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, 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.

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