Mission Bush Pilot and Nurse

After spending three years in Guyana, South America, we have now moved to Bewani, 50 Km south of Vanimo, Papua New Guinea. We have started a new humanitarian aviation ministry here. In visiting with health officials and church people here, the need for an aviation program to reach into remote villages became very apparent. We are taking health workers and medicines/vaccines, into remote village airstrips and bringing out critically ill patients to the hospital. We also fly in educational materials for schools, as well as take in Bible workers. Toni is helping with the medical end of things, while Gary takes care of the flying part. We have several local lay missionaries we sponsor and we do ground transport for patients as well. We are volunteers here to serve our God and the unreached people of Papua New Guinea. We have a great need for more people to join in this effort.

Friday, November 30, 2007


It's late Fri afternoon, we will see if we can type this and send it yet today. Never know--with the internet the way it is! (It's like changing the speed of dial-up to high speed in the reverse-- much worse than dial-up).

David Gates got here last Fri night, and left yesterday afternoon. He was here only Sabbath and yesterday. Becky and a student from Bolivia were here the whole time. They ate at our house and helped with the food expenses. It gave us a chance to get better acquainted with them. They have their own little churuata they stay in when here.

Monday, I went with Becky to a small village about 1 hr by road (very rough road) (15 min by air) called Chirikeyen. They have operated a layman's bible school there in the past. It has been closed the last two years due to lack of a director and support. Anyway we found a new director, (a teacher retiring here who has retirement pay so won't cost us anything) and he will start getting things ready in the next couple of weeks. The thatch roofs have to be repaired and some minor repairs on buildings. They hope to start classes soon after the first of the year. The new district pastor is all fired up about it. He wants to have laymen go for a month to study, then to an unentered village for 2 months, then attend 2 weeks of classes; then 2 more months in another village and 2 more weeks of training. I will be David's representative here for the school, will also handle the overseas money for it; and help coordinate movement of people and supplies via the airplane. I can't do the flying myself until I have a license here, and get checked out in the plane. Bob will help with that, until then. We also plan to use these students in our district when we get there.The students will be taught how to give bible studies, grow a garden, teach first aid, and keep the church running when a pastor isn't there.

Wed night, Becky was nearly electrocuted. She had gotten out of the shower to answer the phone. She was still wet, and needed to turn on a light to get a phone number. When she reached to turn the lamp on ,it shocked her and she couldn't let go. No one was near enough to hear her. She realized she couldn't get away. She cried out to the Lord and suddenly Someone (we think, an angel) knocked it out of her hand and it ended up on the other side of the room. She ended up on the floor. She has a small burn on her hand and a very sore shoulder. She can't raise her arm up. That is the 3rd person the devil has tried to kill in 6 weeks. Myself, in my plane, then 2 weeks later Bob, in his crash here; and now her. The devil doesn't want us here. Time is very short, and he is pulling out all the stops!! Thankfully we serve a God who is still in control and has won the battle.

David is anxious for us to get our new area opened up. Now he believes that the 172 is too small and we need a 182. So now we have to raise the money for one. Bob needs a 206 here because he flies a lot more people. We had leads this week on a 182 and a 206. Both are only 10 years old and have low hours. We could have had them both for about $110,000 US. The 206 is sold and we are still trying to track down the 182 to see if it is still for sale. If we can get good ones at that price, we won't repair the crashed one. God knows our needs here and He will provide for us some way. We would appreciate your continued prayers in this matter. David wants to open another area north of here in the delta with a float plane and a launch. Then the union asked this week if we could open a fourth base in the Northwest region. The harvest is ripe, the workers are few!! Guess this is kinda long so will sign off. We just wanted to give you a short update.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Growing Patience . . .

Life here continues to be interesting to say the least! We've had: 1) Uninvited house guests during the day and sometimes at night-- i.e. large rats, very large spiders heading for your bed in the middle of the night, frogs in the bathroom, this a.m. it was a mass invasion of large red ants, in minutes they were swarming the kitchen and living space.

2) Tornado (unheard of here) touches down in a town a couple of miles from here and removes roofs, trees, and power lines to about 20 homes. Pathfinders and the village next to us take food and clothing to them. During a downpour while there, everyone stood under a churuata (upside down cone with open sides made from thatch) and the pathfinders sang to them and talked to them about Jesus and His love for all of us. The military and government officials were there and witnessed it all.

