The difference a mower can make

Posted on Posted in Mixed Nuts

During July we’re focusing on God’s creative solutions. Each of the posts published this month will be about the author’s experiences with unexpected solutions and how God provides beyond our limited sight. Please see the Prayer page to read our strategic prayer request for this month and to see how we, as a branch, are hopeful to see God’s creativity at work.

By Jill RiepeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Travel is always a challenge in Papua New Guinea. There are a few roads, but the environment makes it very difficult to maintain them. Rain falls frequently which can lead to pot holes and landslides. Earthquakes don’t help matters. There are many places that you can’t get to by road. My village is one. I can fly into my village, but only if the airstrip is open. If it’s not open, then I would need to fly to Wewak, the closest town, and take the road to Angoram. From Angoram, I would take a motor canoe to the village. This takes a lot longer than a simple flight, and the time it takes varies depending on the road and river conditions.

In April, I heard that the tractor used to cut the airstrip in my village was broken. I wasn’t worried. I didn’t need the airstrip until September. But then I heard that they had replaced what appeared to be broken in the tractor and it still wasn’t working. Most people were pessimistic about the airstrip being open in time for the flights in September. However, I had just heard about a mower that people were starting to use to cut airstrips and how great it was at doing the job and not breaking down. It was designed just for cutting airstrips in Papua New Guinea and there were people here in country willing to help maintain it. I made an appointment to see the mower and started thinking about buying it.

It was a Monday afternoon when I went to see the mower and try it out. It was just what we needed. I was shocked when I found out that Wycliffe Associates, a partner organization, were willing to provide the mower to keep my airstrip open so that my translation project could go forward. They would even fly it to the closest airstrip for me. If it ever broke down, they would fly a replacement out and then fly the broken one back to fix it. All I would need to provide would be the normal man power and maintenance on the ground. What an incredible blessing! I wouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a mower and then even more money to get it out to the village. God provided in an amazing way!

The mower has just made it to the village. The airstrip is slowly being reclaimed from the jungle. God has provided a way for the airstrip to be open in time for the flights. Please pray with me that the airstrip will be completely restored and the flights will be able to happen. Praise God for providing a way that I would never have imagined.

Jill serves as a Bible translator.

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