2018 Ethnos360 Aviation Expo floor

“Eye opening!” “Outstanding!” “Fantastic!” It was more than just airplanes and helicopters that brought those comments at the 2018 Ethnos360 Aviation Expo.

Many started the day with a helicopter or plane ride.

people being briefed before a helicopter flight

Two Robinson R66 helicopters and a Cessna 206 shared the flights.

Robinson R66 helicopter

On one flight, the helicopter dropped off four teenage boys on a nearby mountain. While they hiked back (the red dotted line down the center of the projection), the plane and helicopters did 40 flights (the green “oval” and the blue “triangle”) . What took the guys 6 ½ hours took the helicopter 7 minutes. Is it any wonder that missionaries rely on aviation to make their work possible?

diagram of route made by hikers vs helicopter flying

The guys arrived back tired and sunburned …

teen hikers after their 6.5 hour hike

… and ready for a good meal in the Ethnos360 Eatery.

teen hikers enjoy their meal

Some people were satisfied just to watch mission aircraft at work in the Mission Theatre – complete with popcorn …

kids watching mission aircraft at work in the Mission Theatre – complete with popcorn

… or just look at the aircraft on display. The Kodiak fascinated viewers, with its state-of-the-art equipment designed just for mission aviation, explained here by Tim Hughes.

The Kodiak fascinated viewers, with its state-of-the-art equipment designed just for mission aviation, explained here by Tim Hughes.

Charlie Patton shows off an R66 helicopter like the one we hope to acquire for service in Brazil.

Charlie Patton showing off an R66 helicopter

Standing next to the Cessna 206 training airplane, Dan Swanson walked people through the training required to serve as a missionary aviator.

two people infront of a plane discuss training requirements to be a missionary aviator

Attendees could get an “inside look” at a Cessna 206 that has a long and adventurous mission history.

inner workings of a Cessna 206

Kids could make an airplane out of candy …

an airplane made out of candy

… rivet a small metal airplane (here assisted by Aurora Glidewell and Naomi James) …

kids riveting a small metal plane

… or throw switches to learn the lighting system on an electrical airplane mock-up.

kids playing with airplane light switches

But the most eye-opening experience of the day was the Village Experience. It began with the timeline. Here, Kay Hughes shows the progression as missionaries enter an unreached village to the point where a thriving church can stand on its own, with missionaries no longer needed. One guest said he used to think, “Five years, and no converts?” Now he realizes it’s five years just to learn the language!

church planting timeline

From there, guests “entered” a remote village.

visiting a remote village

They got a “miniature” missions training in language learning and culture – on very comfortable seats!

village briefing

Then it was time for the real deal – in crowded, dark jungle huts …

mock up jungle huts

… face to face with village people, like this Malumanda man from Papua New Guinea. They tried to communicate, learn a few words, and not offend him with cultural taboos. “That guy had me sweating!” said one man. It was unnerving for some. It rocked people to the core. “I realize now what missionaries are up against,” said another man.

inside the mock up hut

It was a clash of worlds in many ways. And people walked away knowing they need to have a part in reaching the unreached with the Good News.

We’d love to talk with anyone who wants to get involved. Come for a visit. Make a phone call. Check out our Facebook page or explore our website. We’re here for you. And we’ll see you next Expo!

actors in front of helicopter

This article originally appeared on the Ethnos360 Aviation website and was localized for use in Canada.

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