A Weight of Worry
Among the tropical splendor of the Brazilian rainforest, Asas de Socorro—our Brazilian aviation partner—transports mission workers who serve with several mission organizations translating the Bible, providing health care, and planting churches. For many of these families in remote villages, Asas’ planes are often their only way out of the villages in an emergency.
Once, a daughter of American mission workers who were serving in one of these villages was bitten by a snake. An Asas plane flew to the village but couldn’t land because of thick fog. The pilot returned the next day, but it was too late; the girl had died in the night.
Although air transportation isn’t always a perfect option, it’s often the only choice. Asas’ aircraft are essential to the ability of these mission workers to continue advancing God’s kingdom, and they also take a weight of worry from the workers’ shoulders.
So when the Asas base at Boa Vista was left without flyable aircraft, it was critical to get them back into service.
The routine maintenance required for one of their Cessna 206s had to be completed before it could resume flying. A damaged wing on their other Cessna 206 had taken it out of service. Asas didn’t have enough aircraft maintenance specialists in Boa Vista or its other bases in Brazil, so the organization asked JAARS for help.
JAARS sent maintenance specialist Jeyson Braun, who had served with Asas for 14 years, to work on the aircraft at the base in Boa Vista. Peter Stuart, a JAARS-trained pilot who serves with Asas, flew seven hours to Boa Vista from Porto Velho. Peter flew the oldest plane in the Asas fleet, one that has accumulated almost 10,000 hours in mission flights in Brazil!
After completing the routine maintenance on one of the Cessnas, Peter and Jeyson replaced the damaged wing of the other Cessna with a good wing removed from Peter’s aircraft. Then Peter flew the repaired Cessna back to the base in Porto Velho where it was needed even more. The old plane that was now missing a wing would be sold for parts; it had lived a good, long life.
Jeyson and Peter had been under pressure to get one aircraft flying from Boa Vista again as soon as possible. One family needed to get their children from their village to Boa Vista to take a required test. Another family had plane tickets to the U.S. and needed a way to the airport for connecting flights. Still another mission worker needed to deliver food supplies to families at a village school run by mission staff.
Once the aircraft requiring heavy maintenance was fixed and could fly mission workers to the hangar, they came up to Jeyson as he worked with Peter on replacing the wing on the other Cessna and told him, “I’m so glad you’re here because we need this plane or else we have to leave the village.” As Jeyson said, “A lot of them were anxious that we wouldn’t get the plane ready because that would mean they can’t live in the village.”
Praise the Lord that Jeyson was able to help Asas get its aircraft back in the sky and reduce the worries that weigh on the mission workers.
As well as aircraft needs, there are also critical staffing needs in Asas. Pray that the Lord provides the right people and aircraft to continue sharing the gospel in Brazil.