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 24, 2010

September adventures

The rainy season was suppose to have been over some time ago.  We are more than making up for the long dry season we had.  The rainy season has made for some awesome waterfalls out in the mountains.   Some pictures have been posted on our face book account and some on our blog site, also.   All the rain has left some airstrips a mess to land and take off from.  It makes it hard to keep the plane clean too.  We spent several hours scrubbing it this week just to get down to the paint again.
Although, I try to carefully keep the Maule in good working condition, sometimes there are things that baffle  everyone.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed the engine was backfiring once in awhile when idling after start up.  The mechanics thought it was a fuel mixture or timing problem.  Those seemed to check out OK . Then I felt the strong urge to do a compression check on the cylinders.  One out of the four cylinders had zero compression and the other 3 were excellent.  Wow, how long had I been flying with only 3 cylinders!  My angels are so good to me!! Two different mechanics checked the compression and couldn't believe it was zero.  We pulled the cylinder off (you can do that on an aircraft engine) and it looked perfect inside since it only has 300 hours on it.  We put a replacement on it and only got 25 lbs when it should be in the high 70's.  We discovered the lifter was stuck.  A couple of good adjustments with a hammer fixed it and the compression came up to where it should be.  It has been working great ever since.  There is always something new to learn and to realize anew how much God looks out for us even when we don't know it!
With all the weather issues we have been having, It still amazes me how God seems to open small pathways through the storms for me to pass through or delays me just enough to miss a storm like yesterday, I was diverted by the control tower due to other traffic and when I got closer to home, I realized the diversion spared me a large storm with lots of lightning etc.  God saw where it was and guided me around it.  We always check the nasa weather in the area I am going to fly, and ask the villages on the radio what it looks like out there.  The weather changes here very fast. It can be great on the flight out to the interior and be totally different by the time we return, and there is no way to know what the weather ahead is like except to look out the window.
We still have no progress on getting our Toyota van returned and that has made it time consuming and expensive to get around using taxis, but somewhere in all of this, God still has His finger on it.
Your prayers on our behalf are being answered every day and we are so thankful to have friends like you who pray for us and up lift us before the King of the Universe!!  Please keep sending them heavenward.
We have received several requests in the last week alone for more Bibles and DVD's to use in outreach to unentered areas.    They especially want DVD's showing Bible stories and children's songs for the children's ministry.  There are very few resources like that here in Guyana.   We are out of supplies at present, but trusting God will provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory.
It is rewarding to fly in patients so they can get medical help to save their lives, but really neat when we get to fly them home afterwards.
May God bless you as He blesses us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sunday service

Sunday was one of those days that started very early.  I flew  several bags of cement (doesn't take too many to reach gross wt.) and some food supplies out to a remote village that is building a church. Then I picked up 2 health workers from the hospital out in the bush and flew them to 2 different very remote villages where they gave vaccinations to the villagers. They started with the babies, giving them several vaccinations depending on age and weight. Then they moved up to the adults giving vaccinations for "swine flu" and "yellow fever".

 As they were finishing up in one village, we had a downpour of rain for 30 minutes.  As many as possible stood under the wings of the plane trying to stay a little bit dry.  After everyone was vaccinated, and when the rain stopped, I returned the health workers  to the hospital. Then I proceeded on to another village to bring in a lay worker and her family as she needs an ultra sound.  It was an eleven hour day with 5.5 hours in the air. The weather was great (except for the downpour), and over two hundred people received vaccinations.

We still don't have our van back yet. We're still waiting for a court date. School starts here next week, so there will be lots to do flying students and supplies to the different schools.
Thank you so much for your prayers (they are really needed) and your support.
Gary and Toni Lewis