By Angela Nelson
The plane lost in the crash was one of three that was used to ferry translators, supplies, Bibles, and other passengers throughout the mountainous terrain of Papua. And while Paul himself could never be replaced, the team had to search for a replacement airplane to carry-on the important work.
Today we’re praising God for providing not just one, but two planes to add to the fleet in Papua. After a great deal of time and effort, the team purchased a lightly used Pilatus PC-6 Porter from Switzerland with insurance funds from the accident. The second Pilatus PC-6 Porter was purchased from an airline in Nepal, using generous donations.
This morning pilots Nate Gordon and Brad McFarlane were scheduled to leave Kathmandu, Nepal, in a white Porter with green and gold stripes. It’s the beginning of a seven-day journey to ferry the little plane nearly 5,000 nautical miles to Sentani, Papua.
Not far behind them is the second Porter, also on its way to Sentani. It left Switzerland August 21, being ferried by Swiss pilot Daniel Eicher.These short-field aircraft are crucial to Bible translation work in Papua. A few weeks ago, Nate wrote about a day he flew the Ketengban Old Testament translation team in one of the other planes:
“As I thought about that flight, bringing the entire OT team out to Sentani for a couple weeks of checking their drafts with their translation consultant, I was struck by how tenuous this whole thing is. Suspended 10,000 feet up in an empty sky, a single engine pulling a pair of wings over a seemingly endless stretch of impenetrable rain forest…it was easy to feel incredibly vulnerable. All our eggs in a fragile aluminum basket.
“This endeavor of reaching the remotest parts of the earth with the Good News of Jesus feels just like that most of the time: ridiculously fragile. The only way this work will ever succeed is if God undergirds it, protects it, and prospers it. But it is His work and it will bear fruit.”
Please pray for the pilots as they ferry the planes this week! Visit Nate’s blog for updates on the flight.