New Mission Aircraft Dedicated in Sandpoint
Several Upper Columbia Conference church members and leaders participated in a dedication ceremony for a new, high-tech mission plane built in the Inland Northwest, for Adventist Aviation Indonesia. This specialized aircraft, the Kodiak, was built by Quest Aviation in Sandpoint, Idaho. The company caters specifically to mission aviation and humanitarian aid organizations.
Through the Quiet Hour Ministries, many UCC church members contributed toward the purchase of the plane. The aircraft will allow missionaries in Papua New Guinea to better serve unreached villages in the island country's remote areas.
"We are very excited to have this airplane," says Bob Roberts, missionary pilot and base manager for AAI, "for its capabilities on short runways in the jungle, for its reliability and for its GPS technology."
Roberts has been a mission pilot in Papua since 1992, and says the 1970's airplane they have been using has provided more than 10,500 hours of service for the people of Papua. But with the new technology of the Kodiak, they will be able to provide more reliable service and safety for missionaries and church members working in the region.
Through the teamwork of ministries like ShareHim, Quiet Hour Ministries and AAI, villagers deep in the jungles of Papua are accepting the message of the Gospel and are being baptized.
Many villages like Sanapa, within Papua, only have a connection to the outside world (and workers who can nurture their new faith) through aviation ministries like AAI. People there are in need of basic health care and education. However, they are anxious to share their new faith with the thousands of other people in their neighboring villages.
"With help from our kind, foreign brothers and sisters we can reach other tribes," says the Sanapa village chief. "But we are so far from the modern world here, we are helpless in many ways. We have very few possessions, but we are ready to give all to serve God."
With the new Kodiak aircraft and support from church members in the United States, ministry leaders hope to build a school house, a clinic and a parsonage in the village of Sanapa. They hope to use the village as a mission headquarters in order to reach the surrounding areas. You can hear the amazing story of the village of Sanapa on the ShareHim website, www.sharehim.org.