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.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Greetings from the jungle

We have been out working in one of our schools out in the jungle for the last month. It is Kimbia Mission Academy and is located south of Georgetown along a large river, the Berbice River. It is about 50+ miles inland but the river still goes up and down with the tide about 4-5 feet. From the little house we stay in (about 20 yards to the river) we can see the river from 3 sides. The reflections are spectacular. Nice sunsets with the palm trees to set if off.

We cross the river to go to church and the parking lot is made up of boats, no cars there. There are about 48 students and an all volunteer staff. There is no internet and the remote phone service out there has been out for over a month. Toni has been teaching remedial reading, Spanish and sewing. She has been doing some nursing items but not too much. I have been teaching gardening classes (4 per day) and a Spanish class.

I have helped to plant the school gardens which is nearing ¾ acre now. The plants are growing faster than I have ever seen before. Some seeds come up in 4-5 days! Transplanted 250 tomato plants and 75 peppers this last week with more on the way. Trying to provide fresh food for the school as they desperately need it! They run a generator about 1.5 hrs each night for study hall and the rest of the time there is no electricity. It is always hot and humid, fresh food or left overs don't keep. Everything has to be brought in by boat and it is expensive and hard to get.

We came out on the boat last night and it was a 12 hr ride (in the hull 15 ft away from the engine) then another 2 hr taxi ride (17 adults in a 15 seat mini van) to get to Georgetown.

We slept in hammocks among the many bags, lumber and sundry things to go to town. interesting experience!! The boat does have a bathroom upstairs that isn't too bad, fortunately!

Toni responded to a medical emergency across the river about 2 weeks ago shortly after sundown. They said someone had been shocked. She raced over with the boat driver (vol. from Australia) and found the 25 yr old kid not breathing and no pulse. They did CPR for over 20 minutes and no response. This kid had tried to get a live wire off the clothes line that was shocking his mother and as he flipped it away it somehow got around his neck and killed him. We use generators out there for power and they couldn't get it off quick enough. He was very well liked and had cut most of the lumber for our school there. It was hard on everybody at the school and up and down the river.

Expect to be out at the school for a few more weeks to get gardens really going good and then return to flying. So much to do, so little help to do it all, we really need someone to come and help run the gardens year round so there is always food for the kids. When the garden isn't producing the menu is pretty bleak. They could use a cook too. Lots of kids to help do the work, but need some guidance on how to do it right. Any volunteers?

Thanks for the prayers and support!