SmythsInPNG's Weblog

August 22, 2010

Airplane lifeline

Filed under: Missions — smythsinpng @ 9:18 am

We are all about airplanes in our particular ministry and I have not posted any pictures in over a year, so here are a few.

Aircraft Enthusiasm

Most of the time people are just curious about what’s on the delivery truck.  Some times a reward is offered for assistance carry the supplies.  Couriers are much appreciated!

The pilot's faithful audience

 When the aircraft arrives just before school starts, that’s great for the school kids!  Children are taught in the tribal language for a few years and then suddenly switch to a PNG version of English, so the education involves a large leap.

Helicopter Reunion

When the helicopter is in the area we move as much of the cargo as possible on the fixed wing aircraft to the airstrip nearest the destination.  The helicopter costs about three times as much to operate.   Using the less expensive aircraft helps our fellow missionaries stay within their financial means.

Cargo Transfer

Our fellow missionaries are usually quick to step in and help with cargo movement.  This was especially appreciated after my back injury last year.

Oceanic Transfer

 In some places the cargo moves by boat from the nearest airstrip to the tribal village.

View Enroute

 Flying gives us some of the most spectacular views.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but even a video camera cannot begin to capture what God has created the eye to see. 

Another View

Bush flying is not normally a clean sport!

Hey! I just washed that!

Review 2009 – Construction

Filed under: Missions — smythsinpng @ 8:19 am

What’s new on this side of the world? 

After the church work team left we had a Fourth of July celebration with bicycle parade of missionaries’ children.

Red, White and Blue Parade

Freedom Celebration

A dream for many years has been a place for the school children to play away from the scorching sun and driving rain.  Also needed is a place for sports activities that is large enough for all of the missionaries in the area to meet.  God provided the materials for a multi-purpose building early in the year.  The ground work of digging the foundation began in the middle of the year.

Multi-purpose building as a hole in the ground

The dream as a pile of steel

The cement floor was poured around Christmas.  The roof went on over the months following.

Hang Time

 Our mechanic had a lot of hang time on that project. 

Multipurpose building becomes a reality

Car repairs and shop construction was put on hold.  He was eager to begin installing equipment in his shop.  The old garage pit had seen better days.

Old Garage Pit

Workshop under construction

 So why all this about building construction?  It’s all about reaching tribal people with the Good News of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ!  The multi-purpose building will be use to train the children of missionaries, many of whom may also serve as missionaries themselves. It will also serve to train and equip mission personnel to be more effective in the work they are doing.  It will also be used to equip tribal people  with special skills related to literacy, Bible Translation, cross-cultural communication and leading tribal churches to maturity in Christ.   The workshop is essential to maintaining vehicles and equipment that is used to speed the work of tribal church planting. In this “throw-away society” there are few workshops with the tools or trained personnel to handle our day to day maintenance needs. Parts take months to acquire from Japan.  Vehicle maintenance is mostly a foreign concept.  Most vehicle owners simply run their vehicles into the ground or just abuse them until they don’t work.  (Vehicle lifespan is about five years.)  So, need to fix your car?  “Knock yourself out!”  The workshop is a huge help with that!

August 21, 2010

August 21, 2010

Filed under: Missions — smythsinpng @ 4:02 am

Over the past year I have come to better realize how much I depend upon a working camera, reader feedback and a good Internet connection to help inspire my blogging. My camera has been working for the past nine months but my verbal inspiration, available time and internet connection have not cooperated. It helps to have an unusual or exciting picture to tell a story.  However, much of the time there are no fancy stories to tell about what happens in the mundane. Despite these shortfalls it is definitely time to continue on with communication.

A lot has happened in the past year. Some of it is new and exciting; much of it is pretty much old hat. After 16 years of doing the same thing over and over again, flying into remote jungle airstrips in support of tribal church planting, every flight is new and pretty much every flight is the same thing.  The danger of blogging is in repeating our messages over and over. I feel like a farmer.  We spend hours and hours doing the same thing over and over.  Sure! Every row of corn is different. Yes!  Every row of corn is the same.   Plow, plant, weed and water. Plow, plant, weed and water. 

Someone might ask, “How was the plowing?”  Well, I lined up on a tree, stuck the plow in the ground and plodded on until the row was done.   Then I turned around the other direction, lined up on a tree, stuck the plow in the ground and plodded on until the row was done.  The harvest will come in this particular field but there is no evidence of harvest in this row at this time.

Flying is a lot like farming.  The first flight is new and exciting and the places we go are exotic and unique.  It’s like the first time you walk into Wal-Mart.  But after a while you know what is available, where and when.  It’s like that first time driving on the highway in heavy traffic.  It is amazing what can become mundane!

Tribal church planting involves a lot of hard work and sweat (the two are not necessarily directly related in this climate). Like farming the joy of harvest comes much later than the time of planting. The joy of our labor over time is that we see the fruit of labor coming up all over the place. In the past sixteen years we have seen God’s word go out to these tribal languages:   Abau, Saniyo, Sorimi, Nakwi, Inanbimali, Hewa, Maleu, Kaulong, Kaul, Dinangat, Inapang, Ma, Iwalaqamalje, Kafe, Kol, Lavongai, Madak, Patpatar, Malaumanda, Manam,  Mengen, Lusi, Tigak, Tobo.  There are growing churches in each of these tribes.  Some are reaching out with zeal to other people with the Gospel of Grace. Like farming and gardening, only God produce the fruit.  It is merely our joy to enjoy the harvest.

To avoid dropping this blog into the pit where many other blog were lost this past year, I will post it as is and begin work on another short blog.

Thank you for praying for us!

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