Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

I am copying this blog from our friends Travis and Paul who headed out to the mission field one year ago. They suggested that I add a FAQ section to answer some of the questions that keep coming up to us. I have adapted some of the answers to match Lance and I’s journey but all of the information on Agape Flights is courtesy of Travis and Paul and their blog.

Thanks, Travis and Paul for walking this road ahead of us. We love you!

Q: Who and what is Agape Flights?

A: After hearing from missionaries in Haiti in 1980 about the need for dependable mail and delivery service, a group of friends in Bradenton, Florida gathered in Keith and Clara Starkey's living room to pray about a way to help. The result was Agape Flights. On November 15, 1980, Agape’s inaugural flight left the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, bound for Cap Haitien. The small Cessna 411 was loaded with donated emergency supplies and mail for about 25 families. Today, for about 350 missionary families in Haiti and Dominican Republic, Agape Flights is a lifeline to family, friends, supporters and supplies. Agape Flights serves Christ by serving His missionaries on some of the most challenging mission fields in the world. Agape serves over 350 missionary families in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Agape’s regular weekly flight leaves Florida just before daylight each Wednesday morning, delivers missionary mail, packages, supplies and volunteers in four cities and returns to the U.S. on Thursday afternoon.Round trip flying time for each weekly flight in Agape’s Cessna Grand Caravan is 13 hours. Volunteers are the backbone of Agape. Every year, over 150 local volunteers donate over 7,000 hours to Agape. Missionary families donate 5,000 hours per year as they meet the plane, process supplies and people through customs and immigration, deal with airport, customs and other government officials and paperwork and organize and staff the distribution centers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. During the last fiscal year, Agape received and distributed to missionaries and local organizations donated goods worth $740,000. The economic impact of Agape’s ministry in the local community exceeds half a million dollars each year.60% of Agape’s financial support comes from individuals in all 50 states and several foreign countries. 33% comes from churches and religious organizations and the balance from businesses and other organizations. Agape hosts volunteer mission teams from around the U.S. each year who spend their time working at the hangar and in other local ministries. Agape arranges short-term mission trips for individuals and groups to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries. The plane lands in Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, Port au Prince, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Eleuthera.

Q: Where will you be living, working, and attending school?

A: We will be located in Venice, Florida. Agape is located at the Venice, Florida municipal airport. The offices are at the hanger, and all administrative and logistical activities occur there. I will work at the hanger. The children will attend a Christian preschool once we are settled and find the one that is closest to the house. There are several preschool options. Housing, school and work will all be within ten minutes travel time of one another.

Q: What will your work be at Agape?

A: Lance will be the IT Director for Agape Flights. His job description was something we got to create. It was fun to use all of the skills God has given him to serve this organization. Here is the job description we have arrived at:

IT Director/ Web Manager/ Facilities team member:

  • Maintain Agape's Small Business Server system
  • Support and revise as necessary Microsoft Access database for shipping and receiving and the Sage 50 fundraising software.
  • Finish requirements for new financial system and supervise the development of the new system.
  • Design new user reports.
  • Train and Support users with Microsoft products.
  • Assist as needed the missionary community with their computer/network issues.
  • Integrate new applications.
  • Manage the web page and oversee the Web Design team
  • Develop a Volunteer Database – interview and enter volunteers into the db.
  • Maintain the telephone system for Agape offices.
  • Work as needed on the Facilities management team when construction skills I have are needed.

Ministry Duties:

  • Assist Volunteer Coordinator by leading bible study small groups, counseling, or 1 on 1’s.
  • Lead groups to Haiti or DR when needed.
  • Assist Facilities Manager in the same way.
  • Minister to Agape staff
  • All other Duties as needed.

Core Values

  • INTEGRITY: "Conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ" (Phil. 1:27)
  • EXCELLENCE: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord" (Col. 3:23)
  • STEWARDSHIP: "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it" (Psalm 24:1)
  • DIGNITY: "God created man in His own image" (Gen. 1:27)

Q: How long will you stay with Agape Flights?

A: This is a full time, permanent position. We do not envision an end to this service, and potential moves to other countries in cooperation with Agape Flights are possibilities.

Q: When do you plan on moving?

A: We have a target date of July 1, 2009. Two things must happen for us to move to FL. Our house must sell and we must build our financial support. We know God will make these things happen on His time but we have a goal for ourselves to have our part complete by July 1.

Q: What do you need from a supporter?

A: First and foremost we need your prayer. Please pray for guidance, and ears that will hear God when he speaks. We need your participation in the form of encouraging phone calls, emails, notes and the like. Visits and service trips are encouraged for all supporters. Our home is open to you. Finally, we need financial support from team members willing to partner with us on a monthly basis. We need to raise every dollar that we cost Agape Flights. (Medical insurance, employer and employee taxes, workers comp insurance, overhead costs. etc.) I will go over our detailed budget with you if you desire.

Q: How do we give?

