We often share with folks that it’s our heart’s desire this work we are privileged to participate in be a family ministry (not just daddy’s job). We wanted to give you a glimpse of one way that played out with our own immediate family and the broader family of our sending church body, impacting the extensive family that is the body of Christ…
Late October brought with it a unique opportunity as the NTM Aviation team prepared its new Kodiak aircraft for service in PNG (there are 2 here in McNeal, AZ almost ready to go and 1 just starting service in Papua New Guinea (PNG), but I’m getting ahead of myself). Our pilots use a simple electronic checklist, mounted in front of them atop the glare shield (or in car terms, dashboard) to assist in ensuring all the critical tasks have been completed prior to takeoff and landing. I was tasked with building a couple of these “checklists” and thought it would be a great project in which to include the kids. Over the course of a week Imie IV helped me assemble, electrically connect, and operationally check 3 new boxes.
Early November saw one of those boxes hand carried across the ocean to PNG where their 1st Kodiak was undergoing its government inspection and certification for service after importation. Paul Wilson* was passed the baton, er…checklist, and did the honors of installing it in the plane.
*Awesome fact: it was through Paul and Andrea, also commissioned by South Potomac Church (SPC), that we were introduced to NTM. We had the privilege of serving them while members of SPC’s missions team and we look forward now to (Lord willing) serving alongside them in PNG before the end of 2016.
December saw the aircraft take flight for the first time in PNG, proving itself to the national authorities and gaining authorization to officially begin service with NTMA PNG. On Dec 1 the Kodiak took to the skies with its first missionary passengers and cargo aboard and in just its first few days of service it had already transported over 20 missionaries and hauled more than 2,500 lbs of cargo to 7 different locations.
Here’s something I find amazing…through SPC’s support of our ministry as well as that of the Wilson family, one simple, tiny box was built and installed on a (relatively) huge, million-dollar, state of the art mission aircraft. While easily overlooked, that tiny little box has already played (and will continue to do so in the years ahead) a huge role in the safety of every flight. Every single takeoff and landing those switches are flipped. That means every single takeoff and landing, whether it’s a pilot training locally who goes home safely to his family at night, or missionaries getting safely into remote & unreached tribes, or even Bibles being safely delivered to a people in their heart language, every flight will be that much safer as critical tasks are accomplished at the right time and in the right order.
So there you go, one small example of how the Lord can use a mission minded family and a mission minded church to impact countless lives we may never meet, all for the sake of reaching tribes and changing lives. How about your family or your church body? What can you do in this new year to participate in the Lord’s work of redeeming His creation and making His name famous among the nations?
For more information about how you can support getting the 2nd Kodiak to PNG please check out the project page, “Second Kodiak for Papua New Guinea” on the NTM site.