The recent purchase of a new airplane for Adventist Aviation Services in Papua New Guinea is expected to help Seventh-day Adventists spread the church's message of hope in regions where rugged territory and remote villages make other means of transportation difficult.
Three years after church members worldwide helped fund the Southern Pacific nation's first 10-seat turbo prop through mission offerings and the sale of outdated aircraft, the investment earned a second, identical plane, which arrived in the region last month.
The new plane gives the region "greater capacity and efficiency to support the mission of the church," said Roger Millist, CEO of Adventist Aviation Services (AAS).
"With this plane, we have been able to access parts of Papua New Guinea that we have not had ready access to for almost 30 years," Millist said.
"Now, with two planes, we will be able to guarantee that we always have a plane available for church work," Millist said.
The Adventist Church is among the leaders of the aviation industry in Papua New Guinea, Millist said. AAS's purchase of the PAC 750 turbo prop in 2007 was the region's first, and the church was featured in the cover story of the July issue of New Zealand Aviation News. "When people think of the PAC 750, they think of Adventist aviation in Papua New Guinea," he said.
With two planes to operate now, AAS is expected to train additional pilots and engineers shortly.
"This is God's program, this is God's airplane, and He is directing things," Millist said.