Excited to be flying for Bible translation

Missionary Steffan Pyle shares his heart for missionary aviation’s contribution to Bible translation.

Steffan Pyle says their family’s departure for the Asia-Pacific region was “an intense whirlwind, but God’s evident mercies encouraged us along.”

God provided for them in amazing ways. They got their visas only days before they departed. They sold their car two days before they flew back to their ministry home with 20 pieces of luggage.

“Even though we have previously lived here for five years, moving back after home assignment has been a challenge,” Steffan says. “It’s like going through culture shock all over again.”

There were the language issues to deal with and settling back into their house. There was cleaning and prepping the house to actually be lived in—which included things like getting rid of rats, cleaning away the mold and fixing plumbing leaks.

“Then, of course,” Steffan explains, “I need to get back into my aviation ministry. This included waiting two months for my work permit before being allowed to get a validation on my pilot’s license.”

At one point, the local governmental aviation department told Steffan that he would need to fly to a distant city to take a test. So Steffan complied and flew there, only to be told he didn’t have to take the test after all and only needed to show his logbook as proof of his flying experience.

“Long story short,” Steffan says, “I was able to get my license, praise the Lord.”

Steffan is currently finishing his checkout in the Kodiak aircraft. This includes going through a series of emergency procedures and doing some operational flights into various airstrips.

“Flying helicopters and airplanes is my ministry,” Steffan explains. “But is that really why we serve here? Aviation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. We are here to assist in church planting and Bible translation. We are here supporting three translation projects.”

The Kodiak aircraft, says Steffan, is a very useful tool in speeding the process of church-planting, discipleship and Bible translation. Bible translation is a ministry very close to Steffan’s heart.

“Bible translators spend many years, working endless hours to bring God’s Word to a particular people group in their heart language,” he shares. “It requires a level of commitment that puts aside self-interest and denies one of instant gratification and results. … It is an overwhelming task that requires huge amounts of discipline.”

This joy in helping to bring God’s Word to people who are waiting for it, motivates Steffan’s heart for missionary aviation.

“Julie and I are excited to be part of this,” he shares.