3) Toni is learning to bake bread here in conditions she isn't used to, but doing very well. She is turning out good meals even though there isn't much to work with most of the time and it is all from scratch. Amazing how far she makes the money stretch, yet she worries she spends too much. What an inspiration she is here.

4) Toni is playing the organ and keyboard for the church here at the academy. She always seems to be busy. (no surprise if you know her).

5) We had hoped to get permission to start extracting the crashed Cessna 182 out of the jungle this week, but received word this morning that the inspector is delaying it yet again, maybe another week yet or ..... We will have to take the wings off and then have a helicopter take it to a road so we can load it on a truck to ship it 500 miles north to have it repaired. We had also hoped to get the Cessna 172 out of the shop where it has been for the last 18 months, so we could do some flights while the other one is getting repaired. We used the money you sent us last month to try to pay off most of the final work needed on it. Hopefully we can get it soon so the medical flights can resume to some degree. Sunday there was an urgent call for a 22 yr old female to be flown out. There weren't any other planes available to take her out, and we couldn't, of course. What we really need here to be somewhat safe, is a couple of Cessna 206's. The 172 and 182 are really too underpowered for what we do. God is able and willing to provide for all our needs. Maybe more patience is needed yet.

6) Gary has been learning how to plant and take care bananas and planting mango trees for future food needs. He has spent lots of time leveling grassy areas so it is easier to mow. Lots of mowing to do here.

7) Bob (chief pilot) is in the capital getting his annual medical exams and paperwork for license renewal. It takes a couple of days and he has to see 5 doctors! Paper work and signatures take lots of time here.

8) After days and weeks we think we have Internet at our house now on a sporadic basis, usually best early in the morning and it is very very slow, but we are grateful to have it. God is so good to us. We even have a phone line to our house with a phone. It doesn't ring as often as it did in the states.

9) The building (house) we are staying in, is a block building with a concrete roof that leaks a lot. It was built to be a meeting/dining hall for groups. It has a kitchen area with a nice stove, 2 refrigerators and several sinks. We live in the kitchen area, as it is drier there. It has a bathroom with a shower, and we even have a washing machine.

10) We are in the "dry season" here. Rains every couple of days or so, Lots of clouds and pretty thunderheads everyday. We have taken a few hikes up into the jungle and it is so fascinating to see all the plant and wildlife. We have only killed one poisonous snake (by the airplane hanger) so far. It was nice to have a lawn mower in hand when he raised his head. So we hope this gives you a little glimpse into our life here, We don't want it to sound too bad, we are enjoying life here and learning lots. Sure hope to get back in the air soon though. Love to soar with the eagles and the need for medical flights is so great here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pathfinders to the Rescue

Pathfinders to the rescue in Venezuela. Friday night, Nov. 2, tragedy struck the small village of San Antonio which is just a few miles from the school and airbase. We were having one of the torrential down pours, when a funnel descended over San Antonio. It took off the roofs of 15-20 homes and half the roof off the school building there. This village has very few if any Adventists in it. Sabbath the call went out for help. The small village of Maurak, which is mostly SDA, and is next to the academy and the airbase responded. Sabbath afternoon with rain showers off and on the people of Maurak went around collecting food and clothes for San Antonio. The Pathfinders were in Class A uniform doing their part. We loaded up trucks to haul people and the collected items to the village. Upon arrival it was easy to see the damage. Homes with no roofs, just walls standing, trees and power lines down all over. People were gathering up the pieces of roofing and trying to salvage what they could and starting to repair the roofs.

In the middle of the village was a large Churuata (a round upside down cone, covered with palm thatch and open around the sides ). They began to unload the food and clothing inside the churuata and the village leaders were helping. The military came and was assessing the damage as well. Dark clouds began to form and when it started to down pour everyone went to the churuata , including the military.

Then the pathfinders in class A uniform began to sing to everyone. They all had to stay and listen or get drenched when leaving. After several nice songs, the leader had a few words about Jesus and His love for everyone. Then they prayed, about then the rain let up so people began to go about the clean up again. The rain brought them all together though to hear the singing and devotional.

Then the pathfinders helped organize all the food and clothes so the village leaders could give it out to those who needed it worst. There was a very large table stacked high with food and lots of bananas and potatoes under the table. There were also lots of clothes. These all came from the Adventist village of Maurak. They don’t have much to give either, but they gave what they could and the Lord blessed! It appeared to me that He had multiplied the food to make it go further. I’m sure it made a great impression on the people there. There were also many government leaders there as well as the military, to witness this service to the community.