Practical support for the Pacific
By Deb Fox | Wycliffe Today Spring 2022
Pacific Logistics was set up 12 years ago to support the needs of Wycliffe and SIL members and local translation communities located in the Pacific region. Wycliffe Today caught up with Martin Snook and Jude Snelson to discover how the cargo flights they organise are supporting Bible translation projects and gospel work.
How did Pacific Logistics start?
Martin: When my wife, Kathy, and I were in Papua New Guinea, we discovered how difficult it was to source certain items. We thought it would be a good idea to set up something to get goods to where they were needed and support Bible translation projects in a practical way.
Tell us a bit more about what you do:
Martin: We support PNG primarily, occasionally West Papua and the Solomon Islands as well. We research where to find the requested items and go shopping five days a week for the orders people send in. We make up invoices. We send pretty much anything you can think of! I also organise the customs and aviation forms. There have already been 12 planes sent out this year and we usually send 2-3 cargo flights per month (670 kilograms worth!)
Jude: I help Martin with the administration work and setting up medical evacuations (medevacs). In places that are too remote or mountainous, this is an essential service for people to access.
Why is this service so important?
Jude: There is a lot of stuff that you just can’t get in PNG. We send everything from toys to craft supplies to equipment. Tools and parts for construction and maintenance or medications and equipment for the clinic. Anything that helps people to stay longer in the role and place where God has called them. At the moment we have a ‘green’ (eco-friendly) toilet packed on the plane to help set up a house in a remote village!
Martin: We ran cargo flights all throughout COVID lockdowns. People couldn’t go in or out of the country so we were able to buy children’s clothes, toys and essentials. We’ve also done a few food drops for people when they were in isolation. Whatever we send on the plane arrives the same day. Nothing can get stolen. There are also bigger items that cannot be sourced overseas. For example, New Tribes Mission (NTM) is putting together a water project and they can’t source the right piping in PNG so we have to hunt that down. It’s not the kind of thing plumbing shops are equipped for so it takes a fair bit of effort!
How have you experienced the power of partnership in your work?
Martin: Aside from Wycliffe members, we also look after SIL, NTM and MAF and a whole bunch of small organisations. NTM and SIL work together to share their cargo flights so that enables us to streamline the process. I really like the way the different organisations are working together so we can just do one flight instead of multiple flights. Having Jude on the team, and some great volunteers, has also really helped to lessen the workload.
Jude: It’s just good to see that we’re part of Bible translation, helping people stay on the field and getting things done for language teams. We’re sending items to people so they can continue working there for years to come.
How can we pray for you?
Jude will be on home assignment beginning February 2023. Please pray for a suitable person to be trained and to fill in for her for six months while she is away.
Photos supplied by Martin Snook.