Nearly two years ago, Ontario Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church partnered with Adventist World Aviation (AWA) to secure an aircraft to enhance their mission to remote Indigenous communities. Now, after a year of meticulous maintenance and modifications at Wings of Hope in St. Louis, Missouri, AWA is very excited to introduce the addition of this aircraft—a Cessna 185 on amphibious floats—to our fleet for service in Northern Ontario!
On Tuesday, April 2, 2019, a special blessing and dedication was held in the Wings of Hope hangar surrounded by dozens of staff and volunteers, many of whom have worked directly on this project. In recent days, these individuals spent hours washing and polishing the entire airplane to a gleaming finish in preparation for the event.
It was a pleasure to have Ontario Conference leadership in attendance – Mansfield Edwards, president, Jakov Bibulovic, executive secretary, and Virene Meikle, treasurer. Ontario Conference has taken a very deliberate and proactive approach to ministry in the North and AWA is proud to be a part of this strategic partnership to make this possible.
With this backdrop, St. Louis Seventh-day Adventist Church pastor, Ken Olin, led with a prayer, followed by Pastor Mansfield Edwards, who took a few minutes to describe the importance of this aircraft in reaching isolated Indigenous communities in Northern Ontario. He went on to tell more about the challenges faced by the residents, including disproportionately high rates of suicide, physical health and wellness and access to good dietary options.
With spring just around the corner, AWA pilot Ryan Kennedy and the team in Sioux Lookout are getting ready to receive this airplane and put it into service! Your support of this and other AWA ministry projects will help us continue to ensure that our airplanes are not just airworthy but also best equipped for the intended mission. To support this important outreach ministry right here in Canada, please visit our website at www.flyawa.org. We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 778.753.6564. AWA Canada’s mailing address is 302 – 2237 Leckie Road, Kelowna, BC V1X 6Y5.
Author: Jud Wickwire, vice-president, Adventist World Aviation Canada