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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sunday, April 22, 2018

News from the bush

Greetings from the "bush" (jungles) of Papua New Guinea!

 Living in the jungle is quite different from the deserts of Arizona or the farmlands of Pennsylvania. We get rains several times a week--sometimes in small amounts and sometimes in large amounts that come very fast.  Flooding can happen quickly and then the water goes away surprisingly fast.  All the rain produces lots of humidity and green vegetation.  Plants grow quickly here if they have decent soil to grow in. Mildew is a big problem on the clothes, books and other household items.  It is surprising how fast it destroys things.

Last month we told you about the cooking school Toni was going to have along the border with Indonesia.  It went well, and the ladies and even some men seemed to enjoy it.  They especially liked the food she cooked up for them. It remains to be seen whether or not they will make it on their own!

Lingenfelters were here for about 2 ½ weeks to see what the project is like.  Stephen worked on the plane for about a week and the rest of the time helped with repair projects here at the base, which we really appreciated.  They also brought some much needed parts and supplies, which were a big help.  We are all praying for God's guidance on whether they should come work here long term or not.

This month, Len Sherwood has returned to work on our plane.  Unfortunately little work had been done on the plane in the last year since he left.  We had been promised it would be nearly finished except the engine and reinstalling the wings.  That didn't happen, so Len has had to spend his time doing the work we thought was already done.  The new engine did finally arrive at the shop after many delays and obstacles.  The devil really doesn't want this plane flying with the everlasting gospel to the people in remote areas.  We keep pressing forward as hard and fast as we can, and as God opens doors for us.  Len also brought us some supplies that we needed, plus is working for a month on the plane, so we are deeply grateful for his help!  We really need another airplane mechanic to come help get it finished! 

We have been spending many hours on the rough roads here doing ministry work out in the remote areas.  This last weekend, I drove about 11 hours in 2 days and next weekend looks like it will be about the same.  We have had to spend a lot of money on parts for the car this year, and Stephen was kind enough to help me install many of them.  The car (and us) takes a real beating with the "roads" here.   We are grateful for a sturdy vehicle that holds up well and for a God who keeps it running for us.  I can't think of a vehicle better suited or built for the job that we have.  God picked it out for us, and it has done a wonderful job for us.

We can't make plans for our visit to the US until we have our new visas in hand.  We are still hoping to visit this summer.

One of our lay missionary families, Isaac and Lonna, will have the church they built in an unreached area, dedicated this Sabbath.  We are so happy with all the hard work they have done.  Due to prior a commitment, we will not be able to attend the actual dedication.  We will be way out in the bush at another church conducting church services and the Lord's Supper.  There is always plenty of work to do here. 

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support.  God is hearing your prayers and blessings your gifts!  Thank you for your important part in spreading the gospel in this part of the bush.

Gary and Toni Lewis

www.lewisjungleministries.com

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

We have great beaches

Flowers in our yard

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Well worn Bible in church

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

PNG news

In our last letter we reported an earthquake in Vanimo. It was only a 5.1. Early this month up in the highlands about 230 miles from us, there was a 7.1 quake. Our house really shook and it lasted a very long time. There were many aftershocks of over 6 on the scale. We felt many of those as well.   I have an app on my phone that shows the earthquakes in our area when I can get to the internet. It's nice to see where they are and their strength.  Over 100 people were reported killed and many homes were destroyed by landslides and just by falling down.  Our house, which is built on steel posts 10' off the ground, did plenty of shaking. We suffered no damage or breakage here.  Angels camp here! We have seen several times lately where our angels have definitely watched over us here at our house, as well as on the road. The road to town has gotten worse due to rains and super overloaded logging trucks tearing it up. When there is even just a light rain on the road it becomes very slippery and the car slides very easily. Sliding off the road here can be very deadly, but as I said, our angels accompany us, for which we give our Heavenly Father thanks and praise.

Toni has been asked to do a nutrition class/vegetarian cooking demonstration for Wutung. This is a program being put on at a village next to the border with Indonesia and sponsored by ADRA.  They will have doctors and others from the hospital there doing medical consults and instruction, as well.  She was asked to prepare for 100 people.  So she has been really busy cooking gluten from scratch, making bread, buying food supplies, and preparing a power point presentation to present. She will give the lecture and demonstration the same day we pick up a family coming from the USA to visit us for a couple of weeks. He is an airplane mechanic who worked to get our plane ready to bring here initially, and is now considering coming here long term!  They are coming to see what it is like here and see if this is really where God wants them. They have 2 small children. One of the 2 weeks he is here, he will go up to Goroka to help with the maintenance work on our plane.  The new engine will arrive there tomorrow but there is a lot of work to be done before it is ready for the engine to be installed.  Another mechanic is coming from Michigan for the month of April just to work on our plane! We are so grateful for their help to get God's plane ready to fly again. In reality, even with all this help, it still will not be finished by the time they leave.  God will have to send some more help.

