Meet the Roberts Family
serving in Papua, Indonesia.
Bob and I (Jan) are originally from the United States but we left in January of 1976 with our first-born son, Eric, who was then just 2 1/2 weeks old. We went to Ethiopia where Bob was to be the maintenance man at the Empress Zaudito Hospital as well as the mission pilot. When the hospital was nationalized shortly after our arrival, we were moved to the Gimbie Hospital where we lived for several months. Bob taught math and Chemistry at the Dongoro Academy which was about 30 km. away but also where the airstrip was and where we could keep the airplane.
We moved to Tanzania in June of 1977. Bob continued flying there while the regular pilot was on his four month furlough. We were waiting for the arrival of our second son, Gary, who was born in October of that year. While we were in Tanzania we were asked to move to Zaire and serve as one of the three mission pilots in that vast country. We went there when Gary was two weeks old and lived there until May of 1992! Talk about experiences during these years! Our third child, Stephanie, was born there in May, 1991.
Those good years came to an end when the division said that they had no money for a new engine for the plane. We then moved to Irian Jaya (Papua), Indonesia, where we have been since August of 1992. Bob continues on as a mission pilot and aviation mechanic as well as the base manager of the program. He flies a Pilatus Porter, PC-6. Our national pilot flies the Cessna 185. A new plane, the Kodiak, is on order from the Quest Company up in Sandpoint, Idaho. Bob is hoping to take delivery of that plane by the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.
I fill my days with the usual duties of a housewife, music teacher, homeschooling mom (when my kids were still at home) communicating with various sponsors for nearly 200 students, most of them through the REACH International Children's program from Italy. I am also very involved in children's Sabbath School, as well as other events at the church and community.
Eric, and his family are also here in Papua. He is the chief pilot for the Catholic flying operation and has many witnessing opportunities there. It's great to have two of our grandchildren close by!
Gary and his family are currently serving in the west African country of Chad. Gary is chief pilot for the Gospel Medical Ministries around the world. They also have two children who are precious.
Stephanie is a sophomore at Auburn Adventist Academy. The adjustments for her have been almost overwhelming at times having to get used to a new culture, school, climate, friends, and everything else.
We look forward to sharing a bit of our lives with you over the next month.
Read the Roberts' blogs:
Flying With the Lord