Tuesday, February 21, 2012


In additions to flying and fixing airplanes, I have been helping out with the Junior and Senior High youth groups. All of the kids come from the school where most of the missionary children go and where SAM has a number of people on staff.

I was the counselor for the 8th grade boys and got to lead a couple of small groups in addition to evening devotions. Being a group of boys, my devotional on Ehud, the left-handed judge was well received.

The mosquitoes were feasting on us for days straight, but that did not detour us from playing board games or enjoying the fantastic view.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Electron Flow

In a couple weeks I will pass the 6 month mark of time spent in Bolivia. The process for getting a pilot license has been slow going, although the horse is smelling the barn and I expect to have a piece of plastic in hand withing the next week!

To get around the pilot license issue, I have flown with another pilot, Miguel. He used to be in the Bolivian Air Force and now flies for a living as an air taxi pilot. A few days ago he accompanied me on a flight to bring a single missionary lady out to her village where she works. On the way out, Miguel and I both noticed that the airplane batterywas no longer charging.

We quickly reduced the electrical loads and tried a few trouble shooting checks to no avail.
Even with a dead battery, the engine will continue to run because the ignition system self generates a spark. Not being able to get the flaps down would be a problem though as they reduce the landing distance and speed that is flown on approach. Thankfully it all worked out just fine and once one the ground we found the culprit. A broken ring terminal that connects to the alternator (the thing that generates electricity). Not having any ring terminals on hand, and being in the middle of the jungle meant it was time to improvise. Cutting back the insulation on the wire, we looped it around the terminal and tightened down the nut on top of the bare wire. We pronounced it good to go and on the flight home it performed flawlessly.

On the way home Miguel and I were talking and he mentioned that we were pretty "lucky" to have fixed the problem. I asked him if he believed in "luck" and that started a conversation about spiritual things where I was able to witness to him. Please pray for Miguel, that the seeds planted would take hold. It's called providence after all, not luck.

Moving: 3rd World Style

By December 31st of 2010 I had to move out of the house that I had been sharing with the other SAMAIR pilot. He left for the USA and I was on to some other place where I could share expenses and not have to set up a complete house just for another 6-9 months. I did find another place to live a bit farther outside of town with some single missionaries who work at an orphanage. Thus far it has worked out very well.

As many missionaries can relate to, when moving into a new house, you have to start completely from scratch. I mean completely! If it is not bolted down or a structural member of the house, it is gone! This includes light bulbs. I know, who would take light bulbs with them when they move? But I have had to buy light bubs on many occasions because the house, evidently, did not come with them. So I thought the only culturally sensitive thing to do when I moved was to take my light bulbs with me as well. I think I am starting to get the hang of this 3rd world living thing.