What is a day like as a missionary pilot working in a 3rd world country? First of all, I can assure you, it isn’t like going to work every day at the same job in America 8 AM to 5 PM. I worked for a decade that way, and I had a good boss and a job I enjoyed, quite stable. I like the unexpected, but sometimes here I wish life could be more stable, maybe halfway between.
My wife is a nurse and we have 2 small children. We live in
North East Nicaragua 40 miles inland from the
Cell phones do not work here, our only communication for 2 1/2 years was via
ham radio. Now we have a satellite dish and have Internet. Our only electricity comes from our solar panels combined with a
small hydroelectric plant I built. This electricity keeps 2 radios running 12
hours a day that tie us to the local communities throughout this area of
The patient is usually ready at the airstrip, and I am
normally on the ground less than 10 minutes. I then carry the patient to the
hospital, usually meeting the hospital ambulance (normally a 4x4
I am usually on the ground a very short time meeting the ambulance, and then back to home. Flying only happens once or twice a week, what happens the other times? That depends on the financial situation and what projects are currently underway. Usually there is mechanic work or construction. I am always working away on something on our house, on maintaining our truck, the plane, or the village well pump. Sometimes we are working on building or renovating a church, or someone’s house who is too poor to afford the materials and labor.
Life is neither glamorous nor comfortable. The first 2 ½ years we had no running water in our house and used an outhouse. We really appreciated an indoor bathroom when we got it. Dealing with the government officials is always frustrating, and the local people often want more than we can offer. But even with those challenges, this is one of the most fulfilling and interesting places to live. In what other line of work can you walk down the main street in your town and point out the people whose lives you have saved simply with transportation. God gives us a sense of fulfillment and happiness that is not available in any other line of work when we offer all our skills and services to Him. Even though life is not always the most comfortable or stable, the safest place to be is in the center of His plan.
Clint Hanley - Wings Over Nicaragua