Posts Tagged ‘Paul Westlund’

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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Paul Westlund 1954-2011

A Memorial Service for Paul Westlund has been arranged as follows.

December 30th (Friday), 2011

*Updated location

Grace Church of Dupage

27W344 Galusha

Warrenville, IL 60555

(630) 393-7344

4:30 p.m. through 6:00 p.m. -Fellowship Time
A time to gather with friends, family and those who knew Paul.

6:00 p.m. – Formal Service
For more information please contact Kari Law at muddydancingshoes@gmail.com.

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Paul Westlund

Paul Timothy Westlund, 57, died tragically September 22, 2011 as a result of an airplane crash in Papua, Indonesia. As he had for many years, Paul was piloting a small aircraft, serving the physical and spiritual needs of the people and land he loved so dearly.

Paul was born on June 14, 1954 in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Howard and Lois (Foss) Westlund. He was united in holy matrimony to LaVonne E. Martin in 1979 at the West Chicago Bible Church; the service was officiated by his dad, Howard.

Paul graduated from Moody Aviation with a B.S in Aviation in 1981. He became a member of JAARS Aviation and Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1983 and began serving overseas in 1987. Paul was a highly qualified and well respected pilot. He was certificated as an Airline Transport Pilot with a Multi-Engine Airplane rating. He held a Certified Flight Instructor license and an A&P Mechanic license.

Before serving with JAARS, he gained experience flying with Gardner Express (IL), Prompt Air (IL), and Weber Aircraft (PA).

Paul was an exceptional husband and father. He loved to surf, exercise, and build and fly model airplanes. Paul was an animated storyteller and would tear up nearly every time he got to the crux of his storyline. Paul faced many difficult trials during his overseas service, and yet he could regularly be heard saying, “Isn’t this just the best life a guy could have!”

Paul is survived by his wife LaVonne, his daughter Joy and granddaughter Jadyn, and his son Mark; his parents, Howard (Lois) Westlund; his sisters Jean, wife of Dr. Robert Chase, and Petrea, wife of Timothy Ratliff. He was preceded in death by his sister Janet. Paul is in heaven now, not because of his faithful commitment to his wife and family, his love for and forgiveness of others, his easy-going character or good deeds, nor his humble service to the Lord. Paul is in heaven because he gave his heart to Jesus.

Funeral services for Paul were held in Papua and were attended by both his national and ex-patriot family members who were serving alongside him. He was buried in a local cemetery near the family’s overseas residence.

A memorial fund has been established in Paul’s name. Inquiries concerning this fund may be directed to members of the family. The family also welcomes gifts toward the JAARS aircraft funding project S4700, a project that Paul wholeheartedly supported. Detail concerning this project can be found at: http://www.jaars.org/projects/s4700.

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Paul Westlund

Wycliffe USA’s partner organization – JAARS, Inc. confirmed that an aviation accident took place early this morning in Papua, Indonesia; the pilot and the two Indonesian passengers were killed.  The cause of the accident is unknown.
The aircraft was a Pilatus Porter PC-6 operated by YAJASI, an Indonesian partner organization. The pilot, Paul Westlund had been flying in Indonesia for nearly twenty-five years.  Paul is survived by his wife and two children. No further details are available at this time.

(Photo courtesy of Clive Gray)

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