Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today has been a quieter day than we anticipated because today's flight was postponed until Monday. To be quite honest, I didn't miss the static on the radio:). The boys and I have been busy with school. I've also been trying to take care of some details for Monday's flight.

Garry is hard at work in the hangar, planning his flight to Luzon as well as cleaning things up after the 660 project. His instructor's rating is up for renewal soon so he has also been taking an on-line course to stay certified.

You may not be able to read the signs posted above the stove on the right, but they are the mission and purpose statement of one of our missionary teams. I've been reading lately how many people don't know or understand their purpose and so live quietly desperate lives, looking for meaning. I noticed this picture in my files today and was reminded that we as believers have a clear purpose as we strive to glorify God and fulfill His call on our lives. How blessed we are!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Good morning! Garry is flying south today and I thought I'd post a few pictures of what he is likely to see... or what you'd see if you were in the aiplane with him!

Palawan is a relatively small island, so you see a LOT of beach when you fly. There are a lot of reefs close to the shoreline also, which are quite easy to spot from the air. Just seeing the picture at the right makes me want to go snorkelling!

Here is Garry in the pilot's seat with a view past him and out the front window. Most of our airstrips look pretty short from this angle!

And once on the ground he'll park the airplane, unload and re-load. In the background is a missionary's house. Simple bamboo construction, as you can see, but quite nice inside!

Today he's taking cargo in and bringing team members back to town. Some of them will only come part-way to town in the airplane because this strip is far from town. The ones who finish the trip by road will take 4-5 hours in a bus to make the trip that is only 45 minutes by air! Even if you don't get motion sick, the jolting around on the the roads here is pretty rough on anybody!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

You may remember that we have two girls that help here in the house. Belle and Neva do the cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and most errands. (If you're wondering what I do, that's for another day!) They are a huge blessing to me personally and to our family. They are also my greatest ministry opportunity as day after day we live life together here at home. They see how we treat our boys, how we interact with each other as a couple, and how we do our ministry. They see our faults and hopefully also our hearts.

Let me tell you just a bit about them... Belle is married to Glen and they have a 3-year-old daughter, Ashley. They live with Belle's parents and her cousin and his family-- 11 people in the house. Her husband has been looking for work, but hasn't been able to find anything that pays enough to support them, so he is home with Ashley. Last week Ashley asked Belle if my boys are really her kids because she spends so many hours at work. Breaks my heart that she is even here, but I know she has to work and this is a better place for her than she would find elsewhere.

Neva is girl from one of the locations where NTM works. She is the second-youngest of 6 kids and the only person in her family who is currently working for pay. Her parents are subsistence farmers and sell small amounts of rice to buy the most essential things. Her parents are an elder couple in their local church and passionate about God. They are thrilled that Neva is workign with us and are concerned about her welfare as she lives in town far from family and friends. Medical problems and other needs often come to Neva and she has to decide how to respond. Although she is 22, she seems young. Neva didn't have the opportunity to study past grade-school and would like to get an education. This morning she told me that she may be able to take Saturday classes!

Both girls are believers, but life often seems to get the best of them (so much like the rest of us!). I wish often that I had the language to talk them at a more heart level.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Good afternoon! Today we're picnicing again-- this time in the office! Garry was off to work just a bit after 5 this morning and is working his way through a long flight day. We are thankful he was able to get a team of 9 moved from one location to another. Before coming home he'll make a couple more flights to pick up missionaries and bring them back to town with him. There was some rain over the noon hour, which gave him time to actually sit down and eat. Now it looks like things have cleared up and he should be back in the air in a few minutes.

Garry is flying 660 today. After resolving the power issue he took apart the tailwheel to tighten things up a bit. We're hoping he comes home today without any airplane problems to report! This has been a good lesson in the cost of having an airplane hangared in this climate!

The boys and I have been doing school, talking on radio, getting weather reports, and generally holding down the fort here at home. I'm hoping to finish my bookkeeping for the month this afternoon as well as do a bit more reading with them!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Kaleb's 8 years old!

Aren't birthdays fun? In our family we love the opportunity to shower special things on one person! For Kaleb's birthday we all went to play badminton, had his favorite meal for lunch (pigs in a blanket), and made pancakes for breakfast. I think that being able to choose fun things and do what you want could quickly become a habit at 8:)!

This year Kaleb got his first Bible for his birthday! Not being able to shop for Bibles here, we had ordered one from the US -- what a relief to find out it was exactly what we had wanted! The words are simple enough that Kaleb can read it to himself and the print is a good size for an 8-year-old:)!

I've always looked forward to decorating cakes for my boys since it is something I enjoy doing. However, each year one of their requests is that they can make their own cake! Since we had invited quite a few people to share Kaleb's birthday with us, this year Kaleb decorated a cake and Kevin decorated another. Each was a great masterpiece and rather tasty!

Besides celebrating Kaleb's birthday, Garry did a flight up north on the 15th. He was glad to be able to use 660 for the flight. Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that the airspeed indicator was not working properly. When he got a chance to look at it he found a bug in the air hose. After a sigh of relief he took it for another test flight. The engine was not developing the power it should, so the cowling needed to come off-- again! We'll have to finish that story next time... but we will all be thrilled when Garry takes 660 flying and comes home without finding any issues!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Yahoo! RP-C660 is in the air today! Garry was glad to finish up the rest of the work that needed done on 660, file away the completed paperwork, and call it a job that's finished for the present! Thanks for your prayers! RP-C2773 is now parked at the back of the hangar, awaiting its trip to the US for refurbishment.

