Saturday, January 29, 2011


Came across this picture the other day.  Dated December 2004, this was the day we pulled our first Pilatus Porter out of the 40 foot container it had been shipped in.  The floor, and the rest of the airplane, was brand new.  The last people who had cleaned it were Swiss--you could eat off this floor.  The next time you're on an airline flight, when you go to the lav, look down at the'll look exactly like the surface of this floor in the Porter.  I guess they use the same stuff in most airplanes, but since the Swiss haven't messed with your lav floor, I wouldn't recommend eating off it.  For that matter, the day that picture was taken would have been the last one you'd have wanted to use that particular Pilatus Porter floor as a plate.

Our floors get messy.  Just about anything and everything goes in our airplanes--if it can fit in the door, we've probably flown it at one point or another.  And because we're here to serve isolated tribal people, our priorities are on meeting their needs, not keeping our planes clean.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Hard Stuff Is For Me

I don't expect anyone reading this to find any of it original...but like a kid discovering what the garage remote button does--"Hey everybody, check this out!"--I get all excited when I stumble upon something new.  As if I'm Livingstone discovering Victoria Falls or something.  Good grief.

Since my friend's insite on Jesus' interaction with the 'rich young ruler,' I've been thinking about this dude for the last couple of days.  This morning I re-read the story of this encounter in Matthew 19 and the same account in Luke 18 and Mark 10.  I guess I sort of assumed that a fair bit of what was driving Jesus in this encounter was his love and compassion for the poor.  Predisposed by Jesus' obvious passion to hang out with, love and touch 'the least of these' I assumed that one of the primary motivations driving this interchange was that Jesus really wanted to use the rich guy's abundance to help the poor.

Friday, January 21, 2011


A regression to my day job.

We live two and a half degrees south of the equator.  For you surfers who are fans of "Endless Summer," come on out to Papua--we have an endless summer.  We have some other things I won't tell you about until you're out here.

My son loves living here.  When we ask him what he misses about the States, he typically answers, "Snow.  Oh, and TV with channels."

Got to see some snow the other day.  I dropped off a team of Indonesian missionaries at a place called Okhika and then had to fly over to the village of Langda, 50 miles to the west, to pick up a family and bring them out to our base on the coast.  I can't recall ever flying this route before.  A direct line between the two points would take me right over the highest point in Papua's eastern highlands, mount Mandala, 15,423 feet above sea level.  In the mountains we almost never take a direct route, typically we follow the valleys, go through the mountain passes and generally try to stay away from the big rocks.  Today, however, I didn't have any passengers, the weather was good, and an empty Pilatus Porter climbs like an ugly bottle rocket--so I made direct for Langda.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Rich Guy Needs To Learn To Love

I meet regularly with a young Indonesian man who we're training in aviation type things.  The ground rules are simply that he keeps a log of what he's been reading in the Bible and he shares with me what he's learning.  Our sessions all start with, "So, what's God been teaching you in His Word?"  We then spend most of an hour interacting with something that he's pulled out of his reading.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Papuan Surfman

I surf.  Mid-life crisis or something.  I surf poorly.  Really poorly.  My main accomplishment is that I've been doing this for a little over a year and I still count myself among the living.  I started out borrowing boards...most were a bit beat up.  Then I bought a nice used board in Bali last summer.  So now I've got good equipment.  Isn't helping.

A friend, Michael Cochran, who works out in the Bird's Head region of Papua, is out scouting potential surf sites the other day.  He's got his camera along and is filming what looks to be a nice wave and takes this amazing video... 

So here's a guy surfing on a plank.  And did you notice the 180?  Dude.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's With The Name?

whoever loses his life for me, will find it
--Jesus of Nazareth

I didn’t set out to give my life away. In fact, as I think about it, I never really did give my life away. At least not in a conscious, on purpose sort of way. But somewhere along the way I did more or less lose it.

I imagine myself, at the beginning, standing at the edge of an immense wood pondering the possible paths that will lead me through it. I strike off through the forest on a well marked trail of my own choosing. It doesn’t take too long for me to realize that I like this path. Many pleasant miles have passed unremarkably when, off to one side, through the trees, I catch a glimpse of something intriguing. Lured off the path, I’m soon good and lost… but also in a magically better part of the wood.


It's January 2011 and I've decided to try my hand at this. If nothing else it will force me to write more regularly. If it turns out to be an enjoyable read...or ends up changing any of us, then so much the better.

from the ends of the earth,