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Not Just a Mechanic

Tags: Aviation, Aviation, Papua New Guinea
POSTED ON Sep 07, 2017

Aviation maintenance specialist Imie Mark knows it’s about more than turning wrenches on an airplane.

“So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations …,” the Scripture says (God’s Word translation).

Imie takes it seriously: “There’s no limit to that command, no boundary or border we can cross that relieves us from the responsibility to carry it out. No, it says wherever.”

And for Imie, that’s right in the hangar, with national workers and neighbors. But he’s not doing the teaching. Bonn is.

Bonn grew up in church right there in Papua New Guinea. Only a few years ago, he began to clearly understand the gospel message when missionaries taught foundational Bible lessons.

Now Bonn’s the teacher, with an unquenchable desire to see his people hear the matchless gospel of grace.

It’s hard going, though. “Some of the hangar workers eagerly accepted the initial teaching from creation to Christ when Bonn and the missionaries first taught them,” says Imie. But the harsh realities of life set in.

“Long-held beliefs, steeped in animism, have left them with some tough issues to work through.” 

So Bonn is taking the guys through the second level of teaching, helping them to see how the gospel is lived out.

So where does Imie come in? He and his coworkers on the NTM Aviation team sit in with the class, learning from Bonn “how to communicate our Father’s truth more clearly in a completely different cultural context.”

Then daily, they rub shoulders with these national men, living out Christ’s life. They listen to their concerns and answer the questions that they may never have the courage to ask in class.

Coworker Brent Ristau has built a special friendship with Jesper, the load-master’s son. Mechanic specialist Franc Roy has good conversations with Rodney as they work side by side on a daily basis. Imie has enjoyed storying with Gifsen.

Would you pray in faith, along with the NTM Aviation PNG team, that God will give courage to these national coworkers to become strong Christian men in their communities? It seems impossible that one of these national men could make a difference in PNG culture. But that’s where faith comes in.

Maybe they will follow Bonn’s example. He will soon be leaving his work with NTM to go teach among the villages of his people. It’s not popular to leave a paying job, but he knows he must do it.

And pray for our hangar guys to be faithful in discipling the men after Bonn leaves. Like Imie says, “So, yeah, I’m ‘just’ a mechanic, but missionary aviation is about more than just airplanes; it’s about being engaged for God’s glory wherever we are.”

When you give to Missionary Flight Sponorship, you make flights affordable and you keep aircraft flying so missionaries can consistently translate, teach, and disciple to build thriving churches. And a wonderful result? National workers come to Christ too! Thank you!

You can read it in Imie's own words.