December 2013 News from the Pett Family serving in Arnhem Land North Australia with MAF International
We have now been working on Elcho Island for over seven years and we recognise that this has only been possible because of your faithful prayers and financial giving. We are privileged to serve in this unique place and thank you for your continuing partnership with us.
We wish you every blessing and peace for the Christmas season and the forthcoming new year.
40 years young In November 1973, a young couple woke up on a Monday morning to become the first MAF staff in Arnhem Land as the Methodist Overseas Mission transferred its Elcho-based operation, aircraft and commercial pilot to MAF. We welcomed Ken and Jenny Stockton back to Elcho Island 40 years later to join in a service of celebration and thanksgiving at Galiwin’ku church.
The Yolngu shared their stories of the early days of MAF and what MAF has meant to them over the years. In remembering the past, it has reignited interest in visiting the isolated homelands to share fellowship and encourage faith in these tiny bush settlements.
Team changes It has been another year of change on Elcho, with a completely new team established in the closing weeks of the year. We welcomed two families: Jason and Kim Job with Sam (3), who were previously at MAF’s Numbulwar base and also Ian, Adele, Jimmy (3) and Ned (1) Purdey who have just returned after a year at Milingimbi as a relief pilot in 2011-12.
We look forward to combining our varied skills and abilities to serve the community at Galiwin’ku and bring the hope of the good news of Jesus to those around us. We are offering to take out small teams from the local Church over the Christmas period to several local homelands to encourage the believers.
Role change David passes on his Operations role in January to take up the Elcho Base Manager/Pilot role again. The year has been a challenge balancing the various demands on his time. He will continue as part of the training team for inducting new pilots and maintaining skills and proficiency.
Program news The Arnhem Land program is critically understaffed for pilots at present and it was decided to close our Numbulwar base from September 2013. We have only 14 pilots in total (for 11 aircraft), instead of the desired 21. However, our engineering team kept up with the maintenance needs during the year - one of our major concerns - and will be further strengthened from January. By closing one base we have been able to continue our services from Gove Airport and the western bases of Elcho, Lake Evella, Milingimbi and Ramingining, although a downturn in the number of flights required over all the bases has been noticed. We suspect that new government funding policies are starting to have an impact on the amount of travel workers can budget in their projects.
A new roof over our heads
Following the June staff conference a volunteer team from New Zealand came out to Elcho to replace the aging steel roofs on MAF’s two houses. We were all involved in the project either providing food and accommodation or helping with the work itself. Both houses had heat-reducing insulation installed, and seem to be much quieter when the heavy rain pounds the steel sheeting. We are truly grateful for the work team who gave of their time and funded their own travel, so that we could be dry!
Family update Jonathan successfully took his driving test on Elcho in August and is now busy being taxi driver for us all. (Elcho has recently had some roads sealed with bitumen and there are even some line markings at junctions.)
Graham and Jonathan are both about one term away from completing their final year of school and have had a successful and productive year. Their future plans are still being developed but there are some opportunities on the Island in the short-term. They have extended their mowing work and now have a regular client base. Over this holiday period they have nine empty properties to maintain for the school in readiness for new staff arriving next year.
Capel Community St John's Newland St Faith's Dunswell Riverside St Mark's Kempshott St Michael's Brantham Lower Earley Baptist St Mary's Dunsfold Lilydale Baptist, VIC
Praying through our week.
We'd love to have you pray for us and our community every day.
Sunday school will lead the children to know Jesus’ love
Homeschool plans and learning goals will be achieved
Ladies’ Bible study will reveal the heart of God
Family and team relationships will be healthy and strong
Pilots and engineers will work safely and diligently
Christian books, CDs and DVDs will inspire believers
Local believers will be encouraged when they meet together
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
MAF works in partnership with churches, groups and individuals whose prayer support and financial gifts make it possible for staff to serve in these isolated, remote and challenging locations.
If you would like to partner with us, click here to find out more.
David & Jen Pett PMB 285 Winnellie NT 0822 Australia
Tel +61 8 8970 5052
Supporter Relations MAF UK Castle Hill Avenue Folkestone CT20 2TN