The update I didn’t want to write

This is the update I didn’t want to write. I am writing it to share our feelings and document our experience of the past 2 weeks, but I’m finding it laborious to write the words.

We knew it would be a hard couple of weeks upon our arrival in Africa. We were planning on it being hard, knowing that within days of landing Lesa would begin staff training at our school, I would be moving our possessions across town and we’d be extremely jetlagged. We knew it would be hard, but not this hard.

Frank Toews

Frank Toews

After landing in Nairobi and clearing customs, we were greeted by my friend Ted with the news of the AIM AIR crash that afternoon. Our friend Frank, the pilot, was dead. Our friend Ryan, an engineer who was also sitting in the front of the plane, was in the hospital with serious burns. Our hearts sank, as did our knees to the floor of the airport.

We lived between the 2 families for a couple months last year. Ryan’s oldest son and my 2nd son are great friends. But beyond our feelings, our entire small close-knit community of AIM International Services was reeling and hurting. Hurting for our friends, for their children, for ourselves, for each other. Confident, though, in Frank’s presence with our heavenly Father.

We still had a job to do. Lesa still had staff training to attend, and we still needed to move houses within the week. I managed to secure a lorry (truck) and 7 strong kenyan men to help, and we moved on Wednesday. Ryan died on Friday, at a special hospital for burns in South Africa.

Ryan's toolbox at the AIM AIR hangar

Ryan's toolbox at the AIM AIR hangar

Frank’s memorial service was Tuesday, Ryan’s was Saturday. Between the two services, we had Ryan’s son to our house for a sleepover. I’ve been really proud of my sons as they’ve lost their selfishness the past few weeks to do what they needed to do to support their friends.

So, here we are, just over 2 weeks after arriving in Africa. A tough couple of weeks that has taught us a lot. Taught us that God is good and deserving of praise even when praising seems like such a sacrifice. Things are picking up, the house is getting unpacked, the kids have started school, and Sydney is loving kindergarten. Life really is good, and God is great.

More information on the AIM AIR crash:
World Magazine, “Crash in Kenya”
AIM news
AIM AIR blog


  1. Brown Family » Brown Family Update – Oct 2009 - [...] Lost 2 friends in the AIM AIR accident ( [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *