SIL is a world wide organization that translates bibles into local dialects in many tribes in an amazing number of countries. A Translation of the New Testament can take between 15 and 40 years. SIL trains the local translators so that they can continue the translations and complete the Old Testament on their own once the New Testament is finished.
SIL have two Helio Couriers and one Navajoe in the Philippines, or had, I should say. Last week, teh navajoe arrived form a ferry flight back in teh USa, having finished its time in Mindanao. The Helio Couriers are still at Bagabag.
The Helio Courier is an amazing aircraft. It is specially designed to take off and land in very tight conditions and is well suited to bush pilot operations. They are used to ferry Bible translators to remote locations to be able to perform their work among the people who speak the dialect being translated. The plane is designed to land and takeoff with 250 of cleared space and can comfortably do so with a 500 foot clearing if fully loaded.
Sadly, this organization that has been in the Philippines since 1953 are leaving in July 2009, on the 22nd I believe. They have completed their work here. The compound is owned by the government and they are hopeful taht they can find another Missionary organization to take over the facility
We have not been able to find out what will become of the Helios, are they staying or leaving ..