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.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Latest from Guyana

We just returned from the interior at our school, Kimbia Mission Academy. We went back in last week to continue help with the garden since just the principal was left on campus and he was sick. We had been gone a week, and wow, what a change. Weeds grew like there was no stopping them and the vegetables grew also. But since we were gone the rains had been heavy and many garden veggies can't handle wet feet so many were dying. Tomatoes are blooming and so are the peppers and string beans, but with the rain now, harvest is questionable. We picked a lot of okra, cucumbers, summer squash and chard while there and enjoyed eating the fresh picked veggies immensely!! Been a long time since we had such fresh stuff from our garden. Sure tasted good. There are a few tomatoes under one green house roof ,but some bug seems to be attacking them. Have pumpkins the size of soccer balls already. Squash was drowning so not much more there. The flowers the kids planted were blooming beautifully and made the walk way to the cafe, very pretty. Waiting for lumber to be delivered so we can build roofs to cover some of the garden area to keep the rain off and then we can have fresh veggies all year round!!! The ground there really produces well and fast. Never seen stuff grow so fast.
We enjoyed a slower pace for the week since it was raining off and on most of the time and couldn't do much in the garden besides pick and weed some. The sunsets over the river are spectacular! Got some reading in and lots of bug swatting. With the rains, lots more bugs have showed up and do they know how to bite!.
This morning we left at 5 a.m. on the speed boat (?) and got to New Amsterdam about 8 a.m.. The next fastest boat we take is 12 hrs. Some take longer. On the way down the river this morning there was a rainbow to our left with a perfect reflection in the water! Made a great oval shape and very pretty. To the right at the same time was a great reflection of some clouds. Couldn't dig the camera out in time as it was near the bottom of the pile and under plastic since we expected rain. Sure was neat to enjoy for a couple of minutes!! Flowers on the river bank never fail to inspire me either. A few miles from town the rain came down in buckets and we were wet even under our raincoats and the plastic covering the suitcases. Two more hours in a taxi got us to Georgetown. We unpacked right away and found black mold growing on the clothes and linens we had pack just 6 hrs before. Cucumbers and squash that we had brought out with us were also spoiled and mold over some of them. Things grow fast here!!
So we are back in Georgetown for the moment, may go up to the northern part of the country for Christmas to spend some time with friends up there that fly for AWA. Waiting to see when there might be a flight we can catch.
Hope all is well with you and enjoy the holiday time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Greetings from Guyana

Last Christmas found us a few miles west of here, in Venezuela. This year, we are in Guyana where it is still hot and humid and the rainy season has started. We have just returned to Georgetown for a few days after spending 2 months in the interior helping one of our schools being run entirely by volunteers from all over the world. We helped by teaching gardening, Spanish, remedial reading, and sewing. We both taught Spanish and Toni did the sewing and remedial reading classes.

Also, I got a large garden project going for them. It is more than ½ acre, with over 400 tomato plants, plus cucumbers, squash, green peppers, okra, beans etc. I have never seen garden plants grow and produce as quickly as they have here. 5 weeks from planting to harvest for squash and 6 weeks for cucumbers. My how the Lord has blessed! Tomatoes and peppers growing like weeds! We planted some of the tomatoes in one of the green houses that Fletcher Academy (in Candler, North Carolina) helped put up a year ago.

This school (Kimbia Mission Academy) is located along the Berbice River; 50 miles from the nearest town. It is very primitive by most US standards, but they are doing a good job with what they have to work with. We expect to return out there in a week to finish up some projects. There is no electricity except when they run the generator about 1.5 hrs in the evening for study hall. The sun goes down at 6 PM and rises just before 6 AM each day. Here is what the sunrise looks from our window, looking toward the main classroom building.

Here is the house that we have been living in. Our living quarters are about 1/3 of the house on this side. There is a small kitchen/dining room/bedroom (all one room) and a bathroom (no shower). We bring water from the river to flush the toilet and shower at the neighbor's house. We do have rain water to drink and use for cooking. It is sunny and bright inside the house. The other side of the house and underneath is used for tools and maintenance supplies.

Toni got to do her first official medivac while there last week. There was a woman across the river that went into labor; her membranes had ruptured, and she was only 7 months pregnant. So we put her in the speed boat for a 3 hr trip down the river (in the dark with no lights) to the city where there is a hospital. This is a picture of the school's speed boat. It's not very big. There were 7 on the boat--plus luggage--that night. Another girl wanted to go, also. We told her no--we had to have room for the pregnant lady to lie down. It was cramped, even then! Fortunately , we got her there before the baby arrived.

They are building a new cafeteria at the school. Here are some pictures of it going up and being painted. You can see below that, how they cook over a wood fire in the current cafeteria.

We are hoping to get the annual inspection done on the plane in Jan. so we can start flying again. It expired on our plane in Oct. It has to be done by someone with a US license.

As we look back over the year, we could never have guessed how it would turn out. There have been so many things to be thankful for in spite of some major setbacks that have come our way. Still, we are amazed at how our needs have been met, although we haven't received a paycheck in over a year. Some months Toni has asked what happened when expenses exceeded the money coming in; yet there was still some money in the wallet to buy the next tank of gas for the plane. Gas cost over $4.00 per gallon here still. We are reminded of the widow and the jar of oil that kept going until all the jars were full.

Thanks to all of you who have remembered us in your prayers, they are so much appreciated and needed and also to those of you who have supported us financially, may the Lord return it to you many times over!

We don't know what the new year holds but we do know the Lord is coming very soon and time is very short. We are just trying to do our little part to help prepare people to get ready to meet Jesus in this part of the world.

May our God keep you safe and healthy this new year.