Thursday, January 07, 2010…Today Quest delivered the first of 14 KODIAKs ultimately scheduled for New Tribes Mission (NTM). But even this "first" may not outshine the "thirds" that this aircraft represents.
For starters…NTM is now the third member of the Quest Mission Team to receive a KODIAK…further cementing Quest's commitment to assist humanitarian and mission groups working in earnest around the world. We build the aircraft, but it’s organizations like NTM, MAF, and JAARS that put them to work in the field.
After Paul Schaller (President and CEO of Quest Aircraft) handed over the keys, Larry Brown (President of NTM) talked about the urgent work NTM is involved in.
At the high point of his speech Brown unrolled a 25 foot long scroll listing the names of some 2,500 tribal language groups yet to be reached for the very first time. As the paper unrolled across the production floor it was a potent reminder of the kind of bridge the KODIAK can provide to people profoundly isolated by geography.
Then there is the third represented by Molly Lawton's third grade class. We know them now as the KODIAK Kids of Indianapolis who in 2005 and 2006 decided they wanted to help NTM purchase a KODIAK. While most people would laugh at the thought of raising $375,000 (the cost of the deposit after discounts and matching funds), the KODIAK Kids just dug into the task. The sheer enthusiasm of Renee Anthony (10 at the time) helped keep the class focused as they aimed at what seemed like an unachievable target. But, on May 2, 2006, these third graders met their goal. "Both Renee and I lost it," Molly wrote. "Many of the children just broke down and cried." Inside the tail of this KODIAK there is a part with their signatures on it. And the registration number -- N498KK -- honors their contribution.
These thirds remind us that, while our hearts readily go out to people so isolated by geography or natural disaster, the difficult and inspiring step is to put action behind our faith…to put our hearts and our hands to work.
The NTM KODIAK is now online and ready for the task ahead.