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 9, 2009

See what God has done!

Seasons Greetings
2009 is almost over. What a year it has been for us here in Guyana. We have flown the little plane hundreds of hours, we have flown all over the country with it delivering thousands of pounds of food and supplies to our schools and volunteer bible workers.  We have flown out dozens of medical emergencies from the interior as well as taken dozens of medical personnel into remote villages. We have brought students in from remote areas to school so they can get a Christian education as well as improve their skills. We have provided scores of Bibles and lots of literature to the different villages. We have been able to return many patients to their homes after regaining their health. We have also delivered food and supplies by land using our van and river boats. We have had volunteers show up to work at the schools when needed most as well.
All of the above takes a lot of resources and the Lord has been faithful.  Those that have donated have been very generous and we pray that the Lord has blessed you many times over.  The Lord has also provided for us in many unexpected ways, such as extra money in our pockets that we can't account for, hundreds of pounds of beans found laying along the side of an alley way in a pile of rubbish, receiving needed food from "food for the poor" at no cost for the schools. God has been faithful in providing funds when we need it most and from many sources.
We have ordered up a rebuilt engine for the airplane that is suppose to be ready in January.  We don't have all the funds for it yet, but believe they will come when it is time. When one of the 4 cylinders on the engine cracked last month out over the bush, the Lord provided another cylinder and mechanic to come from the States within 10 days to do the repair.  We believe He will do it again with the new engine and send a mechanic as well.
The year has had its rough times too. The worst has been loosing our friends and coworkers next door in Venezuela--Bob and Neiba Norton. Their plane with 7 people on board went down in Feb. and nothing has been found or heard from them since.  The Lord knows where they are and we have to trust that He knows best. There have been times of discouragement and heartache, but we keep pressing on trying to do what the Lord has called us to do at this time.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. There is always more work than workers and more requests for teachers and Bible workers than we can fill.  The harvest is ready.
May the Lord keep you and strengthen you in the new year. A great Christmas to all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blessings amongst the debris

It is with fascination that we watch and see how our Lord provides for His children.  This month when we went to "food for the poor", there were no food items. The budgets at our schools are really stretched right now and we were hoping and praying at least for some more beans.  Remember how God provided beans last month? Well this month He tried out a new way on us.  Saturday evening we took a new volunteer family that had just arrived in the country, out to the seawall to watch the sunset over the beach where a large river enters the Atlantic Ocean.  We drove out on an old dirt road with trash dumped along the sides. When it got too bad, we parked , and walked  the rest of the way.  Just a few feet from where we parked, I spotted this large pile of kidney beans dumped on top of trash.


Checking it out further, I found 2 one hundred pound bags below it full of dried pinto beans with a couple of holes in them.  It had rained several times during the day, and there were mud puddles on the road. The beans were dry! We loaded up the 2 full bags into the van being careful to no spill too many out of the holes in the bags. Then we scoured the van for anything to put the 100 pounds of spilled beans into. We emptied boxes and bags and filled them with the beans that had been spilled on the ground among the other debris.  We got about 3/4 of them before running out of containers. 


So we came home last night rejoicing that the Lord had  provided beans again for the schools!! They were the "pearls among the swine".  These are seconds that someone had gotten from "food for the poor" and didn't want them.  We are happy to have them and many student meals will now have beans again!



The plane is back in the air after some major work on the engine.  We are trying to do catch up work after being grounded for almost 3 weeks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Flying with Angels!

Hi
Yesterday I was flying with David Gates along the border with Venezuela 200 miles from home, when the oil temperature on the plane nearly red lined and the engine started running very rough. We said extra prayers and started looking for some place to land in the dense jungle. We we able to get the oil temp to start cooling after a few adjustments. When it got to normal range after many long intense minutes, the engine started runing smoother.  We headed back to our original destination and landed safely, still 150 miles from home. We took the engine cover off and inspected all we could. We added more oil (it was not low) and then I left for home solo as David had his own plane to fly back and it was getting late in the day. The plane flew fine the rest of the way home and the weather was good on the flight path home, but stormy on both sides.  My prayer was for the engine to function well, weather to be good as I was already very stressed, and that I could get home before the sunset as that is the law here. All 3 requests were granted by my Heavenly Father!! Today I went and checked the spark plugs and did a compression check. One cylinder out of 4 had a compression of 38 and the others were all 70+.  We have a mechanic coming down next week to do some other work,  I sent him an email this afternoon, and he said he has a cylinder sitting on the shelf and will bring it this coming week to replace this one. Hope to be in the air again before the week is over so that we can get supplies out that will be running short by then. This is why I ask my angel to fly with me every day. Too many things can happen and I need them to keep me in the air.
I'm so grateful to be home and have the plane here where the repairs can be made and a mechanic was already planing to come next week. God is Faithful!!  

