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, June 29, 2011

Trip to Papua New Guinea

We have been very busy trying to get the plane finished up, and doing lots of speaking engagements. The weather here in the Northwest has been a bit cool, for those of us used to the tropics, even the rain feels cold.  We are enjoying the rolling hills planted with wheat.  The rivers and lakes are blue here--a big difference from the brown waters of Guyana!  We have been to two camp meetings and several churches since we have been here in Spokane. 
just painted
Work on the plane is progressing.  One of the mechanics, Steve Lingenfelter has gone to Honduras on a mission trip, so things have slowed down a bit. We really appreciate all the work he did on the plane though, and wish him the best in  his new mission.  The engine is mounted and hooked up. The old paint is almost all removed, and today we made arrangements to have it painted the first of next week, about a mile from here. That means we can do it without putting the wings on, until we take it to an airport.  Once it is painted by mid-week next week, then Rod will be able to install the instruments and radios and finish up the interior.  Hopefully by the time I return from PNG, it will be ready to take to the airport, run some tests on it and then fly fly away.
I will be leaving for Papua New Guinea (PNG) on July 6 with Jack Sample to do a preliminary visit to get paper work started on importing the plane, get permission to use auto gas and work on negotiations for building a base.  Lots of things need to happen, and we are asking for your prayers that God will impress the right people to help us,  so that the project and God's work can go forward. Toni will be spending some time with her family while I am gone.  She is still trying to find some short-term work, but so far nothing has worked out.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support, and we ask that you continue to pray so that these problems with importing and operating  the plane in PNG can be resolved.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Plane preparations for PNG

Greetings once again!
We have been in Spokane about a week now helping to get the Cessna 182 ready to ship to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The mechanics have done a wonderful job so far and have spent countless hours taking it apart, putting on the modifications and making improvements.  We have been helping by cleaning parts, stripping off the old paint and replacing the interior fabric.

 In a few days we hope to begin to put the plane back together again.  As it is now, the wings, tail and engine are off, and the interior and instrument panel are out.  It has been good for Gary to see all the workings of the plane from the inside out.  We are hoping to have it ready to test fly by the end of the month.

Gary and Jack Sample (director of Hope On Wings)  plan to go to PNG the first of July to get things in motion for shipping the plane.  They need to get things worked out such as fuel and maintenance work on the plane, and permission to fly it there. These need to be worked out before the plane is actually shipped.   He will also be attending campmeetings here in the northwest the next couple of weeks.  Toni will be going to Arizona this weekend.  She is going to help out at the surgery center where she used to work for a couple of months, while all these other details are being worked out.  It will sharpen her nursing skills and give them some extra help during the summer while people are on vacation.
It has been fun visiting with so many of you so far.  Thank you so much for your support and sharing with us as well. Hopefully we will get to see a few more of you before we actually ship out.  
Gary and Toni Lewis
The hope on Wings has a video on the home page that shows what we are hoping to do with our Cessna 182 in PNG.

Donations can be sent to:
Hope on Wings
P.O. Box 122
Hepler, Kansas  66746
Please add a note for "Lewis Project"