Wycliffe Associates is seeking to acquire a specially designed aircraft to support Bible translation efforts in Papua New Guinea.
The organisation is raising funds to purchase a fourth Kodiak aircraft for service in Papua New Guinea, home to 830 different languages.
Bible translation projects are underway for more than 190 of them but more than 300 language groups in the nation do not yet have a single verse of Scripture.
Air travel is a vital part of Bible translation work in Papua New Guinea because of the country's difficult terrain of mountains and jungles.
Around 80 per cent of Bible translators rely on air travel to get around the country and reach remote translation locations.
Wycliffe reports that without an aircraft, reaching some language groups can take up to five days.
“The Kodiak is a critical tool to reach language groups who are crying out for God’s Word,” says President and CEO Bruce Smith, who is a former missionary pilot.
“Insurmountable mountain peaks, dense rainforests, and hard-to-reach islands in Papua New Guinea make sharing the truth and hope of God’s Word time-consuming and extremely difficult.”
The Kodiak has been developed by the Quest Aircraft Company in Idaho with missionary work in mind.
The aircraft can take off in under 1,000 feet at full gross weight and climb at more than 1,300 feet per minute.
It carries more than three times the load than other planes previously used for mission work and uses jet fuel, which is less expensive and more readily available in Papua New Guinea than avgas.
Wycliffe aims to raise enough funds to buy a new Kodiak by 31 January and has received a matching challenge for the first $42,300 received.
“I see the KODIAK as an incredible opportunity God has given us to pierce the spiritual darkness of Papua New Guinea by accelerating Bible translation,” says Smith.