SmythsInPNG's Weblog

September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — smythsinpng @ 3:24 am
Loading Passengers

Loading Passengers

Wednesday this week was a combination of school bus flights and dental flights.  The nearest orthodontist is a missionary dentist working with Wycliffe Bible Translators across the country from here.  Even missionary kids (MK’s) need to visit a specialist from time to time.  Each flight costs about $1500 so once the flight is booked, I work to fill the flight with other passengers and cargo to split the expense.  This time we were able to find one of NTM’s experienced translation consultants and his wife who needed to visit a town along the way to assist another NTM translator working on the Hamtai New Testament revision. Also, a family with another mission near our home needed to bring two children back home from their school in the Highlands.

Loading

Loading

These longer flights take a lot of planning because the fuel and loading requirements are different for each leg. We want to fill the aircraft on each leg without compromising safety. Full flights mean better economy and lower prices for all. The more people that are involved, the more time is spent asking and answering questions.  What time will you be at the airport? How much weight can the aircraft carry?  How much will my part of the flight cost?  Will you bring the mail bag?  Will the item I ordered last month be on this flight? Can we add some chickens to the flight?  Would it be OK to order some fresh vegetables?  When will my children arrive? How is the weather at your location?

You might ask where is Diana in all of this.  (See the “Our Ministry” page to the right.) She works behind the scenes interacting with people on peripheral events keeping track of the aircraft, making phone calls, listening to the HF radio and answering questions.  I give her reports on taxi, takeoff, landing and about every thirty minutes enroute with my postion and estimate for the next position.  Diana passes on messages relayed through her.  What time will the aircraft be there?   Did the pilot give an ETA for our location?  What time do we have to be at the airport to meet our children?  Will you be able to relay our weather report to the pilot?  We have a little bit more luggage than we thought. Can we put a few more pounds on the aircraft. Meanwhile Diana is trying to carry on her other responsibilities in correspondence, administration and scheduling, shopping, cleaning, cooking and communicating.

Heli Maintenance

Heli Maintenance

This flight took me back to our maintenance base where the maintenance guys were installing new equipment in the helicopter and the other pilots were moving missionaries out to the remote airstrips and bringing coffee back for tribesmen to sell. This team of people makes it possible for us to serve the missionaries we serve with the aircraft.

Coffee

Coffee

Mountaintop Living

We were moving cargo around before dawn. Eleven hours later, after seven hours of flying, seven landings and seven times unloading and loading the aircraft, the day is gone.  We saw the sun rise, the calm morning oceans with jumping fish, the foothill jungles covered with morning rain fog, the south coast rain showers, the beautiful sunny skies of late morning, the towering afternoon thunderstorms building above majestic mountains, beautiful rainbows, the steamy lowland air, the cool highland breezes, the sparkling jewels of turquoise ocean reefs and the soggy jungle swamps. We saw villages of houses crammed on tiny islands surrounded by ocean and unique roundhouse villages perched on top of high mountain peaks. These are reminders that it’s all about the eternal, God’s Word and people. All of our passengers made it to their destination. Our missionary co-workers can go on about their business of reaching people. The airplane has been put away for another day. The paperwork can wait until tomorrow!

Mountains

Mountains

Reef Jewels

Reef Jewels

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3 Comments »

  1. Wow, what a ‘day in the life’ slice that was! Your work is both complicated and detailed plus beautiful and rewarding. Thank you for sharing what you are doing. Would you say there is hardly ever a dull moment? That question leads me to this one: Do you have a “day of rest” and is that typically Sunday?

    Comment by Debra Brady — September 28, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Randy. I deeply appreciate and enjoy reading your weblog.

    Comment by Doug Harrison — November 23, 2008 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  3. Great format! Thanks for the update!

    Comment by Blake McKinley, Jr — November 24, 2008 @ 2:48 pm | Reply


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