Toni has been telling a Bible story each morning at the local public school for grades K-2.  They are really enjoying it. There are about 60 students in the classroom, there are no desks, and only a few bring their own chair to sit on. Everyone else uses the floor.

We still get plenty of patients coming for treatment or medicines as the clinic down the road, is often out of medicine or closed.

We thank you for your part in making all this happen, without your prayers and gifts, we wouldn't be able to help as many as we do.  Thank you so much for putting your treasure in Heaven!  May God bless you in a special way.

Gary and Toni Lewis

 

www.lewisjungleministries.com

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

 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Local classroom K-2, one teacher 70 kids

Mowing grass at local school

Insect eating plants

Natures necklace

Small clinic in the bush

Monday, February 19, 2018

news update

Some of the things happening this month are:  Patient treatment, shaking house, extreme 4 wheeling, blessings, airplane engine arriving, etc. 

Most of our days here can be kind of mundane, but there are plenty of things happening to keep life in the bush from getting boring.  In the middle of January, one of our former lay missionaries brought their 11-year-old son to Toni, requesting some medication.  His knee was swollen and his leg was stiff and bent at a 90-degree angle, and pus was coming out of a puncture wound.  The clinic had started him on antibiotics and sent him home.  Toni tried to straighten the leg and it was frozen and the little movement she got just made the pus run out.  She told him and his parents they needed to bring him to our house everyday for physical therapy and wound care.  Three days later, there was no sign of him yet, so we went to his house in his village.  He was there and his leg was worse.  Toni tried to help him move it some but he didn't like the pain.  That is why they didn't come.  So I had a stern talk with the parents about acting like parents or else the boy would be crippled for the rest of his life and walk with a stick.  A couple of days later, they finally came again to the house.  The pus had stopped due to the antibiotics, but he still had very little movement of his knee.  So Toni started PT.  He didn't like it, but we would catch him when he went by our house to and from school each day.  After a week or so he noticed some improvement and started stopping on his own for help!  Today when he came, after 3 weeks of treatment, he can straighten his leg almost completely out. He doesn't use the stick to walk with now, and he can go up the stairs two at a time using the bad leg first!  He is so happy and smiling now, and we are so happy to see him walking again! In another week or so, he should be able to continue on his own, we hope!

There was a 5.1 earthquake centered in Vanimo (45 miles away) on Valentine's morning that woke me up, since our house is on stilts.  Nothing came off the shelves this time though.  There was one a week or so earlier too.

This last weekend we had planned to go visit a church way out in the bush that we haven't been to in over a year because the road there is bad.  When I have the plane, I can fly there in about 30 minutes and they have a nice airstrip.  We picked up the pastor and planned to spend the weekend with the church members.  For the first three hours of driving, the road was normal for here.  The last few miles into the village however, was a different story.   It was fairly dry, so we decided to try to make it.  It is in the mountains, so the road is very steep going up and down. That causes washout when it rains and the ruts were 2-3 feet deep. We were in 4WD and car was tilting side-to-side and catapulting us up and then down as we tried to navigate the ruts and holes.  It was all I could do to control the steering wheel, Toni was hanging onto the handles for dear life and the pastor was in the back getting tossed all about.  Then there were the low areas where we barely made it through the mud and covered the car with the flying mud. We got about half way on this road when I finally agreed to stop and turn around.  There was a dark rain cloud overhead and we knew if it started to rain, even just a little, we wouldn't be able to go anywhere and could be stuck there for days.  So I finally gave in, and turned back. We drove over 175 miles and it took 8.5 hours to do it.  The car was covered with mud when we got home. We will try again, but allow time to hike in and deliver supplies to the church that way if we still can't get there with the car.

The chickens ate our green tomatoes that we have been waiting for and trying to grow for many years.  However, two days later, we were given, big ripe tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, beans and onions (they are not in the market here except on occasion when shipped in and then they are very expensive) all for free from our friend in Vanimo! God is so good to us!

Our airplane engine is suppose to arrive this week in Port Moresby, then we will wade through customs etc, then it will be put on a flight to the highlands where it will be mounted onto our plane!  The prop is on the way to Australia to get overhauled too.  Maybe in a few months we can be flying again-- all in God's time.

