The NTM heli dropping off supplies in a tribal location

Our mission helicopter is an amazing tool, in fact without it our ministry in Kovol won’t be able to get off the ground. Ironically enough our helicopter can’t get off the ground right, and so neither can our plans for Kovol!

We had our plans all laid out to return to Kovol in order to speak to the landowners in the village we’ve chosen to locate in. We had planned to get an agreement signed and clear the area we want to build on of jungle, but we had to postpone those plans a week to allow time for repairs.
Off go a fresh batch of emails and phone calls to rearrange our plans and we’re ready to go again.

Only yesterday to discover that the heli needs another week – for the same problem or a different one we don’t know. Life in New Guinea teaches us to be flexible though and at the moment all our plans are pretty flexible because we’ve not started yet.
We have had to push our projected house building time back to mid-August though.

Why not just find a different helicopter to take you in, or hike like you did last time?
Well this time we need to carry tools in and the hike was challenging enough with just the bare essentials never mind a pickaxe, spades, machetes and an axe!
And as for other helicopters, they just can’t offer us the same price. NTM aviation is an incredible blessing to us as missionaries. The pilots and mechanics work for free, and they even operate the aircraft at a loss meaning we don’t even pay cost price for the flights! A commercial helicopter company can’t offer us anything close.

You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.

(Pro 19:21)

In some ways, we’re glad we have extra time to get prepared. Our initial plans had us leaving for Kovol yesterday but there’s just so much for us to think about right now.
In between ordering chainsaws and spare parts we’re also thinking about how many sheets of plywood our houses will need? How many nails do we need to nail the roof down? Where will we store this? How will our team handle that?

We’re making sure we get a good YouTube education in using chainsaws and Alaskan sawmills

It can be frustrating to have your plans messed up but it also can help reveal hidden goals and assumptions you have that are not always that great. To even begin planning for a challenge as big as building houses in the remote jungle you have to start somewhere and we started with the idea of building in July – it seemed reasonable. We realized the mild frustration we were feeling was because we were still trying to make it happen in July – but who says we need to build in July? Why is that the best thing, why should we push for it? We only picked July on a guess of how long things would take.

It’s a mini lesson for us – don’t hang on to those initial ideas you get. No one’s interested in your plans for the Kovol people, but God’s plan for the Kovol people. That’s something else entirely.


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