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, November 23, 2011


There is so much to be thankful for. The Bible says to rejoice in ALL things.  Sometimes it is too easy to focus on our trials and problems that we forget to be thankful. 
Last week we received word from a pilot friend in New Guinea that informed us we would need a certain type of HF (basically a "ham" amateur radio) radio installed in our plane in order to be able to fly there. He further stated that these radios cost about $40-50K used! Boy did that get our attention fast!. I contacted another pilot friend in PNG (Papua New Guinea) and he confirmed the information.  That started a flurry of emails trying to see what our options if any, would be. Another pilot from Australia told us about a different HF radio that could work but had to be installed in Australia, and would cost about $7-8K. That sounded much better, but still a lot of money that we don't have.  
We have installed an HF radio like we used in Guyana expecting to use it there. Now is sounded like it was all in vain. Then yesterday I received word from our friend Kyle who helped us on our plane in Guyana and is now a certified airplane mechanic working in PNG. He said he had checked with the guy who helped write the rules in PNG and he said that if we had the proper paper work on our radio and we were not going to operate as a commercial operator, ours would be ok!! Wow, God is so GOOD. Our mechanics in Washington have been working on getting this paperwork for the radio and other equipment so that it is all approved by the FAA. That is been a big part of the hold up for getting our plane ready to fly.  So getting this paper work done right, now, should make it much easier to get the paperwork done in PNG.
When Toni was given work at her old place of employment back in July, it was with the understanding that it would be for 4-6 weeks. With the delays that we have been experiencing, God has provided continual work for her! Every time it looks like they don't need her anymore, someone needs time off for illness, surgery, vacation, or something so they have kept her on.  Her bosses keep saying, you are a real "God send to us". Her work has provided for our living expenses and putting some towards the cost of shipping the plane.
We are trying to get funds together to buy some solar equipment so that we can have some basic electricity out in the bush.  The prices have been dropping real fast since this spring and so our delay will also help us to get the this equipment soon we hope.  
During this waiting time we have also had many many opportunities to share what God has done and is doing for us and how faithful He is. Sharing how God is faithful has brought us so many blessings and it thrills us to share His wonderful ways. Friends keep bringing us supplies to take to PNG and others have provided funds to help with the cost of getting ready to ship the plane and supplies. We are humbled and so grateful for each of you and how the Lord provides.
Yesterday we received an email from a pilot who has flown in PNG and now lives in Australia. Here is a quote from his email.

The obstacles to operating in PNG are frustrating at times. But the effort is well worth it. I had a call from Pr Tom Kerowa up there yesterday. He is the district director in one of the areas that Mission Support Network has been established in for a long time. We have several lay missionaries that we sponsor there. This weekend they are having a camp meeting and 150 precious souls are being baptized from the efforts of these guys. This is an isolated area way beyond the reach of the crumbling road network and these are all small communities. This was not the result of some big city evangelist blowing in and then disappearing again. One of the missionaries, - Kelly Mone has prepared several of these people for baptism. Earlier this year a crazed villager who did not want the message preached there, murdered Kelly's young daughter then cut her up with a machetti and threw her in the river.  PNG is a land where great successes are seen in God's work, but Satan opposes the work at every step. Yet if God be for us who can be against us. To try and work in PNG we put a bulls eye on our backs, but we also step into the presence of God's power. He will never leave or forsake us.

The need is still great. We are ready to go as soon as the Lord opens the door. Still waiting for a visa and the paperwork on the plane, but we know that the Lord will work it all out in His time table and we want to be ready.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Prayer is such an awesome force and allows God to work on our behalf. 
May you be blessed this holiday season.
Gary and Toni Lewis