An Airstrip is Born

Earlier this week I flew out with another pilot to a brand new airstrip for a final check so we can open it for use.
A great celebration greeted us when we landed.

Nate and I spent a few hours inspecting, measuring, and installing side markers at the Yolban airstrip.

Inspecting, measuring, and marking the new airstrip

In spite of a minor knee issue, I had a great time hobbling up and down the mountainside. It only took us a brief morning of work to complete the local villagers’ 12 years of hard labor.

Tim demonstrates how to install the side markers

Yolban is a very small village in the eastern highlands of Papua, Indonesia. It is isolated in a steep-walled valley of thick jungle. The people there have no roads, no wheeled vehicles, no power tools, no health care and have only recently received the Bible in their own language.

Yolban is located in a remote, mountainous part of Papua, Indonesia.

When I asked about the airstrip project, one of the men explained that he had started working on it when he was still a little boy. They had carved out the rock and dirt with minimal hand tools and carried it all away by hand—including the removal of a hill that was in the middle section of the strip. He called it difficult work. But he said it was worth it because now through aviation service they can have access to medical care, education, and Bible teaching. Before we flew home, the local pastor dedicated the airstrip and its use to the Lord. It is exciting to play a part in sharing Good News with these isolated people.