By Kimberly van Veen
From a deputation stop in Colorado, Alfred Ottosson described his journey to missions. “The goal was always MAF,” he said.
The son of medical missionaries to Nepal, Alfred was certain he would not be a missionary. But a high school research project on child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) piqued his interest in the “dark continent.” Then, a Bible school professor in his native Sweden directed him toward a career in mission aviation, beginning with Moody Aviation in Spokane, where he trained to be a pilot/mechanic.
There, Alfred met Jewel, who had a degree in English as a second language (ESL) education and had spent two years teaching English in Japan. Jewel’s motivation to pursue missions came after she heard a former missionary to the DRC speak during college.
Alfred and Jewel bonded over similar experiences in Asia and wondered if God was calling them to work in mission aviation in Asia.
During candidacy at MAF headquarters, Alfred and Jewel heard MAF’s Africa regional director talk about the DRC. “We both looked at each other and said, ‘Yes!’” Jewel said.
Today, Alfred and Jewel have two sons, ages three and two, and a new baby daughter born in May. They plan to travel to France in January for a year of language study before moving to Bunia, DRC.
The process of fundraising is humbling. “Often it seems that we put all our work efforts in one direction and then support comes from somewhere else,” Jewel said. “It feels like a small miracle.”
“Sometimes you can struggle with a lot of self-doubt,” Alfred said. “But then people come alongside and invest and stay involved and that’s incredibly encouraging. The whole partnership thing is so important in letting us know that other people are on board with our calling.”
The Ottossons are looking for more partners to join their support team. To partner with them, visit www.maf.org/ottosson.