July was a month of achievements: Graham passed his driving test and then he and Jonathan completed their last school modules to obtain their Year 12 Certificate. They have shown remarkable resolve to persevere at distance education and this has allowed us to remain serving in an isolated community.
They have been taking on casual work locally since finishing school, and investigating their future options. On the island there is around 90% unemployment, and further study would still need to be through distance learning. We have always understood that the transition out of ‘homeschool’ is important.
In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, the writer says: ‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens ... a time to plant and a time to uproot’. We believe it is now the right time to uproot from our home of eight years on Elcho Island and be transplanted to a new setting. Much as we would all wish to continue to serve here, changes in the Arnhem Land program, our need for refreshment and the completion of the boys’ secondary education have come together to encourage a change of role and location, but still within MAF.
New training role with MAF International
In mid-July, David attended interviews in Cairns for a role in MAF International’s Aviation Department. He has now been offered the position of Training Captain for the single-engine piston fleet of MAF aircraft worldwide, known as the FTC-SEP.
This role is based in the MAFI regional office in Cairns with the training performed at the new MAFI Flight Training Centre. This is being established at Mareeba Aerodrome, about a 70 km drive from Cairns. He will be involved in both new and experienced pilot training in the Africa and Asia Pacific regions.
We will therefore be moving to Cairns in mid-September for David to attend an initial induction course starting on 22 September. He will be renewing some of his lapsed ratings in the following months.
We had been anticipating a move within six months but this is a lot sooner than we expected! We are now planning to take our next Home Assignment from March 2015.
2014 so far ...
This year has been eventful in other ways, too. The boys had an active start to the year mowing and clearing yards ready for the January influx of teachers. This work developed into a regular client base which has grown throughout the year.
In March we were on ‘cyclone warning’ as the annual revival thanksgiving weekend approached. We made our preparations, only to see Cyclone Gillian suddenly track further to the north, leaving the celebrations to continue without even the usual seasonal wind and rain. We think the Yolngu were praying ...
The cooler dry season has sadly brought the usual increase in deaths in the Yolngu community. This results in higher demand for MAF’s flights as relatives travel to the funeral ceremonies. Regular activities and services become hard to maintain at these times however the ladies’ Bible study has continued each week. We are in the process of saying goodbye to these dear people and gradually letting go of our various commitments.
We would really appreciate your prayers during this transitional time and thank you for your generous and faithful support.
With our love, David, Jen, Graham and Jonathan
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Ephesians 3 verses 20-21
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory ...,
Please pray for our move.
We'd love to have you pray for us through this busy time.
David hands over as Elcho Base Manager to Jason Job on 1 Sep, and 10 Sep will be his last scheduled flying duty.
Packing and cleaning
We ask for energy to sort, pack and clean before we fly out of Elcho on 17 Sep.
We want to acknowledge the relationships we have built and have time for farewells on Elcho and the MAF family.
Health and fitness
We ask for good health and mental readiness for the new role and responsibilities.
We travel to Cairns on 18 Sep and David will start in his new role on 22 Sep. We will need to find a car, home and a church, as well as adapt to our new suburban surroundings!
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
MAF works in partnership with churches, groups and individuals whose prayer support and financial gifts make it possible for staff to serve and support those who live in 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 +61 427 987 222
Supporter Relations MAF UK Castle Hill Avenue Folkestone CT20 2TN