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, August 14, 2016

Life and death

Life and death in many ways are very different here than where we come from, but they are also very real, and we all have love and feelings for one another.  We all rejoice when a newborn arrives, and we are deeply saddened when one member dies.  How we express these feelings and deal with the situation is very different in many ways in different cultures. 

Just two days ago, a church member lost his five year-old son to malaria in a village about eight miles away.  That is a fair walk to the health post for treatment and medicine.  He was one of four children.  I went and prayed with the family and friends and spoke with them about the promises of the resurrection and that the child is now resting until Jesus calls him forth from his grave.  They wail here as a way of expressing their loss, similar to what I image they did in the Bible.  Today, I had to go back to the village for another reason, and I ended up at this family's home again. The father took me to the gravesite behind his house. He had just completed a small roof over the mound of dirt and hung some plastic flowers under the roof.  He said he was going to do more to it to finish it up.  He then brought me a chair to sit on next to the site.  After a bit, he asked me if I would say a few things.  Again I shared that Jesus has overcome death and that if the parents will remain faithful, Jesus will raise him to life everlasting, and will put their son back in their arms again when He returns!  I have had no training in doing this sort of thing, and I just asked the Holy Spirit to give me words.  I hope that somehow I was able to comfort the father.

When we were done, the father called his oldest child, seven years old maybe, over and showed me that his lower arm was in a sling and wrapped up.  He said they are supposed to go to town in a couple of days to have a cast put on because it is broken.  I said I am going tomorrow, would that be ok?  He said sure as the PMV (local transport here) is too expensive for him right now. (They don't put a cast on a broken bone right away, they wait for several days or weeks before doing it)

Last week at another one of our churches, an older lady died from a family with more resources, and she has a cement tomb with a roof over it.  These are rare out here in the bush.

Our plane needs an inspection and some things fixed on it before I can fly again, so we are grounded at the present time.  We are trying to find a mechanic who has enough time to come and take care of it for us.  Do you know anyone who would like to take a mission trip to repair an airplane?  I have funds for the airfare for the mechanic.

The other night our worker/security guy who sleeps in the hanger, heard a noise and thought I had come out to get something. He checked and didn't find me. He went back and sat down at his desk and happened to look up, there he saw a 5ft+ snake hanging from the joist above his head. His dispatched it quickly with his long bush knife.

Just a side note, we are in the middle of winter here and the other night it got down to 72 degrees Fahrenheit and it felt a bit cool.  That is the lowest we have seen it here.  Today we are in the 90's, again.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.  Knowing God is still taking care of us and has us under His wings, helps us to keep pressing on.  Some days are more challenging than others, but the Bible says to rejoice in all things! We are trying to do that, although it is not always easy!

Blessings to you,

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