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.

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.