SmythsInPNG's Weblog

June 27, 2009

June 27, 2009

Filed under: Missions — smythsinpng @ 10:17 am
Highlands - Helicopter gets new tail boom

Highlands - Helicopter gets new tail boom

Life in PNG is getting back to “normal” now. 

The weather was beautiful for the flights returning the Akolet missionary team to their tribal homes.  These two young families had flown to Hoskins to participate in three events all happening in June: our annual Islands missionary retreat, a team translation workshop with two men from the Akolet tribe, and to have a language acquisition evaluation with more experienced fellow missionaries.  They were encouraged with their progress and eagerly look forward to the day when they will be able to teach God’s word clearly in the Akolet language.   May the Lord strengthen them as they seek to bring the message of salvation to the Akolet!

After landing in the Akolet tribe some people from the local clinic came running up to the aircraft.   An expectant mother was in distress due to a breach baby and the clinic did not have the personnel or equipment to meet her needs.  While I loaded the passengers, Diana tried to communicate with the hospital that we’d need an ambulance.  She is such a big help to me while I am flying.  Communication that we take for granted in the USA can be difficult in PNG.  All land lines and cell phones were not working.  Diana radioed to our aviation base in the Highlands, 300 miles away, and requested they call our nearest hospital to send an ambulance to meet Randy when he landed.   Thankfully the Goroka phones were working.  They successfully called our local hospital.   The ambulance arrived about fifteen minutes after we landed back at the main airport and transported the expectant mother to the local hospital.

There were five flights into the Mengen tribe this week. A work team of Canadian college students had gone to Mengen to assist our missionary co-workers there with desperately needed construction.  Now they were returning to “civilization” – the Islands regional support base, which initially seemed so primitive.  How grateful we are for the labor of this and other volunteer teams who accomplish so many needed projects for the team of career missionaries serving in PNG.  

The Mengen missionary team also flew to “civilization” for a much needed break from tribal living. The flights went well with only minor incidents.  Three flight instruments failed, but thankfully they were not essential for visual flight.   A baseball-sized spider exited the air vent shortly after takeoff and landed on my hand. It’s a good thing there were no passengers as I’m sure the aircraft made some unusual moves as my hands and feet made several semi-voluntary convulsive moves and my training screamed in my brain “Aviate! Fly the airplane!  Aviate!”  My skin sustained no injury but I must say the spider didn’t make it to 500 feet above ground level. 

 Diana and I are rejoicing that several large gifts were given enabling us to pay the remainder of Diana’s dental expenses!  We have several not so large medical bills coming due in the weeks ahead and the remainder of our moving expenses from 2007 yet outstanding, but there are indications that God is moving to resolve those burdens as well.

The anticipated work team for repairing the hangar will be coming in a little over two weeks.  Although we had initially talked about a large work team coming this year, we can see now that we would not have been able to adequately prepare for a large team.  The hangar the work team includes two men and a woman for two weeks. There will also be two men who will be visiting for six days and flying with me around the country to get a glimpse of missionary aviation.  The skills and effort of these people will be much appreciated!  We had several more experienced and willing workers but they did not have the funds to buy tickets for this year.  This parallels the recent message we heard about Gideon. He had 32,000 men to fight a Midianite army of 135,000.  God told him he had too many men. Gideon sent home 22,000 men who were timid or afraid.  God told him again that he had too many men, so 9,700 men were sent home, leaving only 300 men to fight against 135,000 Midianites.  God gave them the victory.  So, since this is God’s work, we are eager to see how God will use these few men to accomplish the work this year!

The Lord willing, we will have two, or more, larger work teams next year to finish the work in and around the hangar.   We will need someone with construction experience to come a month in advance to prepare for the work teams, organize and lead the labor. Please pray with us about these needs.

We are so appreciative of you who pray and encourage and support us as we work toward bringing Papua New Guinea people to faith and maturity in Christ!

Highlands - Our Cessna 206 aircraft get rebuilt about every 7-10 years

Highlands - Our Cessna 206 aircraft get rebuilt about every 7-10 years

Here are stories from some of the missionaries Randy transported in the aircraft these past few weeks.
Tobo: http://www.ntm.org/news/9731
Mengen: http://www.ntm.org/news/9699
http://www.ntm.org/news/9707
Akolet: http://www.ntm.org/news/9686

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