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, December 29, 2013

Trip to Wewak

The rest of the story of our trip to Wewak
We thought we were all set for our trip to Wewak that had already been delayed by a week, we asked God to open the way when He saw fit.  Sunday night we were told there was room on the boat for us Monday morning.  We were advised to be ready between 7-7:30.  At 7:10 they showed up at our door and said we had to go then because the boat was full and we needed to get our spot.  We had been told earlier that we should expect to wait a couple of hrs at the boat until they got enough people to fill it.   We grabbed our small day packs and left for the boat.  When we arrived they took our packs and put them in with the other cargo and wrapped them up so they wouldn’t get wet.  We didn’t take our water bottles out or sunscreen for Toni.  Then we were off.   The sun was up and hot already as we began the 3+ hr boat ride on the open sea staying about a mile off shore.  The boat is about 20 ft long and 5+ ft wide with a 75 hp outboard. It was soon apparent that Toni was getting sunburned but her wide brim hat helped protect some of her face and back of her neck.  The rest of her exposed skin started to redden. 
The coastline was pretty and we even had a dolphin swim along side a few minutes.  The swells were only 6-8 ft so not too bad.  When we finally arrived at Aitape, (location of tidal wave in 1998) our behinds were very sore from sitting on the hard wood bench.  We were thankful for no rain, not having to sit on the bottom of the boat like most did, and that we arrived safely, even without a bathroom stop.  As we were coming ashore and the boat man was trying to navigate the breakers, one caught us and everyone on Toni’s side including her got drenched. 
When we got to the dock they welcomed us warmly and we asked for a bathroom.  The owner of the boat and the business said, sure, wait a couple of minutes while I tell the kids to clean it first. 
When Gabriel, the owner came back he took us to his house and invited us in.  We used the bathroom and then he invited us to relax in his sitting room as the truck we were to continue on in was being repaired.  We had a 5 hour journey ahead of us yet by land to reach Wewak. 
Later Gabriel came in and said the end of the repair was near and then begin to tell us how he was using his business to support church work.  8 years ago he started with $1500 US, and now he had several vehicles and boats.  He is now selling fuel, auto parts, has a repair shop and taxi business with the boats and pickups.  Last year he gave bicycles to 5 bible workers and this year he is upgrading them all to motorcycles. 
His daughters brought us some sandwiches to eat as it was past noon and the truck was not yet ready.  Then Gabriel told us about his wife who was in the next room unbeknownst to us. She had had a series of strokes that have left her completely paralyzed he said and she was unable to talk, but could still hear.  I asked if we could go in and pray for her.  He eyes lighted up and said yes.  He gathered his daughters that were near by and we went into pray.  We found she could move one arm and one leg a little bit and squeeze with her had a bit.  We prayed and then Toni checked her to see what movement she had.  Then she explained to them how to exercise their mom so help her regain muscle and nerve function again.  No one had ever given them any hope of regaining some motion again.  Toni told them that if they did it every day a couple of times, there is the possibility of maybe being able to get around again.  With God’s help all things are possible.  There were tears in the ladies eyes when we finished praying. That is when it dawned on me why we were delayed waiting for the vehicle to be repaired.  Just a few minutes after we finished with his wife, they told us to load up and we were ready to leave, 4 hrs after we had arrived.
It only took a couple of miles before the road turned from mostly payment to mostly ruts and potholes.  Soon there was no pavement and only gravel, holes and bigger holes.  We were put up in the cab, which is nice for 2 people but very tight for 3, but at least we were inside and it looked like it could rain.  There were other passengers including women and children in the back of the pickup along with fuel drums and cargo.  The road got really rough and soon we were fording streams and rivers in 4WD low.  Some of the rivers had seen rain up above us and were brown and rising fast.  Some of the water was up to the floorboard, which was already jacked up.  The pickups here all have snorkels and we saw why. 
As it became late in the afternoon some of the on coming traffic (not much on this road) warned us of possible trouble a head.  A couple of villages were having a dispute of some sort and not happy.  As we approached the area a group of men stop us and our driver spoke with them a few minutes before continuing.  We noticed most of the men had black paint on their faces and arms.   They all carried either a gun, bush knife (machete or cutlass). Some even had spears and arrows. Sorry we don’t take pictures in these kind of situations. When we got underway we asked the driver what was going on and then he told us a couple of villages were fighting but that he knew them and they wouldn’t bother us.  We passed a couple more groups of warriors attired the same way before leaving the area.  Sure thankful for angels that travel with us!!

Happy New Year

Reflections on 2013


This has been a year of change, some good, some not so good.

Toni's dad passed away the end of Oct and we each had 2 aunts pass away this year.  We also lost several good friends who we miss as well.


We went through the ordeal of separating from Adventist World Aviation (AWA), and then, thankfully we were able to join up with Mission Projects Inc.  MPI has been so helpful and easy to work with.


We finally got things worked out to proceed to our mission project after waiting for over 2 years. Now we are dealing with a new culture, new language and the great distance from family and friends.  There are lots of adjustments when moving to a new country and starting something from the ground up.  God has been awesome and has repeatedly shown us that this is where He wants us and is working things out for us in His own way and time.


