Short answer—we expect to go late fall 2012. Long answer—our departure date depends upon completion of Matt’s training, having raised sufficient financial support, and when we receive our visas. Matt will graduate from SMAT in August 2012, following that we will attend Mission Training International in Colorado for cross-cultural training in September. Our hope is that Matt will be able to go to MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) headquarters in October to get checked out & be ‘MAF qualified’—meaning that although we won’t be MAF missionaries, he would be qualified to fly an MAF plane.
Good question, with a somewhat confusing answer. We are officially PAZ missionaries, but PAZ does not have its own aviation program. Thus they use the services of Asas de Socorro (Wings of Mercy), the Brazilian daughter organization of Mission Aviation Fellowship. Matt will, Lord willing, be certified to fly Asas planes.
Portuguese. We will study at a language school, probably in Sao Paulo, for approximately 10 months when we first arrive in Brazil. Having a strong grasp of the language is extremely important for future ministry opportunities and just everyday life.
We are responsible for raising our own financial support. PAZ recommends $4000/month for a family of four, so for our family of six we’ve set a goal of $5000/month. Actually, we are relying on this support already, as Matt is no longer operating his business and is a full-time student.
The amount we receive in Brazil is affected by the exchange rate (currently approx. $1=1.7 reais). Our support of $5,000 currently equals 8,500 reasis. However, in 2004 when we were there, the exchange rate was $1:3 reais. Therefore in 2004, to have 8,500 reais per month for support, we would have only had to raise $2,800 US. Not to get political, but when the US government prints more money….it can have a major impact on overseas mission funds!