Although Kevin is coughing, he is feeling much better than he did last week. He's back into a semi-normal school routine and has even enjoyed shooting a few hoops this morning!

Learning to read is lots of work, a process that takes a long time sometimes. Thanks to some great friends we are using some downloadable books from the internet that have really motivated Kaleb in his reading. He loves to tell us the latest story he read and is more than willing to read it aloud! Thank you, Jesus!
Good afternoon! Thanks again for praying for Kevin... he seems quite a bit better today than yesterday! He even did a fair amount of school this morning!

Garry has also finished work on 660! We are so excited to be able to fly this airplane now and to know everything looks good on the inside! Tomorrow he'll be taking some missionaries home in it!

One of Kaleb's favorite things to do is seek-and-find books. He loves looking through crazy pictures to find whatever it is he's looking for. We all marvel at his patience:).

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thanks to those of you who have prayed for the boys. Kevin is slowly getting better, though he still doesn't feel good. We thought we had kicked whatever he had when he came down with a bad cold. It is trying to settle into his chest and we are trying to keep it from doing just that. Thanks for your continued prayers!

This is a picture Kaleb has been working on... a collage of people and things he's colored and cut out. Soon he'll paste them down, but he's not quite sure if the picture is finished yet!

Garry is still working on 660. He's been able to solve some of the problems already, but is waiting for parts fix a small fuel leak still. Since the airplane isn't quite ready to fly our anticipated trip down south is on hold.

Next week a team is coming to help with some projects on the island and visit two of our tribal locations. They will be doing a bit of flying and I've been busy getting their flights organized. Most flights here are quite simple, but occasionally we have more cargo than fits on a flight or logistical challenges because the weather usually closes down early in the afternoon. These flights are complicated because they are shared between the team and 4 of our missionary families.

This is the shelf the guys built for me a couple of weeks ago... the photo got lost in the camera for a while:). Of course, now the shelf is stocked full of stuff!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Good morning! Actually, it's about noon here. The boys and I have finished school and I'm attacking my office. It always feels rather that way to me, since it seems the piles of papers and work grow when I'm not looking! I've finished a few letters this morning and taken care of a few NTMA business details. It always feels great to finish something!

Garry is hoping to soon FINISH work on RP-C660! He put the airplane back together this morning and took it for a quick flight. When he returned the compression in the cylinder that had been low was better, for which we're all very thankful! Since this airplane is somewhat different than 2773 we'd like to take a quick trip down south with it before Garry hauls a lot of other passengers or cargo... maybe the beginning of next week!

Kevin has been pretty sick since the weekend-- nothing serious, we hope, but he has had lots of fevers, headaches, and stomach problems. We're guessing it may be malaria and have given him a treatment-- we'll see whether he responds to that or not. Last evening Kaleb began complaining of a sore throat and this morning he seems to have a bit of a cold.

Monday, June 04, 2007


It seems that since I keep talking about the work at the hangar, I should finish the subject-- at least for now. The project isn't quite complete, but it is on hold for a little while!

We needed an "explosion proof" room in which to store our fuel, since our original idea of installing an underground tank was vetoed by airport officials. So, Jun came and began to work with several helpers. First they took down the temporary wood walls, then laid blocks. Finally, it was time to put a nice coat of cement, then paint, on the room! This room can hold several barrels of fuel, but storing large quantities in the hangar still isn't a good idea.

Meanwhile, at the guesthouse our extra fuel has been sitting on the ground. The plan was to store it in an old shipping container that is on the property there. First the guys stacked some blocks to place it on, so we can roll a barrel of fuel right out of the container onto the vehicle we use for transp0rting it to the airport. Then they moved the container itself, a job for a big front-end loader!

So, that's the fuel-storing story....

Friday, June 01, 2007

Good morning! It doesn't seem possible that it's been nearly a week since I've posted. Life sometimes feels very routine and normal, and I just forget to get on the computer and let you know what's going on!

Jun, the man at the right, has been working at the hangar for several weeks. He's been making an explosion-proof room where we can store fuel. It's about finished now, except the metal door that someone else is making for us. Jun has done a number of othe projects for Garry. He knows a lot of people in town, and being in the construction business seems to know where to find everything-- an enormous amount of knowlege when there isn't a local Home Depot or other such store where you can get whatever you need!

Yesterday I got a text from the officer-in-charge of the motor vehicle office here in town. We've been waiting for our licenses for over a year, and in March Belle went to the office and talked to Ma'am Ning about it. Ma'am Ning asked who we were, and upon seeing my interim license apparently recognized us as "the people who brought cookies at Christmas". (Taking a small gift to the people you do business with is a fairly common thing here, but something about the cookies must have been memorable:)! She then told Belle that when she went to Manila, where the licenses apparently were, she would personally check into them. Sure enough, the text said she had our licenses and could I please come by her office. I enjoyed meeting her, though it was a bit interesting since she apparently didn't understand my English, and I for sure didn't understand her Tagalog. Lack of understanding didn't stop us exchanging a few pleasantries (at least I think that's what happened!) and I left the office feeling that I have a new friend.

I thought you might enjoy this picture from when our pastor and his wife were here. Barry and Kaleb challenged Garry and Kevin to several games of badminton. Great fun! The boys continue to play badminton and are gaining some skill as well as exercise.

Have a great weekend!