“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
Well friends, it’s time for another (overdue) update from the Island of Stone Money! It’s hard to believe that 15 years ago, I joined PMA as a pilot/mechanic and came to serve in Yap. I found someone to join me in this adventure when I married Heidi, and today we have four kids running around the island barefoot calling this place home. As carefree as that sounds, we’ve certainly still had our moments of discouragement. Nevertheless, we feel a deep sense of contentment and gratitude to be living and working on Yap. God has sustained us over the years and given back far more than we deserve. Read on to find out what’s been happening in our neck of the Pacific:
CCF CHURCH VISIT: Friends from CCF in Ohio visited our church family: great Bible teachers, great encouragers too! They will return with a larger team in November, and we are very excited about this partnership!
THEOLOGY WORKSHOP: In October, we had a Theology workshop for believers from the islands of Ulithi and Fais. PMA flew these men and women to Yap, where they received training for two weeks from Stephen Whatley, a Bible teacher from New Mexico.
FALROG: Our dear friend Falrog passed away. She was a huge part of our lives: a mentor, “Titaw” (grandmother), and prayer warrior.
LADIES’ MINISTRY: Fellow PMA missionary, Sabine Musselwhite, came from Pohnpei to lead the ladies’ group through an overview of the Bible. Queentina (our pastor’s wife) and Heidi are now continuing this series with the women.
CHRISTMAS: Our PMF church celebrated the birth of Jesus island-style, with songs, skits, and worship dances in a wonderful Christmas program.
FAREWELL TO LEI: Our kids had to say goodbye to their close friend Lei who moved to the U.S. She and her sister Krista spend a lot of time with our family, so we all really miss her.
AMOS GROUNDED: The government shutdown in the U.S. prevented the FAA from coming to give Amos his check ride when it was due in January, so he wasn’t able to fly for two months. Fortunately, Amos is a check pilot and was able to give our other PMA pilots their check rides before his own currency expired and the flight operations were not suspended.
TRIPS: While grounded, Amos kept busy with a trip to Guam to renew his flight physical and load a container of construction materials for PMA’s new hangar in Palau. This was followed by a trip to Palau to give fellow pilot Markus flight training to meet the requirements to fly our twin-engine Islander. After returning, Amos has kept busy doing annual inspections on all of the aircraft as well as working on a project plane for our Philippine base. There’s always plenty of work to be done even when you’re not flying!
MEDEVACS: It’s always a rewarding experience when we are able to use the planes to help bring someone who is sick to the hospital. While in Palau, Amos was dispatched a couple times to fly to Angaur Island and bring patients in for treatment.
2ND THEOLOGY WORKSHOP: The believers from Ulithi and Fais flew to Yap for another Theology workshop in February. Our pastor Petrus continues to fly to these islands every week to shepherd these believers in their faith.
YOUTH MINISTRY: We are really happy and encouraged to see new faces join the youth group at our house. It’s tough out here for these kids-a lot of negative influences and very little support, so please pray for them to become ever stronger in their faith. We would also like to ask for your prayers so that we can better help them and speak truth and wisdom into their lives.
FURLOUGH PLANS: We are due for furlough this summer! We will be travelling from July to September: visiting family, friends and supporters, and also taking a rest. Our love for long, meandering road trips is probably the direct result of living on a rather isolated rock in the Pacific Ocean 😊. On our last furlough, we drove 10,000 miles around the States visiting supporters and friends. It was unforgettable; a highlight of our lives! This time we are planning to drive from Chicago through New England. After that we will go to WA for 6 weeks to see our home church, and then on to Germany to visit supporters and PMA’s HQ branch there. Since Heidi’s relatives live nearby in Holland, we also plan to spend a few days with them, as they’ve never met Amos or the kids. We are excited, but don’t know the first thing about packing light (missionary problems!), so there’s some serious strategizing to do.
TO CONCLUDE: Looking back over the last 6 months, it seems there’s always been something going on! At times it has been almost overwhelming, but God has carried us through. We have also experienced in a big way the wonderful support of fellow Christians who have travelled all the way to Yap to use their gifts in teaching and discipling the body of Christ. Sometimes seeing a fresh face and receiving encouragement from them can give you that much-needed boost! Once again, we want to thank you, our supporters and dear friends, for being a part of our lives and the work in Yap. Your prayers, emails, and messages mean so much to our family, and we look forward to seeing some of you again this summer.
Amos & Heidi Collins
Tommy, Raina, Honora, & Theo