Saturday, October 31, 2009

God's timing


God's Timing
Another month has slipped by, but what a month it has been.  I am reading the autobiography of George Muller, a person I have admired since I was a young person as a man of extreme faith in providing for the orphanages he operated.  I am finding it a source of encouragement as we face some of the same issues he did nearly 2 centuries ago.  The Lord provides for those who trust Him and it comes just when we need it and just what we need.
This month when I went to the "Food for the Poor", to get our supplies for the month for our schools, I was very disappointed that there was no food this time. They did give us 40 new folding student desk chairs, which we really needed at 2 of our schools plus toilet paper, note books and tooth brushes which are all needed items. I called one of the schools, (Siparuta) that needed the chairs and asked if I could drive them down to the boat to send out to the school. The principal was excited, she was leaving on the boat that afternoon and could take all the chairs I could bring. When we got there after a 2.5 hr drive, she told me how she had tried to get the chairs there at her location, and was told it would cost her lots of money to get them shipped to her. Then I called and offered to deliver them to her.  Then she told me that she had been given 600 pounds of dried beans and didn't need them. I returned to Georgetown with the beans rejoicing that God had provided food, chairs etc, more than we had asked for!!! All of these items cost me $25.00.  So now our students have beans to eat this month. 

I have had many medivacs this month, anything from pregnancy problems, sick babies, bad infections etc..  Just a couple of days ago while in the bush, I received a call for an urgent medivac of a snake bite. I told them I had room but it was getting late, please hurry. I went to the airstrip and waited for the patient to arrive by boat.  It was 1.5 hours by boat to get to the airstrip. They didn't leave until they heard the plane had arrived.  I have to leave by a set time to get back to Georgetown by sunset. It came time to leave and no patient.  I loaded the plane with the passengers I already had and was about to take off, when they came running with the patient on a stretcher.  We got him in the plane, he was already spitting up blood which is a very bad sign with a snake bite. We landed in Georgetown a little before sunset and the ambulance took him to the hospital. I haven't heard if he survived, but at least we were able to help.  We were the only plane that day in the whole area, his only chance of getting help.
We have flown in lots of supplies and food into our school at Paruima this year also, as they are feeding about 40 people a day now. The Lord has provided, many times just what we need, when we need it.!! He is Faithful!!
We feel blessed, to be doing His work here in Guyana.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pressing Onward

What a week it has been and it isn't even over yet!  Today is the first day this week I haven't flown. I had a flight scheduled but most of the passengers decided at the last minute they weren't ready to go back to the bush, so it was canceled. That was fine with me as I am getting tired.  I have flown over 24 hrs in the last week alone, with many, many landings in the bush.  Toni and I spent half a day yesterday running around town making purchases to fly out to the bush (did more of the same today). Then we went out to eat (that is a rare treat here) with some missionaries from another church. We had just finished eating when the phone call came.  There is a medivac for a young girl up in the Northwest. Could I go? We had to leave our friends right away so I could take Toni home and get my flight bag and change clothes, then rush to the airport, fuel up the plane and take off.  Here you have to be on the ground by official sunset (5:35 p.m.) when flying a single engine.


 The girl was up along the northern Venezuela border so I was going to have to make every minute count in order to have her back in Georgetown before sundown.  On the way up, there was a large storm moving into my path, but it held until I was past. I was on the ground at the village only 8 minutes--loading up the patient and her father. They had been warned that time was an issue for this flight. As we raced back to Georgetown, I noticed the storm had crossed over my flight path and my way was now clear. God is so good!! We made it back to town to the waiting ambulance with 20 minutes to spare.  You might think, so what was the rush, weather and winds here are very unpredictable since there are no weather reports and a 3.5 hour flight can take longer real fast. 
When I was out at one of our schools this week, I was told that several of the girls only had one pair of underwear and were having to wash it out every night. There was also no money to buy sanitary pads either.  So Toni went shopping yesterday to buy a couple dozen sets of underwear and packages of pads for me to fly out tomorrow. We don't just buy gas for the plane and food for the kids with the money that comes in. Jesus said to also clothe the naked and feed the kids. The day students that come in, eat lunch at the school and many say it is the only meal they get most of the time. We are so grateful for the financial help that has been sent and watching how God makes it go so far. We feel so blessed to be the channels for God to bless His children in the bush.
Tomorrow I will be returning patients to the bush and more supplies plus the things Toni is sending in for the girls, then setting up schedules for next week's flight of some govt. educational officials to remote villages.
And so we press on.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Plane back in the air

