International Ministries

February Journal

April 13, 2010 Journal
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Feb 28

Dear Friends,
        We are in a real dry spell.  Dry and uncomfortably hot. The lack of rain is good for some things, like being able to project films.
         On Friday evening, I projected "Samson and Delilah".  We are studying the book of JUDGES in one of my Old Testament classes.   People were thankful to be able to have something to do outside in the evening. The houses don't cool off until way late, so people prefer to stay outside until they are ready to go to sleep.
          Yesterday, Saturday, I took a short flight to the village of Kikwilu.  About 14 years ago, we took our video equipment out there by cart, but it rained, and for some reason, we were not able to project after that.  I had asked the youth to widen their soccer field, so that I could land.  
          On Saturday, I waited until about 5 PM for the wind to calm down.  I had sent someone ahead, with a ribbon to show me the wind direction at their soccer field. Sure enough, when I got overhead the field, two men were holding a long bamboo pole with the ribbon right next to the goal posts like I had instructed.  The wind indicator told me that I had to make my approach over the village.   I was glad that I had asked them to cut down a tree that would have been right on my glide slope.  There were other trees in the way, but I am very protective of trees.  
         My landing was fine, and I still had plenty of daylight, and moonlight to set up the equipment, my tent, and get the flying machine covered.
         I projected for five hours.  We saw Christian music, HIV/AIDS prevention music, nature, sports, and part of the Campus Crusade Jesus film. This is the same area where I filmed the baptism on Christmas eve.  There was a lot of reaction when I projected the clip of the baptism.  People would call out the names of those they saw on the screen.  So it was a fun, and hopefully educational and inspirational evening.  
         I had some concerns about taking off on their field.  I had the youth lengthen part of the field to give me more room to clear the trees over the village.  When I got up  this morning, however, as the big orange moon was setting,  the wind wasn't in the direction that we had anticipated.  All their clearing to give me a minimum of 100 meters for takeoff could not be used.  Due to the wind direction, I had to takeoff up hill, and I only had 80 meters. Way below my minimum, and I had never taken off going uphill.    The new direction, however gave me the advantage that I would be accelerating in the direction of the grassland, and not in the direction of tall trees.  The wind was strong enough to assist me with lifting off.  The strength of the wind really gave me no other option as far as direction of takeoff.  
         As a precaution, I decided to leave some weight off that could follow by bicycle later on.  I took off 12 kg. of my total 62 luggage weight.   I also set my big red bag near the end of the field to mark the point where I would abort my takeoff.  
         For the short field takeoffs, I always get the crowd to participate by  holding the chute.  This is a real useful technique, since the chute rotates up overhead quicker than when the chute starts off from the ground.  after praying , and briefing the chute holders, I strapped myself in and went to 3/4 power.   I was pleased that I did not move forward right away, because that meant that the chute was providing maximum drag as it rotated overhead. As I began moving uphill,towards the wall of elephant grass, I went to full power, and before I got to the red bag, I did a bounce, and then I was climbing at a pretty good rate.  I checked my GPS as I was climbing out, and only had a ground speed of 15 MPH.  Even though there was such a strong wind ( maybe 14 MPH 50 ft. above ground), it wasn't turbulent.    My flight to Kikongo was smooth and scenic, with the fog in the valleys.  As I was approaching Kikongo, I noticed that there was quite a bit of fog over the river.  It
 was a relief to discover that the ribbon of fog following the river did not extend as far as the airstip.  Since we are in a valley, about 500 ft. below where I had taken off, there wasn't any more wind.   
         I projected in the evening,and was back at Kikongo in time for the 7 AM church service.  What an amazing machine !  It is very hot now, mid morning. I am very grateful that I am not on a hike or a bike ride in this heat.  
         I passed over another village on my way back to Kikongo.  I noticed that the youth were all out working on their soccer field.  With all of our other activities, I only find time to do one of these audio/visual trips per month, but I could sure be kept busy doing this full time.
          At Kikongo, we are up to two services per Sunday.  The second service has been learning to use the instruments. It is sounding much better today.  A couple of young men who play music for the Catholic church at Fatundu are here helping our musicians.     
          Thanks for your prayers for all the activities here at Kikongo.  It is our prayer that this place would bring honor to HIM.  
                                                 Glen and Rita