Despite some set backs and the devil continuing to put road blocks in our way, God is still in control and is taking awesome care of us!  Praise the Lord for His goodness to us!

School has started here finally. Today we shared a Bible story with one classroom. Grades K-2, one teacher, 65 students, no desks, about a dozen brought their own small chairs, they bring their own writing board and sit on the floor. Third grade teacher has as many students as well. Want to teach like that?

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. They make a big difference here in the bush.

 

Gary and Toni Lewis

 

www.lewisjungleministries.com

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

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Portable sawmill in the bush

GodPod with a cigar

Getting towed up the mountain

Listening to GodPod

House we stayed in

Yes the porch and that side of house has a slop to it!

Mountain road

adventures

Adventurous Walkabout!

Our lay missionary family, Isaac and Lonna have been after us for some time to make a trip out to a village along the boarder of Indonesia.  They have family there and were requesting that we come to share some DVD pictures about creation and the end of the world prophecies.

On Monday, we finally worked it all out so we could go.  Not knowing how far it was, or how long it would take-- and they said there were lots of mountains to cross—we knew we would need to stay overnight.

Of course, many church members wanted to go with us for the adventure, but we limited it five, because of space and weight, (habits of being a pilot).

We stopped to pick up the first two ladies, and while they were loading their things a couple came up to Toni with two young babies.  The lady said, "Do you remember the lady you took to hospital that had delivered one twin and the second one couldn't come out"?  Well, here they are, both doing fine.  While we were traveling to Vanimo to take the mother to the hospital, the grandmother had asked Toni for a suggestion of name for first one. Toni suggested Joy.  The second one they named Faith, so we met Faith and Joy!   It was nice to have a happy story as we began our trip.

A few miles after starting out, we had to ford a big river that at the moment was low but still was running fast and wide and was over three feet deep.  It helps to have a snorkel on the car.  We climbed steep mountain logging roads using low gear just to get up and then low gear again to save the brakes going down the other side.  We did this over and over with very deep drop-offs on one side.  The jungle was beautiful to see, but the road was not very good.  We came to the top of a mountain, over 4,500 feet, and they were doing some major roadwork.  We had to wait an hour for them to clear a path for us to get through.  It was very steep and I wondered how we would return, especially if it should rain and become muddy.  The village of Waris is on the border and is only about 35 miles from home, but took over 2 hrs of driving to get there.  

The elected chief of the area took us around and told everyone to come see our pictures at the school at 5:30 p.m. Then they gave us an empty teacher's house to spend the night in.  We slept on the floor and there was a tank outside with some water in it.  During the night, the rats had fun running on the metal roof and keeping us awake.  We had planned to show the pictures on the grass in front to the classrooms, but about 2 hrs before we were going to start, big dark clouds moved in over the mountains signaling rain.  I asked the Lord to hold off the rain so we could show the pictures and that people would come.  It rained for about 20 minutes getting the ground wet and muddy.   So we decided to use an empty classroom, which worked out better anyway!  The rain stopped well before the people came.  God knew best!  Nobody came until about a half hour late, a man showed up and said that we couldn't have a program in this village.  We finally got him to agree it to it because w we were showing pictures.  A few kids started to show up then, and another angry man showed up and was shouting at the kids to leave and that we had to leave right away, also.  He said" this is a Catholic village and you can't have meetings here.  I reminded him that PNG is a Christian nation and has freedom of religion.  That didn't seem to help, but he didn't expect my response and didn't seem to know how to respond.  Then he started in again.  We told him we were invited there and were going to show pictures, not hold preaching services. He thought about it and then decided that the pictures were okay. Then the people became to come about an hour late.  We showed health videos, Amazing Facts videos of where the devil and sin came from (Cosmic Conflict) and also one of what the Bible says will happen in the last days (Final Events).  When we finished, we had about 70 in attendance and they asked us to please come back and share more!  We left them a very large bag and box of used clothes, and some God Pods!

We left this morning wondering what the road and river crossing would be like after the rain.  The road was okay until we got to where they were working on it.  We had to wait again for about an hour before they let empty logging trucks come down the road and then a large dozer came down to us and towed us up the mountain until we reached the top.  We would have never made it and most likely torn out our clutch. It was very steep and muddy.  When we reached the river, it was about the same level as it had been yesterday since it didn't rain on this side of the mountain.

The devil tried so many ways to stop us, but God kept intervening to get our message out and to return us safely home!

We will put some pictures on our blog site and FB.

Your prayers and donations all help to make this possible. Thank you so much.

Gary and Toni Lewis

www.lewisjungleministries.com

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

 

 

Twins Faith and Joy

Thursday, January 4, 2018