Our times in God's hands
It was back in 2003 that Flying Mission pilot Bryan Wilson took his long-suffering wife, Diane, and their 6-month-old son Toby, on a 6 month vision trip of Southern Africa by road! His goal was to try to get a feel for the aviation needs of the region. From that trip, Flying Mission Zambia was born. Back then there was just a grassy farm strip at Chilongolo with a few substandard buildings. But God had big plans for it. Now, six years down the line, we invite you to take a 'bird's eye view' of the progress at the base.
This is how Chilongolo looked in 2004, when a skeleton crew of FMZ personnel first moved up from Botswana to develop it as the base for operations in Zambia.
There was just a small compound for planes alongside the strip. The workers' housing was immediately condemned as unsafe; even the 2 pilot houses were in poor condition. The office started out in a shed!
One pilot family was assigned there, alongside the projects man and his community-minded wife.
And this is how it looked from the air recently, complete with large, new hangar area which has direct access to the established gravel strip. The hangar will house the administrative offices, as well as provide for storage and maintenance of planes. An automotive workshop will be another feature. Other buildings on site already provide further support for operations. This includes a very pleasant Guest House. The developing set-up enables FMZ to function more efficiently as it supplies professional aviation support to rural Zambia and beyond. Long-term mission personnel now total 16, working alongside 6 full-time national staff.
On the left of the photograph you can see the new full-size soccer pitch which FMZ has provided for the benefit of youth in the community.
A picture is worth a thousand words, it is said. But if you'd like words too, have a look at some of the other stories posted here. You'll be amazed at the number of folk, from home countries and on site, who have helped to make all this happen, and the many materials which have been provided for use in this expanding work. It's a revelation to us of God's awesome creativity, diversity and generosity as He builds His Kingdom before our very eyes. And it is continuing as I write....
Click here to read a recent story about the hangar construction.