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.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bump in the Road

A speed bump in the road in Venezuela, when translated directly means "a policeman lying down". A steep one means "a pregnant policewoman lying down". Well we hit a speed bump--or bump in the road a couple of weeks ago. We received a letter from the FAA revoking my medical certificate to fly with. They wanted another neurological evaluation because of my plane accident last Oct. Then, they made me return my medical certificate to them. This meant I could no longer be a pilot until I had satisfied them that I was physically okay.
I was busy with flights here, and my instructor, Gary Roberts, was to return in about two weeks to finish my training. The weekend after I got the letter, David Gates was passing through on his way to the States in his small twin engine plane, so I was able to catch a ride with him back to the US. I arrived there, Tuesday evening. Wednesday, I called the doctor who had given me a new medical exam after the accident. I asked him what I could do, since he was the one who had cleared me for my medical re-certification. He said, as did others, that it takes 2-3 months to get in to see a neurologist. I told him I didn't have that long since I was the only GAMAS pilot in Guyana to serve our area with medical evacuations. He said he would make some calls and see what he could do. Two hours later, I got a call from a neurologist asking if I could come in the next day! I was ready to go. Less than 48 hours after arriving in the US, I had the evaluation done and passed it!! Amazing what happens when the Lord steps in!!. The next day I called one of the FAA doctors, and explained my situation to him. He asked for more details to be faxed to him and he promised to expedite my case if it all looked good. Tuesday morning he called and issued me a new medical certificate! Wednesday, I left for Florida in the twin engine plane with Gary Roberts. He was on his way to Guyana and had a seat for me. We spent the weekend in Tampa going to some meetings (ASI) and then left for Guyana on Sunday.
We arrived here Monday night--very tired but glad to be back here again. I was only gone two weeks and very amazed how God worked it all out so fast. It easily could have been a lot longer. The devil was trying to slow us down, and it just turned out to be a speed bump.
We are continuing our flight training and trying to catch up with the flights we missed while we were gone. I hope to get my Guyanese pilot's license in the next few days so I can fly the locally registered planes that we have here, also. So much to do, so little time. Toni is very busy, since Gary and his family are staying here; as well as James, the other pilot who is training with him. She stayed here while I went to the States, and is now working overtime trying to feed and take care of everyone.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Our New House!

This is the house in Bethany where we will probably live in, at least part of the time while we're here in Guyana. We've decided that we have to have a place in Georgetown, like the former pilot. If we're in the city buying supplies, and it gets too close to sundown, we will have to stay in the city. The hospital administrator has promised David Gates, they would have something for us. So, we really appreciate that.

Here's the new kitchen sink and counter. The shelves aren't finished yet. It's a work in progress . . .

This is the dining area, and used to be the kitchen, as well. We will probably make it into two bedrooms.

The bedroom is on the other side of the dining room.
Here's Gary working on refinishing the floor in the living room. The wood is called purple heart wood, and is a deep purple color.

I'm adding a couple of humerous items--that have nothing to do with the house!
This is a common way to transport goods down here. We have the fast cars zooming in and out of traffic, the horse-drawn carts, pedestrians, animals in the streets, etc.! It's quite wild to drive here--especially on the opposite side of the road to what we're used to! Gary is doing a good job of it, though.

I saw them working on this at the hospital, and just had to get a picture of it! This is an ingenious way to use a plastic chair. They cut off the legs some and used it to make a new seat for the wheelchair. What else do you do when there is no money and not too much to work with? I had to laugh, but thought they were pretty smart to think of this!