Why did Paul find himself in this situation? Follow along as we recap 2022!
In April of 2022, we had to unexpectantly leave Papua New Guinea. Paul left his ministry as an aircraft mechanic and Andrea stepped out of her role as high school science facilitator. While it was our desire to remain supporting tribal missions in PNG, it was more important that Phoebe be under the care of a pediatric orthopedic doctor. We began to look for ways that we could do both: continue to support tribal missions AND have Phoebe’s medical needs meet. The Lord directed us to Ethnos360 Aviation’s training center in southern Arizona. While they didn’t have a need for an aircraft mechanic or science teacher, they did need help in keeping the training campus maintained.
So in June we moved to McNeal, Arizona and Paul began working with the facilities maintenance team while Andrea started back into homeschooling Phoebe and Josh. Paul’s daily tasks can be anything from general household maintenance like, “Mice are living in my washer/dryer!”, snake removal, to fixing things or set up and pouring of a cement slab. Currently the team is working on setting up two new houses, but he never knows what a day may hold. A few weeks ago he came home for lunch muddy! A water leak was discovered and our two aircraft hangars and office building had to have their water shutoff. He got to help digging the hole and getting dirty fixing the leak.
Why are new houses important? Why is the training hangar necessary? Here at Ethnos360 Aviation’s training center, their goal is to train up the next generation of pilots and mechanics who will go and serve overseas. While these trainees have all had previous aircraft training and experience, this last step in training is necessary to equip them for the challenges of flying and maintaining aircraft overseas. Thus we are glad to provide them housing while they train. And the folks working in the hangar & office really appreciated having running water again!
We are so thankful that we are still able to be a part of seeing the Gospel go out to tribal folks. While we are a little further physically from the actual church planting, we are still encouraged. Late last year we got to see the graduation of several trainee families… one even heading to PNG!
Do you feel removed from tribal church planting? Like us, you are not actually living in a foreign country rubbing shoulders with precious people who Jesus wants to redeem. Be encouraged with us! By praying for us & tribal missions & by giving financially you ARE a part. You are making it possible. No administrator, staff member or missionary with Ethnos360 gets a salary. This includes those who are serving in the United States (or their home country). In order to keep tuitions, training and overhead costs at a minimal, no members are salaried. Instead we rely on God through churches and individuals, just like overseas missionaries, to help provide all our needs. We thank the Lord for the support team He has given us. You are such a blessing & encouragement to us!
We started 2022 with a bang and we ended it with one! Andrea had emergency gallbladder surgery followed by a severe infection. We are glad to report that she is recovered and actually feeling a lot better than before!
Just last week we had another appointment with Phoebe’s hip doctor. He is encouraged by her progress. She is slowly walking better, but still gets tired over longer distances. At the stage she is in, we will continue to do stretches and exercises at home. Yeah swim therapy!!! (Sadly, the true “outcome” of Perthes disease is often seen as the patient moves into adult and mid-life with many needing a hip replacement). Excitingly, her doctor is willing to do virtual visits which means if we do go back to PNG, he will still be “on call” as her doctor.
Did you catch that? We said “if we do go back to PNG.” As this letter goes out, that is still our desire and plan… to head back this summer. A lot needs to happen, but that has always been the case. Getting the go-ahead from Phoebe’s doctor was just one of the hurdles we needed to overcome. Paul still needs to close out his brother’s estate to name other.
The Wilson family has sure had a bunch of bumps in the road (trials) and we can easily get discouraged. It could make sense for us to just close the door to PNG and remain in the States. Maybe God will direct us that way. We want to follow His leading and not lean on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:4-5)
Praise & Prayer Requests
- Praise: Andrea’s healing from emergency gallbladder surgery & infection.
- Praise/prayer: That we could be here to deal with Paul’s brother’s estate.
- Praise/prayer: Great report from Phoebe’s hip doctor! Continue to pray for healing.
- Prayer: Wisdom as we look to our future plans.
- Prayer: For Paul’s mom, Marie Blackburn, as she struggles with chronic hip pain.