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.

Monday, May 26, 2014

May Progress report

Last month we told you about the airplane arriving here in PNG.  It has been patiently sitting in a borrowed hanger since then. We are still working to get an exemption from customs since it is an air ambulance and non-commercial. We have yet to receive it but everyone we talk to say it should be given, no problem--the only problem is we don't have it yet.  They are asking for $10,000 for customs if we don't get the exemption.

Two weeks ago we were notified that our supply container arrived in Lae (south of us a few hundred miles), and needed to be inspected by customs and quarantine.  They said each item had to be inspected--in other words, unload the container. So I made a trip last week to Lae to be there for the inspection.  The day that I was there, it rained or drizzled all day.  My agent and I met with the customs people about noon, when they showed up to work, and told them why we are here and what we are doing.  We explained that most of the items in the container were donated by friends in America, and are to help us reach remote villages with medical help.  After our visit, the director decided we would only have to open the doors, look inside, and then close it back up; since it wasn't good weather for unloading anyway.  She also lowered the duty fees by 40%.  We had hoped for a complete exemption, like we had requested; but we are happy that at least they lowered it some.  If all goes well, it should be put on the boat next week for its trip here to Vanimo. Then, we will put it on a truck to get it to Bewani. The Health Department here is paying the boat charges from Lae to Vanimo for which we are very grateful.

Hopefully we can get it to Bewani about the same time the volunteers arrive here from Texas.  They are going to help put up the airplane hanger, which is in the container. The roofing for the hanger just arrived here in Vanimo.

Sunday, we went to work on the house in Bewani, when we were halfway home, there was a steep hill that was very muddy and slick, that was mostly blocked by a logging truck.  We were in 4-wheel drive, but were unable to get around it, so we had to back down the hill and spend the night in the car.   We had a helper who worked with us on the house and our puppy with us.   Monday morning, the road was still impassable, so we turned around, and went another way that was twice as far.  I guess we need to be a little better prepared for the unexpected here. We didn't have extra food, fuel or way to communicate.  Fortunately, we were able to buy some extra fuel from a church member there.  I guess we will take our satellite phone with us next time, since there is no cell service there.

While I was in Lae, the family I was staying with gave us some fruit, and one item was a 20+ lb. watermelon that I brought home to celebrate with for Toni's birthday. This was the first watermelon we have had here; they are not available here in Vanimo. It was awesome!

Thank you for your prayers and support. They mean so much to us and make it possible to keep things going forward. 


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.org for cc or online donations


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