Helicopters, trucks or water buffalo

Getting supplies by road seriously cuts into the time Chuck and Shannon Talbot have available to learn the culture and langauge of the Ga'dang people.

What might helicopter repair needs have to do with tribal church planting? What about a helipad being in the right location and a pilot checked out to fly safely in the area?

In the lives of Canadians Chuck and Shannon Talbot, it’s a matter of speed as well as saving time and energy. They need supplies hauled into the village where they live with the Ga’dang people. Their family and others need to be able to get in and out for medical help, ministry help or just a needed break.

Broken equipment and a lack of manpower can make progress in their work very difficult.

This makes them very thankful for the great relationships with people who are a huge help and blessing. One such friend has a very reliable line of communication and network of help available. Then the missionary supply buyers and other volunteers shop and get the supplies at least to the trail leading to the village at times.

Often it’s with a truck or water buffalo with sleds, making the time difference it takes just huge.

Recently, with the roads dry, they loaded a truck with mattresses, plywood, supplies and people hoping to arrive at their village before the rain hit. They needed to do some maintenance on the houses before everyone moved back in.

With every stop, village travellers either piled on or piled off as they made their way up and down the valleys and hills. It was evident that recent rains had caused deep crevices. They took some pretty tight corners in attempts to avoid the worst parts.

While they were hoping to make it all the way to their village on some still dusty spots on the journey, the sky turned darker and darker. Over the last ridge the temperature dropped and the wind picked up as they bounced and jostled on their way.

When the rain finally hit, the windshield wiper couldn’t keep up, the windows wouldn’t roll up and Chuck was helpless to stay dry while sitting outside on top of the load. Seeing where they were going was slowly becoming impossible.

This trip finished with walking the last mile or so into the village. It was hard to get through the “gooey muck” that stuck to their feet with every step. The villagers smiled and chuckled but welcomed them home.

It wasn’t until the next day that the truck finally made it into the village.

One way or another God always provides for their needs to get people and supplies in and out, even if it’s with soaked mattresses. He uses the body of Christ working together right there locally to allow Chuck and Shannon to continue to live and work among the Ga’dang people.

So while it becomes evident why they would love and need that helicopter, they continue to report that, “His body is functioning here as well, and there are local members of that body ready and willing to work alongside us in taking the gospel message to those who have not heard it before. To Him be all the glory!”