Posts Tagged ‘Nate Gordon’

Missionary Pilot Nate Gordon has had the chance to fly all sorts of people, cargo, and even animals around the mountains of Papua, Indonesia. Recently he wrote about a small passenger he transported eight years ago:


Eight years ago I flew a man named Melky from our base on the coast across the high mountain ranges into the small village of Langda. Graying at the temples, this grandfatherly guy clutched a newborn baby boy to his chest. An unwanted child.

As pilots in Papua, we’re often privileged to enter into the critical scenes of the dramas happening around us. The vast majority of time, after playing our cameos, we exit stage left, move on to another play, and don’t get to see how the original story turns out. Occasionally there’s an exception. village of Langda. Graying at the temples, this grandfatherly guy clutched a newborn baby boy to his chest. An unwanted child.
A few months ago I was back in Langda. The fog was rolling in fast and I needed to unload my cargo and get out of there as quickly as practical. Two passengers wanted to come out to town with me, one of them a familiar face.

“I want you to meet someone,” Melky says to me.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI’m a bit hesitant, glancing nervously at the wall of fog to the south as Melky disappears into the crowd at the edge of the airstrip. Moments later Melky reemerges with a little boy in tow.

“Do you remember?” he said. “In August 2005 you flew us in here. My wife and I have been raising him ever since.”

These are the people I choose as my heroes. Anonymous, little people, doing much harder things than I, sacrificing so much more … doing it cheerfully and taking the time to thank others who have played bit parts (supporting roles) in their dramas.


This story was originally posted on Nate’s blog, where he writes about the day-to-day work of a pilot supporting Bible translation: http://offthepath.wanderprone.com

Eight Years Later 3

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The route to Sentani, Papua, from Kathmandu, Nepal should take about seven days.

By Angela Nelson

Last September, Wycliffe suffered a tragic loss when pilot Paul Westlund and two passengers died in an airplane accident in Papua, Indonesia.

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.

Pilots Nate and Brad with the Pilatus PC-6 Porter from Kathmandu, Nepal

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