Just a brief update. The plane has been down waiting for parts the last 10 days.  The front strut (shock obsorber for the front wheel) blew an o-ring. No one had the right size here so we had to order it from the States. We had a volunteer coming down on Thur so he hand carried the o-rings for us. As soon as we got back from the airport I took them to the mechanics and they had it repaired by that evening.  Today I was back in the air, flying in supplies, staff, and doing a medivac. Lest you think we had a 10 day vacation--sorry but we were very busy the whole time.  Sunday I hired another plane to take a load out and to move some medical personnel that I had committed to before the breakdown. We had to chase down supplies, fix broken things here like the van and in the house. We drove a van full of supplies for our school in Kimbia down to the boat and loaded it. That took several hours and we had to go to the international airport a couple of times too. 
Shopping here is nothing like we are used to in the States.  It take hours to buy a few things and you have to go to so many different places. There is lots of paper work to do here for everything and you can spend days doing just that, nothing else.
Now that the plane is airborne again, we will be doing catch up for awhile, trying to get people and supplies where they need to be.
We just received a large donation to build a much needed kitchen/dining room out at our school in Paruima. It will cover the cost of materials.  Anyone willing to come help build it?  They have started cutting the lumber in the jungle (bush) already. 
Still not sure how things will work out for rebuilding the engine or replacing the plane, but the compression and oil consumption are still very good for which we praise the Lord!
Thank you once again for your prayers and support. They mean so much to us, without them, the work could not go on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Snakebite, Nets and More!

Sunday morning before 6 a.m. the phone rang from our administrator down in Siparuta (on the border with Surinam) asking for a medivac, because one of our volunteer teachers had been bitten by a snake on Sat. night. The closest airstrip (?) is about 2 hours away by boat from the school. It has not been used for several years.  I had stopped there when we visited a month ago.  They had promised me, then, to get it fixed so it could be opened again right away. It is just over an hour's  flight away from Georgetown. I called people here in Georgetown and found out that nothing had been done to fix the airstrip, and it was still closed to operations.  The school had started applying charcoal right away, but there was no way for me to fly him out.  Many snake bite victims here die within 2-3 days. They had to put him on a 10 hour boat ride then 2 more hours by car to get to a hospital. Lots of prayers went up and the charcoal was changed regularly. This morning we were informed he is doing much better now, and is at a hospital here in Georgetown.  He expects to return to the school very soon. God is so good to intervene on his behalf!
This week I had a request from the regional hospital near Venezuela to fly in mosquito nets, malaria medications, and a lab tech to a remote mining village that was having a bad outbreak of malaria.  The airstrip is very short, narrow, and sandy. Toni spent several hours going through the red tape and hoops to get the nets, which the ministry of health had here in Georgetown.   I picked up the medications from another branch of the ministry.  I was able to fly out 100 nets, boxes of medicines and 2 lab techs to the village on Tue.
All three of our schools that have started, are bursting at the seams with increased enrollment. I have been flying in some students from remote villages to the schools and have about eighteen more to pick up early next week.  Most have very short airstrips so I can only take 2 at a time. Lots of flights and many take off and landings. The little plane and I have really been getting a work out and looking for some down time very soon we hope.
The airport we fly out of here in Georgetown was just upgrade to "international" status yesterday so had to go listen to speeches etc, including one from the president of Guyana.
Toni has been super busy tracking down supplies, keeping track of all the expenditures, and downloading and uploading emails for all the volunteers who are working deep in the interior with no phones, internet or other ways to communicate with family in other parts of the world.  It takes her hours sometimes to do all the emails, but it is really appreciated by our volunteers deep in the bush. She keeps saying, " and people wonder what I do all day". Without her, our program would not run very well at all.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  It is so much appreciated!
There are new pictures added every week or so on our blog site.
Your donations mixed with the Lords blessings is what keeps the plane in the air and supplies going out.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

DVD released


My have we been busy and BLESSED.  6 Volunteers, 2 families and 2 singles have arrived to work out at the school in Paruima for this school year!! We have been getting them oriented and ready to hit the ground running out there. I am in the process of flying them and their stuff out now. Volunteers are arriving for the other schools as well so we are grateful and when I go into villages the question is "are the teachers here yet and when do classes start". 


