This is the blog for Gavin and Carrie Jones and family. We live in Papua New Guinea and are working to see lives transformed by the living Word of God through Bible translation. Gavin is a helicopter pilot. Carrie, who has her degree in Public Health, is the lab supervisor and one of five lab techs at our busy rural clinic. Our son, Isaac, was born in 2004 and our quintuplets, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, and Grace, were born in 2012.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. The you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:3-6

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dinner out

Last weekend, we went to the only restaurant less than 2 hours' drive away with my (Gavin's) parents. They are leaving in just a week, so we wanted to have a nice meal out together. We don't often get good family pictures, but we got a few this time.

Isaac is feeding a tree kangaroo, one of the interesting animals found in PNG

Friday, June 3, 2011

Made it to Brissy (Brisbane)!

This is a bit late, but better late than never. Thank you so much for your prayers for me during my trip down to Brisbane, Australia in the helicopter. It was a good trip. I'm happy to say that nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary happened all the way down. The helicopter operated flawlessly over the long stretch of ocean and the hundreds of miles of Australian outback. I enjoyed seeing so much of a country in which I've spent little time. It took 18 hours of flight time and 10 stops for fuel over three days to get there. I was able to get some autorotation training as well. It's good to be home again with my family. Here are a few pictures from the trip.

Over the Torres Strait-- the part of the Pacific Ocean between Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Over the flat and seemingly endless outback of the Cape York Peninsula.

At my final destination before leaving the helicopter to its new owners. The machine served our mission and the people of PNG for 25 years. Thank God for tools like this that help bring God's word to people who have never had it!

Thanks again for your prayers!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On the Way to Oz-- in a Helicopter!

We just sold our Jet Ranger helicopter to an outfit in Australia. So on Friday, I departed Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea for Brisbane, Australia, 1570 nautical miles away. After flying 17.8 hours over three days, I arrived this afternoon at my final destination. I met an Aussie pilot at my first stop into Oz and he flew with me on the way down. We flew over miles of outback, along the Great Dividing Range, and along the Great Barrier Reef. It was a beautiful trip with great weather (once I got out of PNG). I thank God for keeping me safe and allowing me to deliver the helicopter to it's final destination.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"God nos best"

We had a new kitty-- for about 2 days. She was a cute little thing-- very playful and fun. Isaac loved playing with her. Just today, though, she crawled up under our truck and when Carrie drove away (not knowing she was under there, of course), she fell out and was run over by the back tire. Needless to say, Carrie's been having a tough day.

Isaac has been wonderful, showing his caring side and empathizing with Carrie. He said he wanted to make a "gravestone" for her. It has, in Isaac's handwriting, "God nos best" (God knows best), a picture of Carrie crying and carrying the kitten in her little box, and John 3:16 written out. His kindergarten class learned it two weeks ago at school and he came up to me and asked me for the paper with "that verse about Jesus dying for us" on it. As I was digging the grave, he was running around the yard finding the prettiest flowers to put around it. He then said, "Wait! One more thing!" He ran inside to the bathroom and grabbed the aerosol strawberry deoderizer, ran out to the grave and sprayed a good dose all over the fresh earth, saying, "There, that's good!" He's a precious kid. We are so blessed with such a sensitive and empathetic kid who's so much fun, too.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A New Airstrip

The Papua New Guineans in the very remote village of Megau have been working for many years to finish an airstrip. This is the only way they can travel out of the area and will allow them to get goods and supplies into the village that they have not had access to before. An SIL translation has been in progress in this language area for many years. With an open airstrip, we hope someday Bibles in their language will be brought in by airplane!

On Friday, I made my third visit to Megau in the helicopter, bringing two other pilots, Jonathan Federwitz and James Nelson. We checked the progress of their work and the surveying pilot in charge decided it was ready for an airplane to land. While we were there, the people were very excited to show us the work they had done and were dressed up in traditional "bilas" (decorations)-- faces painted, bird of paradise feathers on their heads, tree branches and leaves around the waist, pig tusks around their necks, etc.

I took the two pilots back to their plane at another airstrip 9 miles away and they returned to do the first landing. It was a big day for the Megau people.

