Meet Some of My Passengers

Work for me is full and enjoyable. The variety of flights keeps every day interesting,” writes Gavin Jones. “I love my work!

Transporting translators and their co-workers and supplies to inaccessible places is by far my most fulfilling work! We often partner with other mission organizations who need our service. In recent weeks, I’ve been helping some New Tribes brothers and sisters by carrying them to and from the villages where they work. Without our service those villages might never hear God’s Word.

Sometimes we provide flight service to our host government. Recently, we flew some of the Prime Minister’s entourage to a school/road opening ceremony in a remote area of Madang Province. Both of our helicopters carried some of them into the small helipad and back out again. Flights like this are financially profitable and help reduce the cost for Bible translators who use our transport.

Several weeks ago, a young missionary family unexpectedly became my passengers. As I was transporting some health workers and supplies to a medical aid post in a hard-to-reach mountainous area, I stopped off at Kotidanga village to leave a drum of Jet fuel for our future use in that area. There I met the young family—a dad, a pregnant mom, and two small girls—who were about to hike for more than 12 hours through the steep, wet, slippery jungle—to a location just a few miles from my destination. They were thrilled when their trip was transformed from an extremely challenging and dangerous hike into an eight-minute flight that landed them within 100 yards of the house where they planned to stay. Several days later as I flew them back to Kotidanga, the mom described the difficulty of a much shorter hike they had made the previous day to a neighboring village. That hike had brought her to tears. They were so thankful that the helicopter was nearby and available.

Mercy flights are another important mission. Last month I flew a New Tribes missionary to a village where he is building a house for his family to live in while they serve there. Shortly before we arrived, some villagers had left carrying a young man suffering from dysentery-like symptoms to the nearest medical aid post. With the patient on a bamboo stretcher on their shoulders, they faced a six-mile hike over several steep, jungle-covered mountain ridges. When I arrived, the people called out to the men far up the steep mountain to come back down so I could fly the patient to the hospital. Within minutes they returned, running down the mountain with him on their shoulders. I loaded him up, hopped a couple miles over the ridge to pick up another patient, an older man, and flew them both to medical care—in all a 20-minute flight.

What a variety! One day, translators and supplies. Another day, government officials. Another day, a mercy flight for two very sick men. I love my job!

Gavin & Carrie Jones

Gavin Jones, his wife, Carrie, and family support Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. Gavin is a helicopter pilot. Carrie has her degree in Public Health, but her ’public’ now consists of their oldest son, Isaac, and their four-year-old quintuplets, David, Grace, Marcie, Seth and Will.>