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Due to a shortage of pilots, fuel and finances, Lourens Laureti had just one choice.

Wishing he could fly

For Lourens Laureti, the trip from the mission support center to their bush location was not a 35-minute flight in a plane. The shortage of pilots and fuel necessitated instead a grueling hike back to the village, he writes.

First there were hours squeezed tightly onto a series of PMVs (people moving vehicles). The company was close and less than fragrant, Lourens reports.  He spent more than three hours compressed into one position without moving, and asks, “You know that feeling when it all goes numb?”

When the vehicle made a brief stop, Lourens could scarcely get out of the vehicle due to numbness. “I was a real sight for everyone and we all had a good laugh.”

Next he traveled by truck for two hours to another village. Here Lourens decided to spend the night in temporary quarters due to his ongoing discomfort from the cramped quarters he had endured for so many hours. In the little house where he stayed, there were people willing to share their food. There were also considerable populations of sand flies and fleas.

The following day, Lourens was finally ready to start the long hike from the plantation village to his destination--the village in the jungle where he and his family live and minister. Lourens describes this hike as “a day in the jungle over a serious river.”

If you are picturing backpacking in a park or nature reserve with paths and rest points, think again. “You constantly walk in mud,” he explains. “You climb serious hills and often slide back down and start over again.”

To add to the challenge, it rained all day which intensified the heat and humidity.

Lourens did finally arrive safely at the village in the jungle that he calls home. But he was mindful all the way, he says, of a much-preferred method of getting there.

“In times like these,” Lourens shares, “we learn to really appreciate the flight program and our pilots. Please pray for us and for our NTM pilots that God would continue to provide finances so that we can afford to fly rather than hike. And pray that God will provide pilots, planes and fuel to help us minister more effectively.

POSTED ON Mar 05, 2013 by Cathy Drobnick