As we look back at 2017, in some ways it seems like an eternity, in other ways it seems like the year has passed by in the blink of an eye.
Half of the year was spent in the Philippines, followed by nearly a coast to coast home assignment speaking tour, then came General Assembly in Indianapolis, the whirlwind of ending one chapter and starting another with Mission Aviation Fellowship. Travel, training, orientation in Australia, and arrival in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Then came finding our feet, learning the language, a village orientation stay, and now the steep learning curve of discovering all of the aspects of serving as Country Director for one of the most complex Mission Aviation Programs in the world.
There are days when it just makes my head spin. But in the midst of it all, we feel so humbled that God would allow us to have just a small piece in His plan of reaching some of the most remotely located people in the world with the message of Hope, Healing, and Peace that comes through a personal relationship with Him.
This past week found me visiting several of our remote bases (Madang, Telefomin, Rumginae, Kiunga, Tabubil) visiting with our staff, installing some security locks, fixing the base truck that broke down with us in it and observing the impact of MAF.
Over and over again, as I speak to the people living throughout the country, I hear them say that Mission Aviation Fellowship is their only link to the outside.
Medical evacuations (some 500 flown each year), medical supplies, Bibles, educational materials, building supplies, water tanks, village medical officers, store goods…the list goes on and on.
Here around Mt. Hagen in the Central Highlands there are some roads. But this week as I flew to the west toward Papua (Indonesia), we passed over the cloud-shrouded peaks of the Muller Range rising from sea level to more than 12,000 feet high, and beyond saw nothing but jungle rain forest and winding rivers as far as the eye could see!
And yet hidden there, below the jungle canopy, are those whom have yet never heard the Gospel message. Those who are subject to tropical maladies from which they will die, without the life-giving medicines and resources brought by the MAF planes.
So as we reflect back on the journey of 2017, we say thank you! Thank you to each of you who has prayed for us, partnered with us, those of you who have in the final hours of 2017, sent in ministry partnership gifts. We couldn’t be here without you there. This is truly a team effort. Together we are working toward and realizing the physical and spiritual transformation of the people of Papua New Guinea – in Christ’s name! From our hearts to yours – thank you for making a difference!
May the Lord guide and keep you this New Year!