SmythsInPNG's Weblog

September 26, 2010

September 26, 2010

Filed under: Missions — smythsinpng @ 2:48 pm


After working in PNG for fifteen years our mission is still the same: to provide safe aviation support and transportation to our co-workers in the effort of planting mature tribal churches in every language group of Papua New Guinea.  To do that involves maintaining flying knowledge and skills, flying the aircraft, coordinating flight requests and transportation needs, scheduling the aircraft, communicating plans by personal interaction, email or radio, maintaining facilities, building, grounds and equipment, flight billing, maintaining fuel stock, overseeing national workers and payroll, tracking aircraft locations, communicating with passengers about timing and weather, managing fuel stock and working out flight billing.  Much of the work is not glamorous but we have seen great and wonderful progress as tribal people have come to realize God’s great gift through Jesus Christ.  

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Avoiding volcanoes and drifting volcanic ash is routine.  Earthquakes are common but a very large one (7.3) in July destroyed one of our bush airstrips.  Pray for repairs to the runway so that the Akolet team can function more effectively, avoid long hours on the ocean and have regular air service.  

Muffler Repair not Midas

Muffler Repair not Midas

We are blessed to have a used van to transport people and cargo to and from the airport.  This is a huge blessing to our ministry. When things go wrong with the car, such as a muffler leak, we cannot go to Midas for a repair.  Muffler repairs are not really in my skill set but I expect that this particular job will be part of my muffler education when I fix it.  The leaf springs are also worn out, so I will be learning how to replace leaf springs some time in the near future or whenever parts arrive from Japan.  I wonder if air shocks will do the job? 

100 Hour Inspection

Every one hundred hours of flying our aircraft are partially disassembled to inspect the airframe and engine for existing or potential problems and provide lubrication and maintenance. This is usually accomplished in the Highlands.  Since that is so far away from where we normally work we try to arrange loading of paying cargo to assist with the cost of transportion.  The maintenance team are usually very busy with the many tasks associated with maintaining the fleet. 

Flight Trainer

Pilots are required to maintain their skills to a high level so that safety is maintained. They have tests and check rides with a training pilot at least every six months.  A flight simulator or similar training device can assist a pilot with maintaining his skills at a much lower cost than actually flying an aircraft.  Refreshing skills requires time practicing the skills.  Better that time is measured in tens of dollars an hour than in hundreds of dollars an hour.  Of course, the skills do eventually have to be demonstrated in an actual aircraft!  The other training pilots live in the Highlands. To avoid spending over a thousand dollars to get to where the check ride can be completed, we try to coordinate check rides with required aircraft maintenance. 


Dining with our fellow aviators and their families gives opportunity to learn of God’s work on their end and the challenges they face.  We have wonderful co-workers in this line of work! 

Flying Bus

As a service to the community and a means of spreading the costs of operating aircraft, we transport commercial passengers from time to time.  Some are local businessmen or families returning from the hospital.  Others are students visiting family or returning to school away from home.  Occasionally we transport the deceased with family members.  Quite a bit of time each week is spent answering community questions about availability, timing and cost of flights or scheduling requests and processing payment.  The best part of the commercial flying is having opportunity to share the gospel with the passengers in the trade language.  We pray each seed planted will bear fruit. (Isa 55:11) 

Medical Supplies

This past week we transported medical supplies to a community whose supplies had been exhausted. Mark helped me load the supplies into the aircraft.  We hired Mark in May to assist with cutting grass and other hangar work. Cutting grass takes about three days every week, so he is well acquainted with our little push mower. Pray that Mark will have a clear understanding of God’s provision for him through Jesus Christ and that he will grow in faith. 


While in the Highlands I mentioned to the aviation team that pushing / pulling the aircraft in and out of the hangar was becoming more difficult with age, especially during the wetter season when the cement is covered with moss.  Some ideas for solutions were tossed around and then someone suggested this lawn tractor.  It had been used for years to move aircraft into and out of the Highlands hangar but had been replaced with a more powerful tug. It arrived at this hangar in June and has been a blessing ever since.  It has batteries that enable it to be used as an Auxiliary Power Unit for starting the helicopter, too. 

