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Consultants: Keeping Missionary Teams Vitalized

“Just imagine if you had to learn an unknown, unwritten language well enough to present the gospel and teach up through 2 Corinthians.  Hard?  You bet.  You will need help,” says missionary Donna Davis.

She knows because she and her husband Bill did just that.

“Why were we able to minister effectively in the Philippines for all those years and produce a good New Testament translation?  You guessed it … we had lots of help from consultants and missionaries who had ‘been there done that.’”

Now, Bill is a consultant himself, traveling to help other missionary teams,

“When no one comes in to help a missionary … they’ll wind up spinning their wheels, wasting their time, and getting discouraged because they’re not making the progress they need to be,” says Bill.

The experience that consultants have comes at a price though.  For Bill, that meant 33 years working in a remote people group.  After all those years, hiking into a tribe is no longer easy or even do-able for him and is fellow consultants, since most of them are in their 60's and 70's.  Aviation is essential.

"If I'm able to fly in and out -- a five minute helicopter trip instead of an all-day hike, or a half-hour plan trip instead of several days of probably impossible travel -- I'm able to maximize my time in the country.  I have some energy to actually put into my ministry."

Why not just have the missionaries meet with the consultlants in town?  Wouldn't that be easier and cut down on travel?

Actually, meeting in the ministry location has valuable benefits.  "I don't just want to know how much they know about the language or culture," says Bill.  I want to see them oiut interacting with people ... see what level they are functioning in.  That's hard to do in an artificial setting."

Bill's goal is to help ministry teams right where they are -- just like consultants helped him and Donna in their work with the Palawano people.  To do that effectively, aviation is a vital key.

"I wouldn't be able to go as many places ... if I couldn't ride in a plane or helicopter.  Aviation makes it easier and faster.  It's a big part of being able to do [my ministry] for the Lord."

 

Tags: Aviation
POSTED ON Dec 07, 2015