Monday, December 10, 2012

Coffee Run

Post by Jon--

Coffee beans play a large part in the economy of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.  The climate is well suited for growing superior coffee, but the terrain and lack of roads make it difficult for growers to get their beans to market.  When time permits, we help local coffee growers by flying their crop from the “bush” to the local towns.  And not too long ago, I had the privilege of going on one of these “coffee runs”.

P1100020 (2)

“Remote” only begins to explain the location of the Sindeni, the airstrip where we were headed. The mountains around our mission center are big, but benign compared to the terrain we were flying around.  The pilot had to maneuver around thick cloud cover, while simultaneously flying through several breathtaking mountain ravines.  Suddenly the airstrip was in sight, although it hardly resembles any airstrip back home.  (You can just see it as the light yellow spot in the center of the photo above.)  After confirming that the runway was clear, we completed the approach and landed.

P1100028 (2)Piles of white sacks waited for us at the edge of the airstrip.  Each bag of beans weighed around 150 pounds and we filled the plane to within its safety parameters.  After securing our cargo, we closed the hatch and departed the mountain airstrip.  The smiles on those we left behind conveyed their relief to have the beans on their way to market.

There are very few aircraft in the world capable of going into such an airstrip and carrying out as much weight as the Kodiak aircraft we fly.  We thank the Lord for providing us with a aircraft that allow us to not only serve Bible translation, but also help sustain the livelihood of the local people.


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