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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Summary of 2007

For those of you who don't have time to go back to the beginning, here's what's been happening this past year 2007.

Here's a brief update: We became convinced that God wanted us to do some volunteer, self-supporting work in Venezuela in about February of this year. We came down here to visit at the end of January. Gary was online looking and came accross this project of gospel ministries (David Gates is president), and emailed them. They responded right away for us to come down and check it out. The ministry is flying people out of the jungle for medical care, and also taking pastors and lay workers into the jungle villages that are inaccessable except by canoe and foot. It takes these people days or a week to hike out of the jungles.

Gary was already a pilot--he had a plane at PUC our freshman year, but had to sell it to pay for his school bills. He had gotten his license current about a year before and was flying some. We bought a small plane and he started flying in earnest. We sold our house in August. it was only on the market for 1 week and we had 2 offers. Gary got his instrument certification, and finished his commercial license--except the final flying test--he did the written one. He had trouble getting the test completed due to getting sick, the plane going into the shop, no instructor available, and so forth.

He was trying to put some more hours in, when he crashed our plane just 2 weeks before we came down here. We had put the plane up for sale, and had taken a guy out to look at it, but it had an oil leak under it. When Gary took it to the shop, it needed an engine overhaul. He had just gotten the plane back after the overhaul. It had less than 2 hrs. on the engine--it was Gary's first flight after the repairs--when the engine failed. He tried to land it, but there was a strong wind; he couldn't make it to a field he was trying to land in and so went beside the road. The road had a blind curve, and he didn't want to have a head-on collision. On the side of the road, there was a small dip, and a sign that he barely clipped, and the plane flipped. He hurt his neck and shoulder. He was in the hospital for 24 hours.

I think the devil was trying hard to keep us away. The day after we arrived here, the base pilot, Bob Norton, crashed his plane (cessna 182). He had a very strong tail wind, and couldn't stop on the runway in time. He's been flying here for 5 years without an accident. Nobody was hurt in his plane crash, but it took quite a bit of effort and time to get the plane out of the jungle. In the mean time, Bob and his wife, Neiba (a Venezuelan) got the Cessna 172, a smaller plane, that he used to fly, fixed. They are using that now.

God is working in us patience and faith and a stronger relationship with Him--while we mow grass, plant banana trees, level the ground (Gary), play the organ for the church (Toni), and other mundane things. they have asked us to help with pathfinders. they want me (Toni) to teach first aid, and Gary to help with classwork.

In January, we will go back to the US to do necessary paper work. Please keep us in your prayers and keep in touch by email. We love to hear from friends and family! Thanks for emailing!