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.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

bit by Malaria

Bit by Malaria!

Most of you who receive this, live in the North where the temps are cold.  For those of us living in the South, it is summer and hot.  Out here in the bush though, it is always hot and humid.  We want to wish you a special Christmas season as we remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ--without which there would be no hope of Heaven.  May this season of reflection help us to remember all the things we have to be grateful for and the hope of a better life to come.  Many have gone to their rest this year and their absence is keenly felt.  Life here on this earth is fragile and we don't know how many more days any of us has.

Life here in the remote bush is even more fragile.  Healthcare is very limited, but at least there is some.  Most of the people here have to walk several miles to get to a small clinic for any kind of treatment and carry or drag along two or three babies with them, as well.  Once in awhile they might be lucky enough to catch a ride on a passing pickup, but most have to walk.

 After three years here, I have finally been bitten by Malaria.  There are three common types here, and everyone gets one of them on a regular basis.  I happened to get the most deadly strain, called PF (plasmodium falciparum).  It can lead to cerebral malaria, with a higher mortality rate.  I suddenly had a new appreciation for those here that suffer from it regularly.  Just walking the short distance from our house to the clinic in the sun and heat, helps me to appreciate more the struggle the people here have to get to health services.  We also learned that being expats and never having had it before means we get a more severe illness with more side effects—since we have don't have any immunity.  It has been a long week and a half and I'm still not well.  Toni has been a good (bossy) nurse as usual, and tried to help as best she can. The first three-day treatment didn't seem to resolve the illness, so they tried another treatment, and now I'm resting and continuing with meds to deal with the symptoms, and am impatiently waiting to see how things progress.

The internet has been getting worse here the last several months, and trying to get emails in and out has been a real challenge. I don't know how long it will take to get this out.  Today is Dec 20, but I don't know when you will actually get it.  The phone service here has gone out again for the last two months, as well.  It makes communication a bit hard!

We are most thankful for the 63 people who choose to be baptized this year and the large number that have requested studies so they can be next year! That is the largest number in this district in recent history. 2 weeks ago, the first baptism was held in the village of Ellis where one of our lay workers has been working! At this baptism, our pastor shared a story from a few years ago when he was conducting a baptism in another Province. There were about 20 to be baptized and before it started the husband came and said that if his wife was baptized, he would kill her with his bow and spear. The Pastor asked her what she wanted to do, she said, " I am ready to die, I must be baptized"! She was the last of the group to be baptized and the husband was on the bank with his bow and spear ready to fulfill his pledge. When she came up out of the water and started for the bank, he suddenly dropped his bow and spear and ran and gave her a hug, and said, "I want to be baptized too". When the pastor made his call then for those who wanted to prepare for the next baptism, this husband was first in line!  The power of the Holy Spirit was really present that day the Pastor said!

We pray you will be blessed during this holiday time, and as we prepare for the new year ahead.  From what little news we receive out here in the bush, things in the world don't look too good. We are praying that Jesus comes back very soon to end all this mess, but we each must first get ready to meet Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Gary and Toni Lewis


Video link;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f732snEKiMk&feature=youtu.be


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Mission Projects Inc.

P.O. Box 504

College Place WA 99324

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