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Being a Witness

Pilot Brad Richert joins the villagers for the meeting by the airstrip.

When does a pilot get to be a witness?

Of course, he’s always a witness for Christ. But Ethnos360 Aviation pilot Brad Richert got in on another kind of witnessing when he flew into a remote village waiting for missionaries to build their houses and move in.

“As the pilot present, I was also able to sign the [land] contract as a witness!”  wrote Brad.

For years, a village “near” the Dinangat people group has asked for gospel teaching. In this case, “near” means a two-day hike! The Uruwa have heard about the transformation in Dinangat, and they don’t want it to pass them by. In October of 2023, several missionaries and three Dinangat believers “hiked through the villages of the Uruwa language group to determine their interest in having missionaries and in having the Word of God in their own language,” wrote Summer Zimmer, Communications Manager in Papua New Guinea. “The people expressed knowing and understanding God’s Word as their ‘chief concern.’”

Uruwa Missionaries and villagers

 Missionaries and villagers meet at the house-building site.

 “One clan, in unity with the entire community,” added Summer, “was willing to give [the missionaries] ground to build their homes and a team office.” In fact, that’s why pilot Brad flew a load of people to Uruwa in December — to finalize the land agreement for the missionaries to build houses. The people were so eager that by the day he landed, “the village had already begun clearing out the land so that the missionary team could begin building as soon as possible.”

But the land agreement had to be signed first. “Two families and organizational leaders flew in for the agreement. Once they unloaded from the airplane, there were several speeches to address the public. After that, everyone involved walked up to the selected area for building missionary houses. At that location, there was more discussion from both sides. Once the agreement was confirmed, both sides signed a land agreement contract.” That’s when Brad got to be a witness!

“After the agreement was made, the men [of the team] and one of the wives stayed to begin building their office.” Less than two weeks later, Brad reported, “The team already has their office completed. We are beginning to fly in materials for their houses now. Our aviation department desires to have all house materials flown by the end of February 2024. They hope to be close to completing their house builds in March/April 2024.”

“The Brendle, Thek and Weaver families,” wrote Summer, “have committed to making their home among the Uruwa people in order to do four things—learn language and culture, teach literacy, translate the Bible into their language and teach them the Bible in order to see a thriving church for the Uruwa people.”

To do such a time-consuming, difficult task, the team will need consistent, affordable air service. “Our aviation department,” said Brad, “works in PNG so that the gospel can go forth into all the world. PNG still has many unreached people groups, but hopefully Uruwa will not be unreached much longer! It is such a privilege to be a part of such a big thing.”

Uruwa Village

The sound of a huge waterfall across the valley enhances the beauty of the Uruwa village.

When you donate to Missionary Flight Sponsorship, you are a witness, along with Brad, of the historical moment when a people group begins their journey toward the gospel. Your support undergirds the numerous flights needed to get the church planting families functional in a remote location. Something “big” is certainly happening, and you are a part!

Tags: Kodiak Aircraft, Papua New Guinea
POSTED ON Feb 06, 2024 by Wonita Werley
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