Papua New Guinea (MNN) — It happens all the time. You pray, and you pray some more. You give up. And then you pray again. All of the sudden, God answers.
Jim Sims of New Tribes Mission worked as a fixed-wing and helicopter pilot with the aviation ministry to Papua New Guinea for 11 years. He shared some recent highlights with us.
For years, NTM has used Cessna 206 and 185 planes, small aircraft enabling them to reach isolated tribes all over the world.
In the early 90s, however, fuel increased in price and decreased in availability. NTM was paying $15 or more per gallon. This issue, combined with the small cargo hold, made the old fleet insufficient for the work NTM was doing.
Fortunately, a mission-specific aircraft was in the works. Quest Aircraft created a superior plane for the mission field called the KODIAK.
For a long time, NTM staff and supporters prayed for the money to purchase a fleet of KODIAK for PNG. But they had no answer.
But all of the sudden, God moved. Donors gave the money to purchase the first of three planes. When NTM went to purchase the plane, instead of waiting for Quest to build it, the plane was ready and waiting, complete with a coat of paint.
God had been working the whole time.
“We had no idea that this was going to take place, but we were informed just a short time ago that an airplane had already been built, was painted white, and was sitting at the Quest plant,” says Sims.
The KODIAK runs on cheaper fuel, has a stronger engine, carries nine passengers, and has a cargo hold big enough for a small boat.
Sims says, “This airplane was designed basically for mission work. It’s just going to be a blessing, and we’re very excited about it.”
The delivery of the PNG plane is taking place today, beginning the transition to the new fleet of aircraft.
“This is a team effort. The people that are donors and supporters: they’re our co-laborers and co-workers in this whole thing.”
The plane needs to be outfitted with seats, a cargo pod, an HF radio, and a splash of red paint. They hope to have it in operation by the end of the year.
Sims says, “As we know from God’s Word, His timing is always perfect. And so, we’re not aware that anything’s going on behind the scenes when, in fact, God already had this plane built and put together and was sitting on the ramp, ready for us to go. [This] is a huge thing because if we had to actually put in the order, it would probably be six months.”
The new fleet of planes is going to help NTM reach more people with the Gospel quicker. They train indigenous groups to witness to their neighbors.
Sims has many inspiring examples of this work. Watch for these stories soon. While you’re waiting, try to guess what cake has to do with the Gospel.