Plan A had us going back into Kovol to start milling at the beginning of June. Helicopter maintenance delayed us by about 2 months, and a good thing too – our chainsaws just arrived!

An argument about who got to pose with the big chainsaw inevitably preceded this picture

We’ve got a brand new Stihl MS880 Magnum and MS391Farmboss for the job of cutting down trees and milling the logs into planks. Both are beasts of chainsaws and should be able to handle anything we throw at them.

The Magnum weighs in at 16kg with the bar attached which makes it pretty unwieldy, but a mill needs some horsepower to work. The Farmboss is a powerful medium sized saw that is much more comfortable to handle.

Brand new chainsaws are wonderful to look at. So clean, the chains so wonderfully lubricated and sharp, but they’re going to be very well used by the time we’re done with them. We expect to be working full time with them for about 8 weeks or more. It’s going to be a challenge to keep them well maintained on our milling trips. We’re praying that the Lord keeps us and our saws working well despite the damp, isolated environment of the mountains we’ll be working in.

We’re also pleased that Rhett’s dad will be joining us for our milling and house building trips. Many hands make light work, and while 3 of us isn’t really many hands we’re very glad to have someone along to sweat alongside us and scratch their head alongside us for the many inevitable problems, setbacks and unexpected circumstances we’ll be meeting over the next months.

Oscar thinks about which one he wants for his birthday

August 5th we’ll be flying back into Kovol along with these saws, fuel and tools.
It’ll be two non stop weeks of using chainsaws 10 hours a day, sleeping on a wood floor, eating taro soup, enjoying zero privacy, wearing the same clothes and smelling terrible.

As much as I wish we could fast forward to the job being done and skipping all the sweat and frustration, it’s a vital part of our Church plant. Not only because it provides us the wood we need to build our houses, but also because it undermines cargo cult thinking; we get to show that rich missionaries don’t just magically receive material goods; we have to work and sweat for it just like anyone else.


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