Mower Deck

The tractor has a mower deck too, but we don’t have all the parts or funds to assemble it for mowing grass.  But we do have Mark! 


These days missionary work is as much paperwork as relationships and sweat. 

Securing Cargo

Even our missionary co-workers in the bush spend many hours at a desk; studying the Bible and language, translating teaching materials and recording culture. 

Missionary Desk Work

One of our prayers is that soon we will be able to have an actual office for Diana.  She has graciously put up with less than ideal conditions for her office work these past years. We need to see a resolution soon to facilitate better continuity and efficiency with her office tasks.  Please pray with us about this. 

Dining Room Office

 We celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary this year by driving to town and having a special lunch.  Perhaps Godiva chocolate, flowers and a weekend away next year! 

8th Anniversary

8th Anniversary

Eight Wonderful Years!

Thank you for praying for us and enabling us to serve in Papua New Guinea!



  1. Congratulations Randy and Diana for 8 years of marriage!!! From your smiles we can tell that the Lord Jesus has blessed your marriage. We are in such awe after reading these updates to your blog the amount of work you both need to do just to fly an airplane. Thank you for your example of faithfulness to the Lord, to each other, to doing your mission with excellence and skill, to your fellow missionaries in PNG and to the people of PNG. What a testimony to us back here in the states. Your description of rebuilding the fence around your airport reminded me of the present Bible study I’m doing in Nehemiah.Nehemiah prayed when he heard about the bad situation that his people were in back in Jerusalem and how distressed they were because the walls of their city were broken down. They felt unprotected and discouraged, but Nehemiah came and encouraged them plus he had a plan to rebuild and was able to rally the people to work together. In chapter 3 the words “next to him” occurs so many times. Your description of the church group that came from Washington reminded me of how you all worked together next to each other to start the repairing and rebuilding of the airport and its fence. We will definitely pray that you will be fortified with a “wall” around the NTM airport so intruders won’t steal from you the things needed to help you minister to the other missionaries there in PNG. Love Linn and Brad

    Comment by Linn Seidensticker — September 27, 2010 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  2. Congratulations on 8 years. We are celebrating our 15 year anniversary in October.

    Keep up the good work.

    Comment by Damon Barnes — September 27, 2010 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  3. Randy and Diana,

    Good job on your web update! I feared I had lost contact with you guys, but then your update showed up in the Receptionist inbox, so I got online and got caught up with you a bit. Please put me back on your list for regular email updates. Loved seeing all the pictures too! Oh how I miss PNG and all of our friends and family! Sure do look forward to a long chat when our paths cross again. Thanks for all you are doing and the sacrifices you are making to be a part!

    Comment by Kay Hughes — September 28, 2010 @ 6:56 am | Reply

    • Bro.Randy& Diana, Just got this e-mail here Jan.6 2015 Liberty Faith is still growing 25000 DVD were sent to 25000 homes today with a message from Bro John Bishop (One mans nightmare turns into a dream) We watch this at church and everyone was moved to put the labor in the project.The ail ministry is still going strong God only knows the number saved the past 5yrs. Congratulations on 8 yrs of marriage Still praying for you both an d the ministry in Paupa New Guina Bro.Bob Chadwell

      Comment by Bob Chadwell — January 7, 2015 @ 1:49 pm | Reply

  4. Randy&Diana, What a special this has been reading this and realizing more each and every day..That Jesus Christ is still on the Throne, still saving souls in spite of ourselves.
    Congratulations on 8yrs of marriage.
    Liberty Faith Church is still growing and reaching out to lost truckers, as well having a small part in the Jail ministry that the Lord, opened 1yr ago this month. Bro Reggie and 4 men from church. We go on Wed.@ 5:00pm minister for one hr. please pray for us as we pray for you. God is truly amazing. Bro Bob Chadwell

    Comment by Bob Chadwell — October 13, 2010 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for your message! May God bless your work as you honor Him! Randy

      Comment by smythsinpng — October 31, 2010 @ 1:47 pm | Reply

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