 Kimbia has accepted a record number already.  Volunteers are coming from around the world and from around N. America.  It is so neat to see how God brings them all together here in Guyana.
While flying in the teachers and their stuff I have been bringing medivacs out on the return trips. Last week I flew in 2 doctors, 1 dentist, 1 nurse into a remote village with a very short strip, could only take 2 at a time in. Left them there 24 hours due to weather delays (God sent). While there they treated over 60 patients and did extractions on 25 others. Then they found a women with severe internal bleeding, post-partum so I flew her out directly to Georgetown.
Today I flew out a man with a cockroach in his ear!  The little plane has flown over 60 hrs already this month and have at least 4-5 hours scheduled for tomorrow yet! 
The DVD produced by Gospel Ministries Int. showing our project and others around the world is complete. It is titled "Having nothing, Having it all", it has over 20 short videos on it of different projects. If you like short mission story video's. this is one you will want. It is free for the asking. Email Betsy at betsyb@gospelministry.org . She will be happy to mail you one or more if you would like.
Thanks again for your prayers and support, they mean so much to us each day!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Siparuta Mission Academy

This last weekend found us leaving Georgetown early Friday morning to travel down the coast to the border of Surinam. We parked the van in Skeldon.  They had some funny little vehicles that they use for public transportation there.  We haven't seen them anywhere else.  Here's what they look like.
The principal this year is a retired single lady, "Granny"  who has helped out there in the past.  When we got to Skeldon, we loaded all of Granny's stuff on the boat for her to live and run the school out in Siparuta.   We did get it all on! 



 A group from the States was here in April and built a house for the teachers to live in. It is a very nice 3 bedroom house built about 12 ft in the air on stilts.
The school is one room, at the moment. They need interior walls, windows and doors put in. For now, it has four block walls and a tin roof.
Try teaching when the rain pours--and it does really pour here! We hooked up a small generator to a pump so water could be pumped up from the creek to water the garden, as well as provide an outdoor shower.


There is no other running water. They use rain water for drinking. Last year there were over 30 students in in the secondary level here. When we left Sunday, parents had been there since sunrise to see about getting their kids enrolled. The village is trying to get electricity hooked up so they can have power for about 3 hours in the evening. The sun sets here about 6 p.m. everyday.
We had to leave about 11:00 a.m Sunday to catch the boat back. We stopped on the way and checked out an old airstrip about an hour away by boat. We are working to get it re-opened so we can fly staff and supplies in and out instead of the long boat and car ride. After that we continued in the boat back to the coast. The boat had about 30 feet down in the hull where people could hang their hammocks to sleep during the night. In the bow, were banana, large squash and citrus.


 The lower part of the hull was full of fresh cut lumber that had lots of pitch oozing out of it. In the 5+ feet that remained above the wood to the roof there were over 35 hammocks stretched, most 2-3 deep and bumping side to side. Some even had more than one person sleeping in a hammock.
It got very stuffy and crowded to say the least. Not much sleeping either. Toni was under Gary's hammock, and had a mom and her 2 little children sleeping on the lumber under her. Just before we got into the landing area, the water was very choppy and the hammocks were swinging violently. Toni's hammock fell down on top of the kids underneath. They woke up and it scared them, but nobody was hurt. We had to tie the hammock back up so she could try to sleep a little more. We arrived at the coast about 2:30 am and stayed on the boat until sunrise when we could go get our van out of the parking area at the police station. Two large cows were sleeping by it, guarding it for us! We got home, here in Georgetown about 10:00 a.m., 23 hours after starting out.
Siparuta Academy has a great location on a hill over-looking the river and Surinam (used to be Dutch Guyana). We need some help getting the walls up in the school house, windows, running water, electricity hooked up for use in the evening, and many more things. Any volunteers?
Now we are busy flying supplies out to the other schools--trying to get ready for school to start in 2 weeks.
The Cessna 180 we were planing to fix up and bring down as a replacement for the Maule is being sent to Africa now. The Maule's engine is almost ready for an overhaul. So we are looking for another plane. Probably a Cessna 180 or 182.
Thanks for your continued prayers and support. God has been so good to us and He has used so many of you to bless us. Thank you.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

brief update



Just a short update. I spent the last two days flying to several villages in Region 7 (near the Venezuela border) taking two Red Cross workers around to several villages. They are preparing a proposal to help train some village leaders to help out with medical and disaster training, education and other local issues. I spent two days out there visiting seven different villages.
While they were doing some of the meetings, I flew boxes (plane fulls) of medicines from the regional hospital out to some of the same villages; so the local medics had stuff to treat malaria and a host of other things. They were grateful to finally get the supplies. Little things like this can mean so much.


While shuttling between villages, we saw some beautiful waterfalls--making the trips more enjoyable!

Tomorrow I will be returning to Region 7 again, as I have more people and supplies to take out. I just received a call tonight that I will have to make an emergency medivac first thing in the morning, before the other flight; and then there is a body to fly out on Sunday to Region 8. I will be flying out in Region 7, 4 days this week alone. And school hasn't even started yet!!

