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That’s the word missionaries used to describe the Tugutil people as they watched the Kodiak land for the first time in their village.

Since 2004, political and logistical issues had kept NTM Aviation from accessing their area. Trees and weeds had covered the dormant airstrip.

But the Tugutil church had not been dormant. God’s Word had taken root, and believers continued to grow. As with all of us, though, the believers longed for encouragement. And they still needed consultants to help them finish the translation of the New Testament.

The villagers set to work giving the airstrip an extreme makeover in hopes that leaders could pay them a visit and spur them on in their work. Without air service, their island just wasn’t in the mainstream of travel – and in fact, was frustrating to get to, involving island hopping on unpredictable ocean transport.

So the day arrived. The Kodiak landed bringing welcome refreshment.

What a breath of fresh air it was – with the promise of more to come! Translator Bob Clark is already planning to fly there on September 19th, taking 40 books of completed Tugutil scripture portions with him.

Instead of the usual grueling days of travel involving a short commercial flight, then taxi, speed boat, pedicab, another taxi, cargo boat, and longboat – and hoping all the connections will work -- it will take Bob about 1 ½ hours in the Kodiak. He won’t have to worry, either, about losing any of his precious cargo of scriptures in the transfers.

While Bob is in the village, he will work with the believers to do comprehension checks on the translation of Luke and Acts, the last two books needed to complete the Tugutil New Testament.

As the Tugutil church is strengthened, they are in a unique position to impact and encourage other tribal groups in the widely scattered islands of the Maluku region. Renewed aviation service will be the key to minimize the vast ocean distances they’ll need to travel.

Here’s where you as a member of the Body of Christ can help by participating in the Missionary Flight Sponsorship program.

Tags: Asia-Pacific, Aviation, Kodiak Aircraft
POSTED ON Sep 07, 2016