Papua New Guinea is a very mountainous country with very few roads. Read how one coworker describes the journey to her village location without the benefit of an airplane to transport her and her family.
"We'd have to drive from Ukarumpa, where the main mission center is located, to Madang, a coastal city, which can be a 4-7 hour trip depending on road conditions which cross over two mountain ranges. From here we would catch a boat over rough seas to Wewak, another city on the north coast. There was one instance where my husband had to wait a whole week in Madang for a boat to be repaired before he could be transported. From Wewak we would take a public motor vehicle to a place called Angoram which is about a 6-hour drive over poor roads. Here we would find a dugout motor canoe "going our way" with room for our family, then travel about 10 hours by canoe to our village. All of this traveling done, of course, with our luggage, food, and 2 small boys (ages 1 and 4). Total, this trip would take a minimum of 3 days, IF every type of transportation was immediately available where we needed it, which rarely happens in PNG, whose motto is "The Land of the Unexpected"."An airplane turns this 3+ day journey in a 3-4 hour flight!
Of course, where you have airplanes, you need to have maintenance technicians who can keep them running in tiptop condition. That is my role, and I thoroughly enjoy doing it. On occasion, an aircraft may experience maintenance issues while out on a remote bush airstrip, and a mechanic has to be flown in to check out the problem.
Another part of my aviation responsibilities includes training national apprentices in aviation maintenance. The hands-on experience they get in the hangar helps to prepare them for the licensing tests, as well as build the necessary hours to be eligible to take the tests.
Missy will be supporting our ministry through hospitality, homeschooling our children and helping to maintain a healthy home life. Although she won’t have an “official” position in a department, we can’t emphasis enough how crucial the roles moms and wives play are to the ongoing work of Bible translation. Healthy, happy homes keep missionaries on the field, and often help to build better relationships with the local people.