Quick Update 9-20-09

September 20, 2009

Papua New Guinea

The Radfords

Thank You!

Dear Friends and Family,
Just a quick note to let you know we have reached our financial
support goal. All of our trip expenses have now been covered! Thank
you to everyone who has supported us both financially and in prayer.
We now have less than two weeks before we leave, and while all the
major arrangements have been made, there are still quite a few last-
minute details. We will be keeping our blog up to date and sending
newsletters regularly.
We'll be departing the evening of Oct. 3rd, and should arrive in
Ukarumpa Oct. 6th. May our Lord bless and keep you.

What Will We Be Doing in PNG?
Dustin expects to spend most of his time working as a mechanic in the
hangar. However, he hopes to ride along when possible and perhaps do
field repairs if needed. He most likely won't be piloting because of
the unique training required.
Sarah will be available to help out wherever needed, but has been told
she will have her hands full caring for Abby and keeping house in
third-world conditions.

Our blog: http://dustinandsarah.blogspot.com

Papua New Guinea, Newsletter #2

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is Newsletter #2 in .JPG format. If you prefer the plain text
version, it is at the bottom.

Papua New Guinea, Newsletter #2

Monday, September 7th, 2009
Dear Friends and Family,
Four weeks from today we should be getting off the last airplane at
Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. For the months of October and November
Ukarumpa will be home.
At times during the last month life has seemed overwhelming. Sarah
was ill for several weeks. The garden is producing more than there is
time to harvest - including weeds. Abby has been growing a very
determined mind of her own. Our computer hard-drive crashed. I've
been given new responsibilities at work, sometimes resulting in longer
hours. We got our immunization shots. Abby had her third birthday,
and Sarah her 30th. On top of all of this, planning the details and
preparations for a two-month trip to a third-world country has been
difficult, to say the least.
Through these things, God has been faithful. Perhaps He is preparing
us to learn ever more deeply that "with men this is impossible; but
with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26.) His blessings are
so many. He's been blessing us through the teaching and fellowship of
our wonderful church here. He's blessed us with highly-recommended
prospective couple to house-sit our home. He's blessed us with a
loving family and good friends. He blessed me with a good job and
bosses who understand and have even encouraged this trip. He's given
us trials, but with them He's given us the grace to grow more like Him.
He's also blessed us financially. As you can see from the graph at
the top of the page, the gifts we have received amount to just over
$100 more than our expenditures so far.* Our airline tickets,
immunizations, and required insurance -the most significant parts of
our expenses- have been taken care of. "Cast your cares upon Him, for
He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7.) Our Lord has provided just what we
need, and at just the right time.
About half of the expenses remaining on the graph are to cover the
cost of maintaining our home while we are gone and for living expenses
during the time between our return and the first paycheck. Although
they are necessary, we would not have these expenses if we were going
to stay overseas as career missionaries.
We are so thankful to those of you who have given to us, and to our
God who has blessed you with the will and ability to give. Although I
have believed that He would provide for us, I have always had in the
back of my mind a "backup plan." I feel like the man who said "Lord,
I believe... help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24.) Already He has
provided enough that my "backup plan" is unnecessary. As I think
about it, I realize I've subconsciously said to God, "I think if I try
really hard I've got this almost taken care of... could you chip in a
token amount so we can claim that this is Your will?" He is taking my
pride and crushing it under His grace. He is saying to me, "My grace
is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness!"
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
The most important thing we can ask for is prayer support. Your
prayers for us are what will keep us going when we are too exhausted
to pray for ourselves. We really would like any of you who are
willing to let us know that you will be praying for us daily while we
are gone. Just as we keep a list of financial supporters, we also
keep a list of those who support us in prayer. Please, pray for us!
Specifically, we would like prayer for peace about travelling. We
are in need of extra wisdom to parent Abby as she grows and develops
her own personality. We expect the flight to be stressful for Sarah
and I, but with Abby on board it could be even more difficult. Please
pray that the time would go by quickly and that we would have the
grace and patience to deal with any "bumps in the road" in a way that
would bring glory to God.
We will be meeting with our prospective house-sitters in person for
the first time on Monday, Sept. 14th. Please pray that they would be
just what we need, and that we can have peace about our home while we
are gone.
Please pray that we would be wise about our preparations and the
decisions that we make before we go, and that God would prepare the
way for us where we are going. Also, that we would have greater faith
in Him. Pray that we would not have "the spirit of fear; but of
power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7.)
Please pray that God will use us to bless those we are going to
serve, and that the good news about His Son will be spread to the most
remote regions of the jungles. Lastly, pray for us in whatever way He
leads you.

Thank you, and may you be blessed as you do the work you have been
-Dustin, Sarah, and Abby

*The day after I wrote this, a check for $1500 arrived in our
mailbox! Praise our Lord! We are getting very close to meeting all
of our ministry-related expenses with gifts alone!

On the Job
I am glad to say that recently I have been able to begin dusting off
my flying skills and putting them to use! Although I had been flying
more at my current job than before (on average about 3-4 hours per
month), in the last few weeks I've been able to fly considerably
more. It was a blessing in disguise when our "second" of three pilots
moved on to a small commuter airline, and I was trained to take his
place. As a result, my current total flight hours are up over 500.
Although this meets the minimum requirements of some mission aviation
agencies, I hope to have around 1500 before considering our career
move overseas. Now that I'm flying more, that time will be shorter,
and we will be ready to make missions a "career" and not just a
"trip." I am still responsible for aircraft maintenance and repair
and all of the odd hangar jobs that I enjoy so much as well. Please
pray for my safety and efficiency as a pilot, and that I won't be worn
down by the extra work load.

Kodiak Update
The Wycliffe Quest Kodiak, #11, has finalized plans for its trip from
Waxhaw, North Carolina to Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea. This incredible
airplane will greatly increase the abilities of the aviation
department there to meet the needs of Bible translators and
missionaries in remote areas. Not only was is specifically designed
for missions work with back-country short-field capabilities and a
generous payload, but it also uses readily available jet fuel. This
means that missionaries will no longer have to rely completely on a
tenuous and expensive supply of aviation gasoline, and the aging and
heavily used Cessna 206 airplanes which use it.
I was recently able to see Kodiak #8, which belongs to Missionary
Aviation Fellowship, as it made a local stop while on tour before
going overseas (photo above). Interestingly, it will be based on the
other end of the island from where we will be, in Papua, Indonesia.
Kodiak #11, with Wycliffe, will be leaving Waxhaw on September 11th,
and if things go as planned, will arrive in Papua New Guinea September
21st. They will be flying by way of Alaska. Please pray for the
final inspections and approvals, for the pilots (one of whom I worked
with in Africa!), and for a successful journey. I am very excited to
see this special airplane being put into service for the first time
while we are there!