A: Electronically from your bank account, credit card or on line at We have pledge cards available with details for EBT’s (electronic balance transfers). Checks can be made out to Agape Flights (Anderson family in the memo) mailed to: Agape Flights 100 Airport Avenue, Venice, Florida 34285

Contact us (319-551-9263). Further information can be obtained at

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New prayer requests

As we begin on this journey we have many prayer supporters who have offered to lift us up in prayer. For all of them, here are our new prayer requests. We will update them as the need arises.

Anderson Family Prayer request
( 2/19/09 )
Quick healing for the girls from bad colds
Doors will open for us to build support
Quick and easy sale of house
Patience as we run this marathon of team/support building and remembering this is not a sprint
Our families, that they will come beside us and walk with us on this journey of faith
That our home church of Parkview will join us with support
That the work of Agape will help spread the gospel and love of Jesus to many hunger and needy people

Praise reports
House showings are coming in fast. There is a lot of traffic on the house sale.
We are continuing to have good business with selling household items
Many supportive friends have come alongside us to help
God has lead us to some very encouraging teachings about “going out” since we have started this process and it has fed our souls.

Thanks to all who are lifting us up in your prayers. We appreciate you.
Never give in!
In His service, Lance and Lynn

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why call this "Stepping out of the boat"?

For the last 2 months Lance and I have struggled with the decision to go on this adventure. Even though we knew God has something planned for us, we didn't see right away that Agape was the way He wanted us to go. We prayed and waited until one day we decided that "stepping out of the boat" of our comfort zone was what He was asking us to do. We had never seriously considered the idea of going into the mission field. We felt that with being mission support was our role or even working for a mission organization. Afterall, we have two little kids and moving them into the mission field would never work, right?? God said "wrong". After praying about this decision for some time, we realized that everything we have done so far was preparing us for this move. We finally realized that it was time to step out and do what we thought could not be done. And it is true, we can not do this on our own, we are only capable to do this with His help. '"With God all things are possible."(Matthew 19:26) We have been questioned many times already on how we think we will raise support in this economy and in these times, but it is not up to us. That is up to God. We are only being asked to be obiedent and follow His call on our lives. He will create the funds, the house sale, and the logistics. We are to be His servants and His hands and feet and do as we are asked. So we will. We will face the challenge with confidence and keep our eyes on Him.

We also had to make this decision based on our faith in His timing. We were hesistant and questioned whether it was the right time. But at one point we decided that we needed to look at the scripture and learn from the lessons of others. When Jesus asked Peter to step out of the boat. Jesus wanted Him to step out now. Peter did not wait until God said, "Come when you are ready..." He said to Peter, "Come." (Matthew 14:29) If I was Peter I would have waited until the water was calm, but that is not what Jesus wanted. Jesus wanted Peter to trust Him now, in the moment. We believe that God wants us to trust Him now also. He wants us to step out during His timing, not ours. We would love to step out when our finances are solid and we have a way to finance ourselves but that would not be stepping out in faith of Him, that would be stepping out because of ourselves. We feel this His time for us and He is calling us now. With that in mind, we are ready to start what some think is "crazy", "impossible", and "are you nuts?".

With all that said, we are ready to "step out of the boat." Step out of the boat of our plans and our timing and trust Him. If we stay focused on Him, we will stay above the water and be safe. If we lose focus, we will fall like Peter. We also "step out of the boat" of our comfort zone and do something that is not familar to us. Raising support and reaching out to others for financing is not something we do easily. So we will be stretched as we accomplish this task. But in stretching, we will grow and we look forward to growing because we know the end result will be worth the work.
Never give in!
In His service, Lynn and Lance (Grace and Hope)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The beginning of the adventure

Welcome to our blog. We have just started on an adventure of faith and we would love to share our story with anyone who wants to hear. But to start this adventure we have to start from the beginning. My husband and I are heading out to do mission work at Agape Flights in Florida but as we get started we need to let you know how this all came about.

Lance and I have received many blessings in our lives; physical healing, material possessions, friendships, family, children and a good home. In November of 2008, things changed in our world when Lance lost his job. This was a very interesting day in our home, despite the dire looks of our circumstance, we were joyful and confident. Because of our faith in the Lord and His timing, we knew this was opportunity not a challenge. We went to the Lord with expectant hearts and waited to see where God was leading us. As the job applications came and went, we realized that God’s ability to close corporate job doors was pointing us in the direction of doing His work. With a seed planted the previous summer by our neighbors we allowed God to show us to Agape Flights where we learned all of Lance’s previous job/computer skills were needed to support His missionaries in the fields. God is challenging us through this experience to step outside our comfort zone in many ways, but we feel that when we are stretched is when we grow the most. We have placed this entire situation in His hands and we are doing our best to complete the task He has set before us. We know that none of this is possible without Him so we are watching Him work and listening to His calling in our lives as we move closer to Him and we enter deeper into His service.

We hope you will all join us on this adventure. We are so excited and we can't wait to see what God has in store for us. So if you are up for a little adventure and like to see what God can do...just stay tuned and prepare to be amazed.

Never give in!
In His service, Lynn and Lance