God has been faithful to provide for all of our needs and many of our wants too.  He sends people into our lives at the right time to help us as well.  We are humbled to see how He cares so much for us. We praise Him for the opportunities to share and witness of His faithfulness to us.


We are faced with many big challenges for the New Year, but as we see how God has lead thus far, we know He will work it all out in the future. He already has the solutions to these problems!


We hope to get a vehicle soon, and have put an offer on one, but do not know if it has been accepted yet.  We are also having trouble getting our donations wired here from the US.  We are in need of a mechanic to take care of the airplane here, so we can ship it and begin flights here.  We also need a shipping company that will bring our supply container from the US to us here in PNG.  We also have to build an airbase, (house and hanger).  God has provided so much so far that we know He will provide these when He sees the time is right.


Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Blessings for the New Year,

Gary and Toni Lewis



Donations can be sent to:

Mission Projects Inc.

P.O. Box 504

College Place WA 99324

Please include a note: PNG project

Or go to www.Missionprojectsinc.com for cc or online donations

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

small onions here to cook with, second picture is what $33.00 USD will buy here and then a dugout in the process of being made. Kids enjoying the afternoon.

Cutting brush under and around the house we will use while building our own.  How many people can you load onto your small pickup?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

merry Christmas from PNG

           Blessings of the Christmas Season to you from Papua New Guinea!

We want to wish you a very blessed and happy Christmas season as we prepare to celebrate our Lord's birth over 2000 years ago! The temps are hot as it is summer here now.  We seem to be the only people living here from the USA in this little town.  We have seen a couple of mates from Australia who work at a surfing club here, but that seems to be about it so far. There are many Indonesians here working in the logging and palm oil industry too. There are Christmas decorations in town and some music blaring. We are missing not having family and close friends to celebrate with.

  The church members here have been the kindest and most generous I have ever encountered as a group.  They are always looking out for our needs and providing food for our table.  Sunday another group of about a dozen went out to Bewani (where we will be building the airbase) to help clear the brush away from under and around the house and make a list of repairs and materials needed to make the house liveable.  They are hoping to have the house ready for us by the end of the month!! We will have to figure out something for transportation though, back and forth to Vanimo for supplies. It will have to be 4WD and they are very expensive here! Since there isn't any cell service or internet there, after we move, you won't hear from us as often.

 We have been having several power outages for the whole area lately, but this last week we had one for approx. 28 hrs.  That meant we had to haul water in bucket from the church, no lights, no fan, no refrig. it stopped and everything in it got warm and items in freezer partially melted. We had nothing to cook with, as we have been using an electric cook top.  The ladies brought us a one burner kero stove to cook on the second day.  They were worried about us they said. I think this is trying to prepare us for our move to Bewani where there is no power, running water etc.  When our container arrives and we build our house, we will then have solar and a small generator, but until them…..?  Our computers and phones all went dead too as we didn't realize the power would be off so long.  Showers with a bucket and sleeping while sweating up a storm.  About noon on Friday I asked the Lord to please send some angels to help the engineers to fix the problem as it would sure be nice to have power for the weekend.  A couple of hours later it came on.  Saturday I was told that one of the computer boards for controlling the generator had gone out.  They brought an expert from the capital and he said they would have to get a new one out of Brisbane Australia. That would take two weeks.  Then someone pushed some buttons and hit the reset, and it started working again!  God is so good! We were praising the Lord when the power came on just a few hours before sundown Friday night.

Our house has many more rats than people living in it.  I don't remember ever having to compete with rats like this, especially in the house for our food. We can see 2-3 running around at the same time and always hear them knocking stuff down in the cabinets or off the shelves.  We cover stuff on the table, but….. Each morning we check to see how much food was eaten by the rats. They have chewed thru the table cloths, too.  The ladies here have found some rat poison and we are starting to feed them that.

We are grateful for cloudy days here as the temp is better and the sunshine isn't so intense.  The night the power was off we went out to see the stars in real darkness. The moon was only about 2/3 but was brighter than a full moon in Arizona, it was unbelievably bright and easy to walk around without a flashlight.  So much for seeing the stars that night

We are able to receive emails on our phone now for a fee and send out very short ones once in awhile so we don't have to look at a 6 mile hike quite so often to and from the internet. It wouldn't be so bad if the road home wasn't a steep climb uphill the last part and it wasn't so hot and humid.  Kinda knocks it out of you sometimes.  Of course, this won't be available in Bewani.

Wherever in the world you are when this catches up with you, we want you to know we are thinking about you and hope you are counting God's blessings too.  God is so good and He is so faithful.  It makes the bumps in the road easier when we remember that God sent His Son to show us the way back to heaven.  He has trod the way before us and is with us now!

Blessings to each of you,

Gary and Toni Lewis

www.lewisjungleministries.com (for some pictures or on Facebook)

       Donations can be sent to:

Mission Projects Inc.

P.O. Box 504, College Place WA 99324

Please include a note: PNG project

Or go to www.Missionprojectsinc.com for cc or online donations

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

This is a picture of the house we can stay in while we build ours at the airbase, note the steps. ha. that is the delivery table at the clinic and Toni with the local health worker in Bewani.

SDA church here near Vanimo.  Picture of Toni making her first "rice basket". Baptism at the beach and a local house on the beach.