Next weekend we go to visit our school in Siparuta for the first time. It is an all night boat ride to get there, after travelling hours by road. It is on the border with Surinam. We will locate the airstrip there so, we can land there from now on. Oh yeah, I get to preach for church ,also. At least we don't get too bored down here! Ha! Ha! We hope you had a chance to download the video on You Tube.

Monday, July 27, 2009

We have Returned!


We have returned to Guyana, the "land of many waters". It was so nice to see so many of you even though we had to travel over 8000 miles to do it. When we arrived here in the wee hours of Thurs. morning we had to hit the ground running. We had been contacted from down here, while in the states, about taking a body out into the interior-- next to the Venezuela border. We spent Thursday trying to get paperwork done and permissions granted to go into a military base to pick up some family members that wanted to come in from Venezuela for the funeral. At the end of the day, the military agreed to let us land, but Civil Aviation, the "FAA" here said no. So on Friday, I flew the body and some other family members from Georgetown out to the funeral.

When I arrived I was surprised to get a request for Bibles, song books and religious magazines for an English-speaking church that is a days walk into Venezuela. They are thirsty for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a new church, and since our GMI plane in Venezuela, crashed six months ago, they are asking us to help get these materials. So even though we can't fly there, we are still able to help in a small way. Your donations help us to provide these materials and the fuel to get them flown in.

We were contacted by several families who want to come down as volunteers to help out at the schools here. We are praying that enough of them show up to staff the schools. Classes start in just over a month. There are so many needs and so few to do the work.

We are trying to get the Cessna 180 that used to be down here, fixed up in the states. It needs new paint, a new engine,a new interior, and avionics, etc. We want to bring it down here to use when our Maule runs out of time on its engine this fall. We can't afford to be without a plane for a couple of months while waiting for repairs. The schools need of our air support. The cost is high, but we know the Lord will provide, as He has in the past . We have a mechanic that has volunteered to do the work for free if we can come up with the funds for the parts and materials!!

We just installed a window air conditioner in our living room that was given us while we were in the states. What a difference it has made! Our apartment is on the first floor and has no air circulation. It was like living in a sauna all the time. You sweat just sitting down and stick to the chair! It feels soooo good now with the cool and drier air!



I have lots of flights to catch up on and Toni is trying to keep up with the unpacking, purchases and accounting, etc.
It is rewarding to do the work of the Lord even though many times it is very difficult. God is still in control and He is faithful!!
Thanks for your prayers and support. We really like to hear from you too!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

June report

My how time flies when one is traveling like we are. Two and a half weeks and we are on our way back to Guyana. Where did the time go? We have been Stateside for 3 weeks and driven over 6,000 miles already! To bad we don't have the plane here so we could cover the miles faster and have more time to spend visiting friends and family. We have gotten to see so many of our friends and family though, and it has been a real joy. Thanks to all of you who have made this trip special.

We thought we would give you a brief outline of where the dollars go that have been sent to our project in the last year. For every dollar 40 cents goes for airplane fuel, 10 cents for maintenance and up keep, 23 cents for stipends and supplies for our bible workers, 10 cents food and supplies for our schools, 10 cents for our personal food and supplies, 5 cents for transportation.

It is amazing to us how the Lord has provided each month for us. Several times Toni (who keeps the financial records) has asked me if I had any money in my pocket. I have told her "I have enough for gas and supplies for the next flight". She said "but you can't, you have already spent more than we have". She has had to put down "money from unknown source", I think my angel is having fun putting money into my pockets sometimes. Remember the Bible story of the widow and the jar of oil?

One month not long ago, we came up very short on funds due to an accounting mistake at the office in the States. We didn't have enough to buy much fuel with or anything else with. We kept on flying anyway and when it was almost gone, I got a phone call from a person in Georgetown and he told me he had some money for me for fuel. When that was gone, I got another call from another person who told me they had put 200 gallons of fuel on my account at the airport, all I had to do was put it in my plane. At the end of the month that looked so bleak at the beginning, we ended up flying more hours than normal and purchasing lots of supplies. We are awe-struck at how the Lord provides when we just keep marching on to do His will!! If one source isn't enough-- He provides another.

We are still looking for volunteers to help with the schools down here, and the Lord has been sending several possible ones our way the last couple of weeks. We can still use more volunteers! It is exciting to see how it all comes together.

The engine on our plane has about 3-4 months left before it has to be overhauled, due to the hours of use. We are looking to see if it is best to overhaul it or get something bigger like a Cessna 182. Our work load is increasing so much that we need to be able to haul bigger loads in order to keep up. Please pray about this with us. The Lord has the answer out there somewhere for us. We appreciate your prayers and support.

