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Jay | Susan | Alex | Beth | Samantha
January 8, 2012 5:21 am
Published in: Uncategorized

We’re in the new year and off to the races, as it were.  Last week I spent in Nairobi getting my Kenya pilot license and instrument rating renewed and doing some training for AIM Air. Monday and Tuesday I’m flying in Congo and on Wednesday Ron P. takes the plane to Central Africa for several days.  The week after I’m in Sudan and Congo again, and the week after that there are flights to Sudan.  So…lots of flying.   We also have some airplane parts stuck in customs which I have to get unstuck, I hope, and there are a number of details of program administration which need to be dealt with now that the holidays are over and the Uganda Civil Aviation Authorities guys are all back to work.

The two big items coming up for this year of our Lord, 2012 are home assignment (aka furlough) and a move.  We’ll be going to the US for home assignment from early April through mid- July this year.  April we’ll spend seeing family and the rest of the time we’ll spend visiting churches and re-acquainting ourselves with our supporters.  And raising some more support.  Our financial needs have increased rather dramatically with the move to Uganda last year.  And Beth will be starting at Rift Valley Academy (RVA) for 9th grade when we get back.  More tuition to pay.

The UN has made their base in Entebbe permanent, and has declared it “family friendly” all of which means that they will be renting lots of houses around here.  Thus, all the rents have gone up drastically.  Our own rent went from $400 to $800 and the land lord wants $1000 per month.  Thus, we have to move again.  This will be our 8th move since coming to Africa.  AIM Air has been trying to establish a base in Arua, up in NW Uganda.  Since we have to move we figured we’d make the move worthwhile and get the Arua base started.  Susan and I went up to Arua house hunting back in early December and found a house.  We (AIM really) have a lease on it and we will be moving into it as soon as we get back from the US.  This also means I have to get the house ready (install solar power and hot water mainly) and on the AIM Air side, I have to get a shipping container installed at the airport so that we can store fuel there.  I will also be working with the Uganda CAA to get a site for a hangar and then I’ll oversee the construction of the hangar, and of course set up the AIM Air Uganda office in a new location.

Arua puts the airplane about 200 miles closer to everywhere we go, as compared to Entebbe, thus potentially saving the missionaries we serve considerable $$.  It’s going to be a significant amount of work to get the base up and running but the pay off in terms of enabling missionaries to get to remote places is huge.  AIM has two families interested in eastern CAR, and having the plane in Arua reduces the response time in event of an emergency from four hours to two and a half hours, and reduces the cost of a flight by over $1500.  Maybe with this in place we’ll get more than two families out into CAR, and maybe more missionary families out into Sudan and Congo as well.

Here are a few highlights from 2011:

Visiting with the MboroMbororo Chief in Zemioro as part of  a survey trip in February to look at sending missionaries to reach this people group.  The Mbororo are part of the Fulani, a largely folk-muslim group of about 6 million people who are totally unreached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The hope is that the missionaries will do a two-prong approach. One team will work with strengthening the local church in CAR and helping them to reach the Mbororo.  The other missionary team will work directly with the Mbororo.

Stuck in the mud, Daga Post South SudanOf course not all the flights went smoothly.  I got severely stuck in the mud in Daga Post (Sudan).  The  Caravan is a great airplane, however no airplane is really all that good when it comes to mud.  It took me and about 50 local people about two hours to get the plane out of the mud.  I don’t even want to talk about the flat tire I had in Unity (Sudan) in the midst oFlat tire at Unity, South Sudan after landing to pick up food for Yidaf doing food deliveries for the refugees at Yida.

I also got to help set up the first food deliveries (drops) at Yida. I flew in two quad bikes to Kienger so that the SP folks could get to Yida and set up the drop zone, and did scouting for the DC-3 in preparation for the drops.  And I got to see the first bags of food leave the DC-3 and hit the ground.  All that’s talked about in Lentil Delivery.  There was also an evacuation from Kurmuk and Yabus, and later I got to pick up patients for a cleft-palate clinic Samaritan’s Purse had set up.

Susan was having some adventures of her own.  One of our guards landed in jail and she got to set up getting him help.  And more cheerful (and more work) another of our guard’s wife had their first baby back in September, and Susan helped all through that process, including dealing with the classically confused/stunned new father.

The year of our Lord 2011 was a good year.  I pray that 2012 will be also and that He will be glorified throughout the year.