ABM’s Piper Aztec Needs an Engine!

Here’s an opportunity for you—make it fly! The Piper Aztec (one of our main aircraft) makes it possible for ABM staff to carry out our mission and vision by making more flights to remote villages, even in adverse weather conditions. The Aztec needs an engine rebuilt as it approaches the “time before overhaul” limit of 2000 hours. Please consider how you can help. The complete engine overhaul and avionics upgrades anticipated cost is $69,500. Gracious donors already contributed $22,000 toward this project, so the engine has been removed from the airplane, shipped out and awaits the final funding before the overhaul proceeds.

Arctic Barnabas Ministries’ vision is Healthy, thriving leaders leading healthy, thriving ministries, but ABM faces the challenge of travel by air to serve ministry families who live in remote Arctic villages off the road system. The geography, terrain, and absence of connecting roads in remote Alaska and Northern Canada demand the use of airplanes. ABM’s Aviation Department operates its hangar and a small fleet of bush aircraft. These tools make it possible for our staff to connect and care for ministry families who live off the road system.

Here’s how we take the love of Christ to those who serve Him. One Saturday in January, ABM received a call from a missionary in a remote village. A pipe had frozen and broken after a week of temperatures around -35. The resulting leak compromised the whole heating system of the parsonage. We tried flying out to that village on Sunday, but bad weather grounded us. Then, we got a call from another village near the first—they were dealing with frozen water and sewer pipes, too.

On the following Monday once the temperature got above -20, we left in an airplane for what was supposed to be an overnight trip to two villages. We arrived in the first village and got the heating system fixed within two hours, but stayed in that village for two days, again because of bad weather. On Wednesday, we flew to the second village and got them all thawed out. Another snowstorm prevented us from flying home, so we flew to yet another nearby village that was larger and had a hangar available for housing our airplane. We planned to stay at a church and seminary in that village. When we got to the church, they greeted us with “We’ve been praying for someone to come and fix our frozen pipes!” We had most of their plumbing fixed Thursday, and on Friday God blessed us with clear skies all the way home. It felt good getting home, but even better knowing that we had helped ministry families in three different villages. More pastors and missionaries are serving in communities like this who, without support from ministries like ABM, could not safely sustain themselves or their ministries long-term.

God is providing a way for us to go to places rarely seen. Extreme temperatures, fog, low clouds, wind, rain, and snow all contribute to conditions that either prevent or make flying in the Arctic very challenging. Three years ago, Arctic Barnabas acquired the Piper Aztec airplane which has many features that make it useful for IFR (instrument flight rules) conditions: twin turbo engines for more power and load capacity, de-icing capability, an oxygen system for flying at higher altitudes to overfly bad weather and advanced instrumentation for flying in poor visibility. The Piper Aztec increases our opportunities to travel to the remote Arctic. We invite you to join the team of partners whose gifts expand the capabilities and physical reach of Arctic Barnabas Ministries.