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.

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.

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