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.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

First visit to Africa

Gary just returned from his first trip to the African continent.  He was there almost a month working and visiting Ethiopia and Tanzania. He went over with the objective of helping to build "one day schools" but the materials were held up in customs so that plan was changed.  He ended up helping with maintenance and construction projects at Gimbie Adventist Hospital. Some of the missionaries there were able to provide valuable midwife and maternity information for Toni to use in PNG.  After landing in Addis Ababa and spending a couple of days at the Union office waiting for transportation he took a 12+ hr ride, 450 km. bus ride to Gimbie.  He was able to renew his friendship with Elder Ted Wilson and his wife when they passed through Addis while he was there.  Ethiopia was in dry season and everything was very dry and there was  red dust everywhere.  In many ways Ethiopia has things like South America, but many things are very different too.  It was nice to see a different part of the world.  As he was leaving Gimbie by bus his camera was stolen, so he only has pictures that he had downloaded from the first 2 weeks.
After Ethiopia, he flew to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and then took another 9+ hr bus ride about 600 km (much better road) to Kibadula Farms.  It is a school, operated as a supporting ministry of the Adventist church.  They have about 4500 acres and have a very active program.  They have sheep and cattle, orchards, primary school, school of agriculture for kids who fail primary school, school of evangelism, publishing work, medical outreach and a flight base with an airstrip, hanger and 1.5 planes.  The second plane is a kit, and being finished up by a volunteer from the States.  It was near the end of the rainy season there, so everything was very green compared to Ethiopia. On the return trip to Dar Es Salaam for the flight home he was able to go by pickup and see some of the wild life Africa is famous for, so that was a special treat.  One of the most rewarding parts of the trip was meeting and sharing with other missionaries in that part of the world, seeing and hearing how God provides for them too.  Many of the struggles are the same, but we all serve the same God, who is Faithful!
While Gary was in Africa Toni stayed in Arizona, and continued with her work, and also was able to get some hands on experience observing deliveries at the birthing center at the hospital.  She also was able to learn some suturing skills from a surgeon and surgical tech.  She is trying to get prepared for a variety of medical needs at PNG.   We also received word that a work permit has been granted for Gary in PNG, the most difficult part of getting a visa.  Toni has to have clearance from the nursing council there first, before she can get hers.  It was amazing to see that the permit came within just 3 weeks after the papers being submitted. The visa is supposed to come very soon after the work permit is issued. 

Toni's nursing license was just renewed (here in Arizona) now that she was able to get her 1000 hrs of work completed, so that is a real blessing.  Her work has provided for our personal expenses while living here in the US, as well as helping  with the  launching expenses to start the base in PNG.  We still have a ways to go on that yet, but we know that God will provide all that we need-- when we need it.  All of the  funds that have been given for the PNG project have been used for just that, none of it was used for our personal expenses here, or for the trip to Africa.  The trip to Africa was a good mission trip, but we didn't want to use funds that were given for PNG for that, so God provided other means.  He is Faithful!