By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
The first Kodiak turbo-prop plane to be owned by New Tribes Mission Aviation was displayed in Grant Jan. 9. The visit was a tribute to the fact that New Tribes had a pilot training facility in Grant, established with the guidance of former Imperial resident Lee German, now of Arizona.
The Kodiac, a 10-seater, is the 31st plane made by Quest Aircraft Co., and the first to be owned by New Tribes. It is designed to fly missions, relief and humanitarian work in back-country terrain, according to instructor-pilot and aviation department leadership team member Jason Miller of McNeal, Ariz.
New Tribes Mission Aviation is a branch of New Tribes Mission, and advances its goals and visions, according to Miller.
New Tribes missionaries go into a country to “reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus,” he said. The missionaries learn the language, develop an alphabet, then teach the natives to read and write their own language.
The missionaries then take the Word of God and translate key passages in the Old and New Testaments, Miller said, encouraging the natives to become disciples of Christ.
The missionaries help establish a church, then move out, leaving believers of Christ, he concluded.
Lee German flew for New Tribes in the Philippines for many years. Nephew Eric German and wife Brenda and family, now of Imperial, also flew for New Tribes.
Miller grew up in Venezuela. The Germans served 12 years in Venezuela and one year in the Philippines.
In fact, the Millers and Germans worked together in Venezuela for a year, Miller said.
He stated that the trip to Grant was a chance to “pay homage to the folks there” for their service to New Tribes. “New Tribes had many ties and history there.”