The When Pigs Fly Food Fest won't be the only event going on out at the McPherson Airport this weekend, as the JAARS Missions at the Airport will be there both Saturday and Sunday.
Missions at the Airport Director Mike Mower says that JAARS began in 1948 as the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service.
“To provide air support and radio communication for missionaries working in the Amazon jungles of South America,” Mower said. “In particular for members of Wycliffe Bible Translators, who were doing bible translation, literacy work, health development and community development among remote tribal groups in the Amazon basin there in South America.”
Mower says that mission has evolved over the decades.
“Today, we say four main areas,” Mower said. “One is transportation. That's still air, but it's also sea and land. JAARS has a maritime division as well as a land transportation division.”
Another area where JAARS has expanded their scope is into technology. That includes developing cutting-edge software for translation techniques and helping with translations. They also set up and maintain computer networks.
The program runs in support of Wycliffe Bible Translators, which attempts to translate God's Word into the native languages of remote cultures. Mower says of the nearly 7,000 languages that are believed to be spoken in the world, Wycliffe has translated New Testament into 1,500, with 2,100 more translation projects in progress.
“And we know that there's about 1,860 languages today still with no portion of the bible in that language,” Mower said. “And there's no one working on them.”
To help change that, JAARS and Wycliffe have set forth on a Vision 2025 plan that aims to have those remaining languages translated.
“That's why we're out doing Missions at the Airport,” Mower said. “To share that story. That there's still people waiting to hear, that are cut off from God's Word.”
Mower says the Missions at the Airport events are mainly a way to introduce people to the work of JAARS. They will offer rides in a missionary airplane for $25 and a helicopter for $30. The money raised in the rides go towards the costs of flying the aircraft across country, as JAARS is based out of Waxhaw, North Carolina.
The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p-m on Saturday and then from 2 p.m. Until 6 p.m. on Sunday.