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Jay | Susan | Alex | Beth | Samantha
July 24, 2011 7:28 pm
Published in: Uncategorized

It is, perhaps, unwise to write a blog entry late at night, but I’ll attempt it anyway.  Please forgive any typos…

I was reading another missionary’s blog and he wrote in it about being asked what was his best day, and his answer, after some reflection and looking back at the stories in his blog were that there were quite alot of candidates for “best day.”  I find myself in agreement.  Even my recent misadventures with flat tires in the Central African Republic qualify.  That was possibly one of the most difficult trips I’ve had, but it was successful in that I was able to get my passengers where they needed to be on time, and most importantly, safely.

A trip a bit before that is another candidate, and one that I’ve been meaning to write about for a couple weeks. I’ve been too busy flying that last three weeks to write about anything until now, other than the quick post about flat tires.  The first weekend of July I was up in Mundri, South Sudan for the weekend. On the 1st I picked some people from World Gospel Mission in Arua and flew them to Mundri to attend the ordination of Steven Dokolo as the new bishop for the Anglican church in that part of Sudan.  One of the missionaries had served there in Mundri for about 10 years during the war.  He told stories about hunkering down in the Bible school he taught at while the school was bombed.  He told about the northerners taking the roofs off the buildings of the school and the church so that the buildings would collapse. And he told about how no one was hurt during the bombings and we saw that all those buildings were still standing. Despite the efforts I’ve mentioned, and many others, God’s church, not only survived the war but grew.

Another story he told as we stood outside the cross built into the school chapel’s wall, how an artist designed the windows of the building, and the cross in the wall. I wish I had a picture of it. The cross is broken, representing Jesus being broken for us.  Hearing the gospel mentioned, even so casually as part of a story, in that setting, under that cross which had withstood the war was a tremendous reminder of the sort of God we serve.  Paul writes in Romans 8:31 through the end of the chapter:  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?   Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lots of best days.  I look forward to the next one.

July 14, 2011 5:04 pm
Published in: Flying,Ground

Airplanes get them too.  My last day working for Suburban Air Freight in Omaha, in fact, I got to fix a flat tire on a Caravan at Omaha’s Epply airport, in the freezing cold. It was early December 2006, and in the single digits Fahrenheit.  I had to get in the truck every few minutes to warm my hands back up.

The flat tire I had last week in Obo C.A.R. was, possibly worse.  We eventually got it fixed, but it was almost a $1500 event.  In the process of patching the tube, which had developed a hole right at the base of the valve stem, I removed and replaced the tire something like 4 times.  After getting the tire patched, I flew back to Zemio (where we enter and exit the country).  AIM Air used to have a plane based there in Zemio, and so we still have some supplies. Including a new old-stock tire and tube of the right size!  So I replaced the tube, changing the tire yet again.

Practice does make perfect. Or at least faster.  The first tire change took me about 45 minutes.  The last one took about 15, not including working the little bicycle pump we use to inflate the tire. The last tire change in Obo took place during a rain storm, I should add.  I got filthy.  Just ’cause it’s an airplane doesn’t mean you stay clean.

If we, and I say we because I was talking to the maintenance department back in Nairobi getting advice on the issue, hadn’t been able to get the tube fixed, the next option was to fly one up.  Thus the $1500 event.  Fortunately, we didn’t have to.

Other than the tire, the trip went smoothly. The tire was quite adventure enough.