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St Andrew’s • Cheam
UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

News from the wider church

News from the Cools family - May 2021

Mission Aviation Fellowship - May 2021

The Cools Family with MAF
in Australia

  Airstrip

Another term has passed here in Mareeba. Holidays have gone by and the flight training class that started in January has gained a couple of additions. The girls are back at school and Melissa is back in the full swing of things with her degree. Here is what has happened since we last sent out an update.


 

At Christmas we had the current and some previous students over for a Christmas dinner. We played a couple of board games as well and had a great time laughing and in fellowship. All our students usually come to Mareeba away from their family. We have a few PNG students who haven't seen their family for over a year in person now. We also had Belgian backpacker over who we met at our church. We had a great time and it felt a little more like we had a family around for us as well.
Students

 

Girls and cat
At the end of January Olivia started Grade 2 and Ameiah started her Prep year as they call it here. Ameiah has the same teacher Olivia had in Prep which she is really enjoying. They both have made some great friends in school and they enjoy going to school. At the end of the last term they had a cross country run competition for which they did really well. We were both able to go and watch them and encourage them that day. They are growing so fast.

 

We had a new class of students start at the beginning of February. Hans hasn't been too involved in their training as he has been taking care of the older students. He was also able to go over to Arnhem Land to go help out for 2 weeks and get checked to line - this means that he is allowed to fly by himself in Arnhem Land and fill in when it is needed most.

"I really enjoyed Arnhem Land, being able to fly and not having to tell people what to do, or how to fly was very refreshing. It is very rewarding to think what an impact we have as MAF up there. The day after my line check, I was able to fly by myself. I flew around a teacher, food to a small community, and a medical flight for an elderly lady that was feeling unwell. The work that MAF does up there is definitely required and it is great to think that the work we do at the Flight Training Centre is directly supporting programs such as this worldwide"

Melissa

 

Hans and trolley
This photo was taken the day of my Line Check in Arnhem Land. As you can see I am already sweating, which was just from pushing the trolley out to the plane. We flew 120kg of diesel and food to a very remote community. In the wet season, you aren't able to drive along the roads to many of these communities, so these things need to be flown in by plane.

 

Girls and ice-cream
Girls on horses

 

Since Hans got back from Arnhem Land he's been doing a lot of night flying training and some Instrument refresher training with a couple of program pilots. One of them is going back to Arnhem Land when he is finished, the other one is on his way to South Sudan.
Nightfall from plane

Prayer Points:

  1. Please pray for Myanmar. The coup has stopped the building of the much needed airstrip that MAF is building there currently. Our hearts break daily thinking and praying of the people in Myanmar.
  2. All of our students are separated from family and significant others, who they are unable to see due to border closures or interstate travel restrictions. Please pray for them. Pray that things can go back to normal soon.
  3. Pray for Melissa as she continues to study, especially that she can find the energy to get everything done.
  4. Covid is spreading in PNG, and the borders between PNG and Australia are now completely closed. We will be unable to start the next training class for PNG nationals. Please pray for the people waiting to come over for their training to find a suitable solution while they are waiting. Also pray for our current PNG students' families as they are affected by this as well.
  5. Please pray for clarity and that we hear God's voice regarding direction for our future.
  6. There's a lot of fear worldwide - pray that organisations like MAF can stand out as encouragements in these trying times.

 

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Posted on 4 May 2021

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