Juggling over the Jungle

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sometimes life in Congo for the Program Manager/Flight Scheduler/Pilot/Husband/Dad looks like this...

Yesterday Nick left for the airport intending to fly to Mbuji Mayi for a medical team in the Pilatus. But first Rod and Garth had a flight in the Pilatus bringing a missions group with InTouch Ministries out to Kiri. On the way back from Kiri they noticed a problem with the windshield which meant that it would need to be repaired before it could go out for another flight.

So instead of taking the Pilatus Nick had to go with a Garth in the Cessna 206 to Mbuji Mayi. So the flight which would have taken 4 1/2 hours round trip in the Pilatus, would now take 4 1/2 hours each way in the 206 and also meaning spending the night. 

Filing flight plan in Mbuji Mayi with the 206 out the window
And because the Pilatus now needs repairs all the flights for the next 5 days have to be rearranged. There are quite a few flights booked for the next few days and even some like yesterday where the plane had 2 flights in one day. 

The difficulty with rearranging the planes and pilots is that one of our pilots can only fly the Pilatus for a few more months, one is waiting for paperwork to come back for his congolese Pilots licence, another is waiting on a medical. Our newest pilot is still getting checked out on our many runways in Congo and the other pilot is super busy with maintenance and getting ready for an audit that will happen in a few weeks. 

So during each stop of Nicks flight to Mbuji Mayi he was making calls, jotting down notes on what all the different pilots can fly right now with the time they have and trying to make it all work out. Nick said it was like trying to figure out the Matrix ;-).

However, with all of the current documentation difficulties with our pilots in Kinshasa they decided instead to ask our Pilot Nate in Lubumbashi for some help. Nate was happy to come up and lend a hand for a few days with all of the flights that need to happen from Sunday - Wednesday. Nick then even took a min to send me a text letting me know Nate was coming so we could quick figure out where he could stay while he is in Kinshasa.

During his evening spent in Mbuji Mayi everyone was emailing trying to find a new windshield for the Pilatus. When we asked our regular supplier they said there wouldn't be one available for 135 days! Well thats much too long; so a few more emails sent around and one was finally found. (Now to just figure out how to get it here as soon as possible.)

The next day while flying back from Mbuji Mayi the team was trying to contact clients to rearrange flights, passengers and payloads. With all that mostly all figured out Nick arrived home to find our bathroom faucet broken and leaking like crazy and our car broken with the part needed to fix it no where to be found in Kinshasa. It needs to be hand carried from the US with the next person coming over which will be at least a few weeks. 

Woo. And that was just Friday and Saturday. 

He is now on his way to go let off some steam with the kids in the pool praying for Gods favour for the rest of the week and trusting that in all of the chaos that God has a good plan. Because who knows, a broken windshield and its subsequent events could all be for one person somewhere along the way. Maybe a meaningful chat with a passenger, maybe an isolated village receiving just what it needs on the day it needs it, or just as simple as one of our pilots that needed a day off to be with his family. I don't know who and I don't know why; but we have seen Gods faithfulness evident many times before, we will see it over and over again because we trust in his word that says 
"...In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33