It was great getting to see some of you on this trip. You're always welcome to come see us down in Guyana!

Monday, June 1, 2009

turtles,falls,emergency,and more!



It is Time to catch you up a bit on what has been happening in Guyana. This month has gone by very fast and we have been very busy. We have been trying to get things done and a bit ahead since we will be leaving for a short visit to the USA in about 1.5 weeks. This month there has been lots of flying to do-- for a variety of reasons we hadn't planned on-- but the Lord has provided the means necessary to accomplish the task He has given us. I flew over 70 hours with 85 landings in the "bush" (jungle). The flying is only part of the work load. We also have to purchase a lot of supplies that are needed, buy fuel at the gas station, haul it out to the plane, and fill the tanks manually. (Our gas prices just jumped 0.30 in one day to $3+/gal). Then there is the loading and unloading of the plane and all the passengers, as well. The plane operated by Adventist World Aviation has been down for repairs so we were able to help them with several medivacs and also to move medical professionals that were putting on clinics in the "bush".

Here is one story of special interest that happened last week. I had flown one of our school administrators and a photographer up to the north to visit and film what our Bible workers were doing up there. They had to go by boat after that to the site. On the way, they remembered that they had forgotten to ask the Lord to go with them. While praying, the boat turned around and when they headed out, they were going the wrong direction, (easy to do in a jungle that all looks the same). After 20 minutes or so, they realized their mistake and turned around. They had lost over half an hour and it was getting very late. Back at the airstrip, I was getting very anxious. There is a requirement that no single engine aircraft can fly here past sunset. They showed up just as I was running out of time to get them back before sunset. I was the last plane out for the day. While we were loading everyone up, an emergency call came in. "We have an urgent medivac of a lady bleeding badly and if she isn't flown out, she won't make it until tomorrow." We told them to get her to the airstrip right away and informed the photographer that we needed his seat. He said he would wait until the next day to catch a flight. If the boat had not "turned around" we would have been gone before the call came in and there would have been no one to help her. The student missionary who was also flying out with us (so she could catch her international flight the next morning), got to hold the ladie's IV bag all the way!

Being in the right place at the right time and being willing to do His will is what makes this job exciting! That was just one of several medivacs we did this month. It is rewarding to help save lives and relieve suffering.

Last week, I had to make a flight that was to take me over Kaitieur Falls (the tallest single drop in the world). Since it was Toni's birthday, and I had an extra seat (that is rare), I took her along and we got to see the falls from the air and then she got to meet several of our friends that we made out in that region when we were out there for a while last year. The villagers were glad to see her again.


This weekend we decided to do something a little different. We took it off, and went camping on Shell Beach. It is famous for the nesting site of the Leatherback Sea Turtle (the world's largest sea turtle).

They also have Greenback Turtles. We got to see several of these large (5.5ft+ long shell, weighting over 1000 lbs) turtles come in (50+ turtles in the 2 nights that we were there) and lay their eggs (70-100 eggs per nest).

Then we got to release 7 babies that hatched while we were there into the Atlantic Ocean. This was the first weekend off since we have been here. What a treat it was to watch these creatures of the sea follow their God-given instincts.

The beach was lined with large coconut trees and we thought we were in the south seas somewhere on some island.!! The weather was great and it was nice to listen to the waves again.


Now we have to finish up getting ready for our trip north. Here is our tentative schedule:

Sat. June 13 Greensboro TN church
June 19-20 Arizona Campmeeting
June 24 Yountville CA
June 27 Provo UT church
July 4 Washington DC
July 6-20 N. Carolina and Tenn.
We would like to see as many of you as we can. We will be driving and driving. Taking US 40 going west, and maybe 80 east. If you're along the way let us know!
Thank you again for all your prayers and support. We see God working on our behalf here all the time and it is neat to see how He works things out for us.
Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible real soon.

Prayers need to be sent Heavenward:

gifts can be sent to:
Gospel Ministries International
P.O. Box 506
Collegedale, TN 37315

please add a seperate note stating :for Lewis Guyana

Thank you for your support and my God's blessings fall on you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

weeks activies


Some of the other things we did this week. Not just flying, but cleaning too. More medivacs, and taking in supplies. Note narrow airstrip
Have a great sabbath.

Today's medivacs

Todays medivacs. One lady was having delivery problems, by the time we got to her she had just delivered a stillborn so we flew her into the hospital here in town, leaving the baby behind to be buried tomorrow, Next to her in the back seat was another mom with a day old baby that wasnt doing well either. Sad world we live in, nice to be able to help some.
 
