|Founder(s)||William Cameron Townsend|
|Area served||World Wide|
|Formerly called||Jungle Aviation and Radio Service|
JAARS is a non-profit organization that helps organizations around the world get practical, day-to-day support for Bible translation. As of November 2012, JAARS focuses on five main types of practical support: aviation, land transportation, water transportation, information technology, and media.
Operations and Activities
JAARS typically doesn't start and operate its own programs overseas, instead working with local field partners. The type of involvement varies depending on the location, partner, and other factors.
JAARS' headquarters in North Carolina is commonly referred to as the "JAARS Center." While the JAARS Center serves as the home for all of the organization's core operations (like transportation), it also hosts staff from partner organizations. For example, SIL International has both IT and media staff working at the JAARS Center.
In aviation, JAARS helps its field partners start and run local aviation programs. This help comes in the form of training staff, setting standards, equipping aircraft, research, and more.
In turn, these partners provide a range of transportation services to a variety of people, including translators, support personnel, consultants, trainers, linguists, Christian mission organizations, hospitals, local people and governments. These services can also include medical evacuations and disaster relief work.
JAARS' aviation partners fly a variety of aircraft, including:
- Bell JetRanger helicopter, flown by SIL International in Papua New Guinea
- Bell LongRanger helicopter, flown by SIL International in Papua New Guinea
- Robinson R44 helicopter, flown at the JAARS Center and by SIL International in Cameroon
- Britten-Norman Islander, flown by SIL International in Papua New Guinea
- Cessna 206, flown at the JAARS Center and by partners in Brazil, Cameroon, and Papua New Guinea
- Helio Courier, flown at the JAARS Center and by SIL International in Cameroon
- Beechcraft Super King Air, flown by SIL International in Papua New Guinea
- Pilatus PC-12, flown by YAJASI in Indonesia
- Pilatus PC-6, flown by YAJASI in Indonesia
- Quest Kodiak, flown by SIL International in Papua New Guinea
William Cameron Townsend co-founded Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1934, and as the organization grew, he saw the need for airplanes and radio to reach remote areas around the world, to provide safe access to language groups. JAARS was originally formed as Jungle Aviation and Radio Service in Peru in 1948 and moved to its current location in Waxhaw, North Carolina in 1961. In 1986, as a result of diversifying activities (like information technology), JAARS officially dropped the original meaning behind the acronym and became simply "JAARS, Inc."