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May 10, 2014

Airplanes and Associates

Things are winding down at the school; we have only 1 class day, 1 test day, 2 work days, and then it's all over. As usual, I have mixed feelings about it all. We've developed a few very close relationships with other students and staff here, and have seen many blessings since coming here. It's hard knowing that we're all going our separate ways soon. My heart aches. On the other hand, we are going into something that is so good, so exciting, and so God-guided that I can't wait for it to happen. It's all very confusing.
NTBI friends, huddling for warmth as we had Acts class OUTSIDE.
So just recently we had a MAJOR answer to prayer come through. Two donors stepped up and donated the $1.9 million needed to purchase a brand new, fully-built, just sitting on the ramp waiting for a home Quest KODIAK!! Along with the desperate need for pilots in PNG, there is a major need for three of these airplanes. They're bigger, which  means they can haul more, but they run on jet-A which is less than half the price of av-gas in PNG. So it can carry more for cheaper, which saves the tribal missionaries money. It usually takes 8 months from ordering a Kodiak to having it delivered; in this situation, it will be delivered to the headquarters in Arizona by the end of this month. All of the details have yet to be worked out yet, but it looks like Josh might be able to do some training with this new airplane! Maybe the Lord kept us in the states so Josh could get this training...
This is what a Kodiak looks like. NTM's will have a belly pod underneath to carry more.
Within a few days of that good news, we were granted our official Associate status with New Tribes Mission. It doesn't change much, but it means that we are officially part of the NTM family (we have an email address and everything!), all financial gifts are tax-deductible, and we are considered clergy on our taxes. It's been a long road of paperwork and prayer to get here, but it's so nice to be "official."
Our official welcome email!
The next few days are going to look like cleaning, boxes, fellowship with new friends and old, and a slow emptying of our home. It's weird and exciting and causes some heartache, but I wouldn't trade it because the Lord is the one directing our steps. Funny how you always see how He's working in hindsight.