September – November 2012

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Luke 5:31

Even Christian organizations are not immune to change – but this is ridiculous. It started this summer when Bob Widman, who’s been with MARC for more than 25 years, decided to accept an offer to go back to Africa, where he had lived as a child with his missionary parents, to temporarily replace a current pilot who has to come back to the United States for a couple of years. He was in the lower 48 on furlough when he found out that his daughter in law had fallen down the stairs with the baby. She died as a result but the baby was OK. He has been in Fairbanks for a month helping his son Ben cope with this tragedy. We are now talking about sending the Cherokee to Fairbanks and opening a detachment up there, something we have wanted to do for several years. This would be good for MARC, Bob, Ben and the people we know in that region that could be served if a plane were available locally. While we were dealing with this, it was announced that Greg, who was a life saver during the summer working to get all the flight manifests done for the pilots, would be going on loan to SOAR. A couple of days later Jim, who has been doing all the flight following, announced that he was going to the Philippines to handle the scheduling & operational tasks for a missionary organization. So very quickly Don’s three man team was down to one again. At the same time Drew, the Director, announced he would be leaving in January. I’m still reeling. I’m not worried about getting everything done during the winter months because our fly rate is low enough that one person can handle the whole load – although it does get hectic at times. The problem is going to be next summer when the workload requires three people. And then there is the pilot situation. If we don’t get an outside pilot as Director, we’ll be down two pilots from last summer – Yikes. Well I guess I could whine and moan, or take it as a challenge – I pick the latter. As long as it doesn’t snow in California, I’ll be OK.
As usual September, November and December are relatively slow while October saw significant activity. In September we had no flying until the last 5 days of the month. We took a group from Alaska Christian College in Soldotna to the Covenant Youth Of Alaska annual Fall Blast for high school kids in Koyuk. the second flight was to take staff and participants to the Arctic Barnabas Ministry (ABM) Missionary Family Retreat in Port Alsworth
October picked up starting with the flight taking Soldotna people to the Memorial service in Fairbanks for Bob Widman’s daughter-in-law. We flew from Port Alsworth & Pilot Point to King Salmon for the SEND Awaken Youth Retreat in nearby Naknek. The next flight was to take the AK Moravian Church Board from Bethel to a meeting in Manokotak. On the deadhead up to Bethel we took windows for KAKO, 800 lbs furniture for Tom Conrad, the new Moravian church pastor, a nitrogen tank for the Voice for Christ radio station and 100 lbs of building supplies for Derek Black. Three days later after taking the Board home to Bethel we diverted the plane to Ruby to pick up an ABM group that was stranded due to aircraft problems and take them to Anchorage. We then flew a large group in two planes from a local Soldotna church to KAKO to cut wood which is their only way of heating the camp buildings. One plane stayed in KAKO while the other proceeded to Bethel to help put a floor in Pastor Tom’s new home. .After two days this plane took a Bethel group down to Manokotak for 7th Annual Spiritual Feast. The next flight was out to KAKO again to pick up the Johnsons and take them to Fairbanks where they picked up 2 foster children they had taken care of previously and fly them back to KAKO.
Nov had only one flight taking 3 people from Mission Aviation Training Academy, Arlington WA to Naknek. Unfortunately the first Cherokee trip out of Fairbanks was canceled due to -45 deg F temperatures.

With Much Love

Cat ‘n Don