Thought you might like to see a little of what we did today
 
Gary

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April news from Guyana







Hard to believe another month is almost over. We have been so busy this month! We flew over 60 hrs this month and that is a lot of jungle flying and short airstrips. There have been 4 workshops spread over the country for laymen and bible workers. I have had to fly in multiple pastors/teachers in and out for these meetings, as well as the students from villages way out in the jungle. Everyone seems really excited about the results so far. We also had a dedication of a new church deep in the interior this last weekend which meant flying church leaders in and out too. Then of course there are always the medivacs (fortunately not too many this month) and lots of flights just hauling supplies into the schools and bible workers. It is amazing how many 1000's of pounds we fly in a month with such a small plane. Purchasing, loading it into the van and then to the airplane and then unloading again (sometimes we have to unload and load it into the house to wait for the next flight) gets pretty tiring for this pilot when you have to do it all yourself and then purchase and haul all the fuel in 6 gallon jugs as well. Work up a big sweat before even getting into the plane.



We have purchased tickets to visit the States from June 11 until July 22. We will be driving from NC to CA and back. Would like to see as many of you as we can. Plan to visit AZ camp meeting in Prescott AZ the weekend of June 18. If any of you would like to have us speak at your church or organization, let us know and we will see what we can do. From AZ we plan to go to northern Ca, then to Utah and then back towards Washington DC and on to NC and TN.



Due to some accounting errors at our main office in the States, it appeared that April was going to be a very tough month financially with all the flying we were expecting to do and supplies to purchase. But as we have learned in the past, as we commit our ways to the Lord each day, He provides for our needs. We have had a record month in hours flown and expenses have been high with supplies and higher gas prices, but there is still money left to buy some more fuel for tomorrow. Praise the Lord for what He has done on our behalf. Cash keeps showing up when we need it and from sources we never expected and there is always enough to meet the need. What looked really poor at the beginning of the month, has turned into a blessing that reminds us of the widow with the jar of oil that didn't run out. What an awesome God we serve!!



Toni had the fortunate opportunity to get a free trip to Miami last month. She got a cheap ticket from there on to Utah so she could visit her mom and our daughter and granddaughter who had flown in from HI. She got to spend almost 1.5 weeks with them so that was really nice for her. Sure glad to have her back here though with all the work to do.



We now have the SPOT tracker (GPS device that tracks you on the Internet) in the airplane so Toni or anyone who gets a password from us can follow where I'm flying on the Internet. That way if something where to ever happen, she will have a good idea of where I am at. She can all tell about when I will be home from a long flight or if I'm delayed etc. I wish our friends the Nortons in Venezuela had had one of these devices. They are still searching for them and nothing has been heard or found as of this date.



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The borrowed battery

Greetings once again from Guyana

I have been vividly reminded of the story in the Old Testament of the borrowed ax that floated . I had borrowed a battery for my airplane here a couple of weeks ago so that I would not have to hand prop it. (start it by pulling on the prop by hand). You can't purchase batteries for my plane here in the country. You can't bring them on the airlines. I needed a battery until I could get one from the States on a private plane. There is a Cessna here that hasn't been flown for awhile and the owner is out of the country and the caretaker said I could borrow the battery from it until I could get a replacement for mine. It is a fairly new battery and worked well in my plane. I had one coming down last week on a private plane but at the last minute the pilot called and said he wasn't going to have time to stop in Guyana. While the pilot was in Venezuela and Brazil, he found out he didn't yet have permission to fly into Bolivia yet, so decided to come back up to Guyana for a day and bring my battery that I really needed so I could return the borrowed one. We were so grateful that the Lord worked it out, even at the last minute for us to get the battery after it appeared it would be several more weeks yet.

When I went to change the battery out of my plane, I discovered that one of the caps was missing and it was a liquid battery instead of a gel battery. Some of the acid had leaked out as well. I looked straight down as that is where things fall and there was the hole where the exhaust leaves the plane. So the cap was out in the jungles of Guyana somewhere. They are special caps because they are airplane batteries and can't leak fluid. No way to get a replacement and it was a borrowed battery and a new battery from the States is about $250. I put in the new battery and was trying to figure out what to do about the missing cap. I was told I could get one from the States in about 3 weeks. Then this last Sunday I was doing an oil change and inspection and when we took the cowling (engine cover) off, there was the battery cap in a small area in front of the engine by the prop. The battery is behind the engine on the firewall. How that cap went down and then forward is known only to my angel that flies with me every trip!! I was so thrilled. That night I got a call from the owner of that battery saying he needed it back as he was doing an inspection on the plane to get it ready for sale. God's timing is so perfect!! I was able to return the battery last night just like it was when I borrowed it.

