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, 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.

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