture. The parent’s culture is assumed to be the child’s culture. But the children spend very little of their lives in this parent culture. Thus, their culture is a mix of cultures from where they grew up and where their parents are from. It is a third culture. When moving back to the parent culture, the child experiences major conflict. Society looks at the child and assumes they understand all of the normal unspoken rules and mannerisms. But in fact, the child has little to no experience in these. They need a place that understands them and their third culture ways and can help them transition to the new culture. Thus the importance of the Wycliffe /Jaars youth ministries.
2003, God moved us once again. This time to Tucson, AZ to help coordinate the new Tucson office of the Missions at the Airport program. www.jaars.org/mata.shtml We had one Helio Courier aircraft that Jim maintained and both of us managed the office, scheduling of events and staffing all of the events.
2005, God in His wisdom, (I don’t claim to understand it) decided to close down this new office. With our youngest son well established in school, we decided we needed to spend the next two plus years here in Tucson, until he graduates. God has opened doors for us to join up with the Wycliffe Mobilization effort right here in Tucson.
2005, God in His wisdom, decided to close down this new office. With our youngest son well established in school, (and doing really well) we decided we needed to spend the next two plus years here in Tucson, until he graduates. God has opened doors for us to join up with the Wycliffe Recruitment effort right here in Tucson. So after a year of Partnership Develop, getting our support level back up to 100%, we started our new job as recruiters.
2008, Jim was asked to take over as Interim Director of Recruitment for the North and South Central USA, while the regular Director went on Partnership Development. He did this from the Tucson office. This went into 2009.
2009, When the regular Director returned, Jim was asked to help create web based tutorials for the Recruitment Training program. Tools to be used in helping new and old recruiters learn the specific procedures of recruitment. Then in the fall of this year, the Chad branch of Wycliffe asks Jim and Judy if they would come to Chad, Africa as manager of facilities maintenance. We got excited about this. Jordan (our last child at home) has recently moved out and is on his own; we felt like the timing was right…… But then God put the brakes on and said, “Yes, I want you to go, but not just yet”. That’s when the job as Elder Care Facilities Manager came up. The picture started getting clearer. By doing this facilities maintenance job, I’ll be getting current in my maintenance abilities (Preparing me to serve in Chad), we’ll have time to get our French language back up to par, plus we also need some Arabic language and culture training. So God willing, we hope to be leaving for Chad in the spring of 2012.
2010, Partnership Development (PD); getting our financial base up to the Wycliffe required monthly amount is mandatory before a Wycliffe member can begin a new job. For Jim PD is a full time job, for Judy it’s a part time job. She will be staying in Recruitment while Jim moves over to Elder Care Facilities Manager. Jim is excited about both jobs!