Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you or forsake you.
Dear Friends and Family,
Greetings again from Yap Island in the Western Pacific. It has been a while since we wrote a newsletter, but I hope that most of you were able to watch the video I sent out in December giving you a visual perspective of our day to day activities and ministries out here. If you did not get the video, you can watch it here.
After returning from furlough, our world was shaken with the murder of our colleague Simon’s wife, Rachelle. She was working as a lawyer here in Yap and had a case against some men. They shot her outside her home one evening (they have since been caught and jailed). This type of violence is unheard of on a small peaceful island like this and was devastating to all of us, but most especially Simon. We all came together to plan a memorial service for her, which was attended by over 500 people from the island, as well as Rachelle’s parents who came from Wisconsin. Simon travelled back to the States with them and a 12-year-old Yapese girl he and Rachelle had been hoping to adopt. Please pray for them all, as this is an extremely difficult thing to have to go through, and for Simon’s future direction.
Simon was our base’s Director of Maintenance as well as a pilot. So, in his absence, I (Amos) had to assume the roles of Director of Maintenance in addition to Director of Operations and Chief Pilot. Currently I am the only pilot here at our Yap base. Yes, the operation can run with one pilot, but it doesn’t allow for getting sick or travel. Additionally, there is not much growth or room for development, as we just try to keep everything maintained and sustainable.
On the bright side is the bond I feel I have developed with our local team. I had a meeting with everyone and told them that I could not run this operation on my own; I would be depending on them to take ownership of this mission and help do whatever needs to be done. I’ve seen them all expand their abilities as they’ve taken on additional jobs and we have really grown closer together as a team. This has been so great to see.
Some of our employees have been with PMA since before I joined in 2004 and one of them, Tommy, celebrated 20 years with PMA. They are some of my closest friends here in Yap and it is a joy to work with them every day.
We have had a full schedule of maintenance since Simon left. We had two different annual inspections and two engine changes and now we are working on our third annual inspection on our third aircraft which will involve a lot of engine inspection work as well. I was happy to get our planes airworthy again after being grounded several months due to engine changes. And it has been good to work with my hangar guys who have really grown in confidence and have been a tremendous help in systematically accomplishing the tasks and goals.
I continue to fly our pastor to the Outer Islands regularly to hold Bible studies and train future church leaders, and we ask for your prayers that this work would grow.
On the home front, Heidi jumped back into teaching our kids as well as 7 other local kids at our little homeschool. The kids are all very motivated to learn, and this makes teaching them so rewarding. Our pastor is so grateful to have Heidi teaching his boys, and he hopes that they can continue all the way through High School with her. Besides homeschooling, Heidi is still active in co-leading a Ladies’ Bible Study as well as leading the Youth Group with Amos.
Our family continues to thrive. We enjoy living here in Yap and our kids have a lot of good friends as well. Our big news to share with you all is that Heidi is pregnant! She is due in June, so as of now is 6 months along. The timing is good because she will be done with teaching for the summer and will have a couple of months before the craziness of school starts again. Let us know if any of you fancy the idea of helping her teach a mob of energetic kids on a remote Pacific island for a few months.
Again, we are deeply grateful to all those who faithfully support us in prayer and through giving financially. We thank God regularly for you all and know that we cannot be here serving the people of Micronesia without you as our partners.
God Bless you all,
Amos & Heidi Collins Tommy, Raina, Honora, Theo, & #5