Last week I flew a body and his wife out to a village were there is a large govt. school and we have a bible worker stationed. Typically when this is done, the family comes and gets the body (wrapped in plastic) and puts it in a coffin and off they go. Not much is said. This time was totally different. When I touched down the whole village came out. When I got out of the plane to help remove the body, a young man came up and thanked me profusely, (not common here). We removed the body and put him in the rough cut coffin. Then family came and started thanking me and all the village gathered around. Then this young man that had approached me first, asked me, "Can I pray for you?" I assured him that would be really appreciated as I need all the prayers I can get. He prayed loud enough for all to hear. He asked the Lord not only for my safety, but thanked the Lord for the Adventist that were willing to come and help their village and help this family. This young man then gave me a box of veggies from the village. I was totally stunned. This has never happened to me down here. He is not of our faith but he really touched my soul. He is the radio operator of the village and told me anytime I need a weather report, when and how to contact him. The Bible worker came up to me afterwards and said, "I'm so glad you did this today, there has been much skepticism here about what the Adventist are all about, today you have shown them". Oh to just lift up Jesus and then He will draw all men to Him.

On Friday I was at another village and as I was preparing to leave, I commented that I would be returning to Georgetown by myself as the person that had planned to go with me changed plans. The captain of the village said "no you won't be flying by yourself, the angels fly with you". That is so true and I am so grateful. I see them parting the clouds for me all the time so that I can reach my destinations safely.

This month I have flown less hours due to weather and needs, but next month is looking to be very busy already, pray that the weather and the plane will allow us to do what needs to be done.

Update on the Norton missing plane is that searches are continuing, but nothing has been found or heard from them. The Lord knows where they are at though.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We are living in the end of time. May God bless each of you and we really enjoy hearing from you, brightens our days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

This week







This week has been very busy. I was able to make a trip out returning a family with a new born to their home in the interior, transport another lady so she could bury her son, and then brought a pregnant teen and her mom into the hospital since she is high risk, and bring in a volunteer who broke a tooth and needed a dentist, who by the way has helped us fix some computer problems and helped with the purchasing. Help always shows up when we need it most, be it people or funding!! Then last night Toni helped give a health talk at an evangalistic meeting that is going on at our church where she also does sabbath school for the kids and plays the keyboard when we are here in gtown. I had the plane loaded with supplies for 3 villages but about half way there I had to return because the weather was too bad. There is no radar here or weather forcast. Sometimes we can get weather reports from the villages via radio, but by the time you get there it can chage a lot. Better to wait another day and arrive there safely. It is frustrating to return with the plane still loaded and mission not completed. When not flying we have been very busy purchasing supplies to fly out and getting parts and equipment repaired to return to the schools and villages.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tragedy in the Jungle




As you will recall, those of you how have been with us for awhile, we went to Venezuela before coming to Guyana. While there, we lived next door and trained with Bob Norton with the idea of expanding the work there and flying a second plane in areas unreached with medical help and the gospel. After living there only 3 months we were told we could not fly there as a pilot because we were from the USA and the current government there didn't want to allow us to fly. So we came to Guyana.


Last Monday, Feb. 16, Bob was making a flight north, when his plane went missing. On board with him were his wife, Neiba; a teacher/administrator from the school, and two patients (children) each accompanied by a parent. They have been searching by air and land with no sightings yet of anything in the jungle. The jungle is very dense, tall and covers a huge area. It swallows up airplanes very fast. It has been hard to deal with since we fly just a few miles away and can't even go over t he border to help the search, plus they are our friends and fellow pilot doing what we are doing here. They have been flying in Venezuela for seven years. They work like us, no pay and no charge to the p atients we fly out. We don't know why God allows the devil to do some things, but we do know God s still on His throne and will make it all clear someday soon. It has been very hard on Bob's family since his dad died like that years ago, and just last week his brother left for Papua New Guinea to do the same thing. They need our prayers.



We have been busy flying here. The rainy season seems to be letting up a bit, but still plenty of weather to slow us down. Looks like I will end up flying about 60 hours in the air this month alone again. We have had to purchase lots of supplies to fly into the schools and villages, plus the medevacs. Today I flew a four year old out that had a broken arm, from Kaikan (right on the boarder of Venezuela).



We got our parts bill for the plane repair and inspection this month, too. It was much larger than we expected, but God is faithful and you have supported us so well. Thank you so much. We see so many answers to prayer here, we just stand in awe of the Great God we serve! Many days are hard and trying, but when we remember why we are here, Who we serve, and what He has done for us, we are able to go on. It has been very hard dealing with Bob and Neiba missing this week, but the Lord knows best. We expect to see them again in the new earth where we won't need planes in order to fly. Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you as He has blessed us.