I continued on from there to deliver 3 different single women to their areas where they are doing translation and literacy work in the northern part of PNG.

This picture below is the Sepik River, a large river running for hundreds of miles starting in the rugged mountains and then traveling through severe swampland. The only practical ways to travel long distances is by the river (filled with crocodiles) or by air.

Easter in PNG

We had a nice Easter time with Gavin's parents and good friends, the Weavers, Nelsons and Hamlins. The kids had a fun time doing an egg hunt in the yard. No typical Easter egg baskets, so plastic bags had to do. This is one of the holidays where the weather here feels like the weather we're used to in the US, so it really did feel like Easter. It was a wonderful day to celebrate our risen Jesus with friends, family, and a great community.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lego nut

Isaac had a good last term at school, so he got this Lego set as a reward. He just loves building all kinds of different space ships. He said he's never going to take this one apart. We'll see about that!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Books for the schools

We've been working recently with the European Union to deliver over 400 pounds of books to many schools in several areas of PNG. In a country where getting books and supplies to remote bush areas to allow for a good education is a real challenge for people, their faces sure lit up when they saw the books coming out of the helicopter.

Water, Water Everywhere

I am continually amazed at the amount of water that flows in most parts of Papua New Guinea! Every time I fly, I see countless waterfalls flowing from the heights of the jungle-covered mountains, all flowing down to fill swollen rivers. These rivers fill up the swamps in the north or south or flow straight into the ocean, browning the vivid blue with their silt.

The water is life to the people of PNG, but it is sometimes also a dividing and damaging force. There are landslides regularly throughout the country as the jungle-covered hillsides are saturated with rain. They often cover up or break roads cut into steep mountainsides or even destroy villages as they fall. Too much rain also causes gardens to spoil, leaving the people with little useful food.

The mountains and water flow in PNG are some of the biggest reasons that there are over 830 languages spoken here-- people are divided and separated into their own remote areas where they have developed their own languages and cultures. 200 of these languages still don't have any of God's Word written in their language. Our prayer is that the Lord of the Harvest will send more workers to these language groups so they may receive his life-giving Word!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Isaac lost another tooth!

Isaac's been excited about losing this one for a while. The first two fell out but we never found them. This one he held onto and kept wanting to look at it. I told him to leave it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy, but he's a bit too smart for that-- he said, "You and Mom are just going to come in after I'm asleep and put money there."

It's good to have Marmi and Papa back from their time managing the SIL Kokopo Centre while we were at Conference.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Great Time for a Mechanical problem

A couple weeks back, I and my co-worker, Bev, went out to the far West Sepik, near the Indonesian border. We were spending several days doing some more work flying school building materials into two remote villages with the helicopter. Each night we stayed with Murray and Carol Honsberger, translators in Baiberi, a small village near where we were working. It was a neat time of fellowship with them in the evenings.

While we were out there, we used the helicopter to fly two large water tanks into their village. These are needed all over the country to set up fresh rainwater supplies for the people. In most villages, all the water comes from nearby rivers and streams and often it is unclean and the source of much sickness and disease. These plastic water tanks that catch rainwater off of corrugated iron roofing bring water close by and save many from sickness.

The morning after I got the tanks into the village, we were getting ready to go to work moving the school materials, but the helicopter would not start. It was a simple problem, but we needed to have an airplane and mechanic fly all the way out to a nearby airstrip (3 hour hike away) with the part to get us going again.

This mechanical failure allowed us to spend all that day getting the water tanks positioned and plumbed, ready to receive fresh water off the Honsbergers' house. We got a good bit of rain that night and the following morning people from the village were gathering their water from the tanks instead of the muddy river nearby.

When the helicopter did not start, it was a real frustration and totally changed our plans. God knew exactly what He was doing though. Proverbs 16:1 says, "We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer." What a great reminder to submit ourselves to the Lord in all that we do!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Ukarumpa style

Though we have no stores with rows of pink candy or Hallmark cards or any other type of Valentine's hype, we can at least go over to the Teen Center and have a dinner with friends. The high school class made a really nice dinner for us. It's great to have the grandparents here to look after Isaac.

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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