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.

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.