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, December 31, 2007

Operation Recovery

Happy New Year Everyone! A lot of things have happened in our life this year!! Now we are ending it in a few short hours down in the jungles of Venezuela!! The Friday before Christmas, we flew in the Cessna 172 up to the city of Ciudad Bolivar to get the paper that said we could remove the crashed 182 from the jungle and we also signed a contract to buy another Cessna 182. We will use it here at the current airbase until the other one is repaired or replaced, then it will go with us to start our new base; after I get my license and training done Thanks to those of you who have prayed for this plane for us and those who are helping financially, so we can pay for it. We still have to have some important safety features installed once we actually get the plane. It will be another month or two before we get the plane. The paper work here takes awhile! What are you still waiting for, go immediately to wagering requirements calculator now is the time to start playing and winning!

Sabbath we made an emergency flight to bring in a young lady who had been snake bitten while coming out of church. It was the type of snake where you have only 2 maybe 3 days to live without treatment. We had to stop and take fuel out; fly in to get her, and then reload the fuel. The airstrip into her village was too short for extra fuel and me. (I waited with the fuel at another strip). Then on Sunday, Bob, our radio operator and myself flew out to the crash site and removed all the avionics and seats from the inside of the upside down plane and flew them home.

On Wednesday, Bob flew the radio operator (Celso) and me out to the crash site again so we could start taking the plane apart. His plan was to go back and bring in 2 mechanics to help us. We planned to have it apart and ready to put in a dugout canoe in one day. Well things didn’t go as planned. The mechanics didn’t show up until noon on Thursday. Celso and I stayed out there Wednesday and Thursday night. That was an experience too long to describe here. We had to take the tail, wings, and motor off the fuselage so we could haul it all up the bank where it had gone down. It had gone off the end of the runway, and then flipped over. (In case you didn’t hear, this is what happened: Bob was landing on this very short strip the day after we got here when he got a strong gust of a tail wind that pushed him over the end of the runway and flipped it upside down. None of the four on board was hurt.) Then we hauled everything the length of the runway and then down a very steep and long path down to the river where we loaded all of it onto a single dugout canoe (50′ long).

Friday morning we finished getting it loaded by about 7 a.m. There was a person contracted to put his 40 hp motor on the canoe to take us up river. He left in another boat with the motor. We finally got someone to do it for us about noon. It was a fantastic 4 hr trip up river–except for the 30 min, downpour that chilled and soaked us. We saw lots of mining operations, birds, plant life etc. We arrived at the beach where we were expecting to find a truck to load the plane onto to take us out. It was late (that’s ,normal for here). It came 1.5 hrs after dark. We had to load the big parts onto a Ford 350, the engine into a Toyota 4×4 and smaller parts into a Land Cruiser. The “road” (gully washes, rivers, holes big enough to bury the plane in etc) out of there to the next town, where our school’s driver was waiting, took us 2.5 hrs of bone-jarring, plane-crunching, towing, to get there!! It was nearly midnight when we got there, so we decided to “sleep” until 4 a.m., and only move the engine and stuff from the land cruiser to the school’s truck. The main part of the plane would stay in the 350 the rest of the way home.

We got home about 8 AM Saturday morning. Very tired, very hungry, very sore. We had planned on being gone 1-2 days and it ended up taking 3.5 days. Bob was out on a medical emergency flight when we got there, so he radioed in and said, just unload the plane into our house!! I got back on the radio and said, “no, not enough room, don’t need to put bent up sheet metal in my house. We can put the engine in there, but the rest can sit outside. We ended up with the engine and big parts outside and the small stuff in our house–along with the construction materials that were already in there–under the clothes line! Kinda like living in a warehouse!. We now have “redneck” furniture in our house–kind of like Tennessee!!!

I only killed one snake while out there, then when I got home that night I found a snake in our bathroom on the shelf by the sink. Toni was very glad I was here to take care of it!! Turned out to be non-poisonous, but one can’t be too careful around here!!! Bob and Neiba left yesterday for the USA. They will be there for a month. They have some meetings to attend this week. So if you were wondering what we do down here for the holidays and for excitement, now you have an idea!! The stories I have now rival the ones I used to tell from Bolivia! Toni had her own “fun” here while I was out on my adventure. Hope you have a great new year. The Lord is coming VERY SOON and we pray, each of us will be ready.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Taking Apart the Plane

Gary has been in the jungle since Wednesday am working to get the crashed plane out. (The one the base pilot, Bob, crashed the day after we arrived here). They were supposed to arrive home last night, but didn’t make it. They didn’t have enough help. They had to take the plane apart and haul the parts up a bank, down the runway, and then down the other bank. Then they had to meet a motorized canoe that would take it upriver 3 hrs. to a place where a truck could meet them. (the road is too rough for the school truck–has to be 4-wheel drive) The truck was to take them to another site where the school truck was waiting to haul the plane back to the airbase.

It’s been quite an operation. There were only 3 of them to work on the plane, most of the time. Celso is the radio man, and he had to be in charge of communications–lots of phone calls and radio calls to make, arrange for the boat and truck, someone to cook for them,; so, he was busy doing lots of other things, as well. Bob, the base pilot, also had to fly everybody back and forth, and some of the plane parts. So, he wasn’t there all the time. Gary was the only one there all the time. Two mechanics from the shop were supposed to be there to help, but they showed up 1 1/2 days late, and only worked 3 hrs. Bob had to haul them back and forth in the plane. They finally got the plane parts to the riverbank–a little late.
The guy they hired to do the canoe had just left to do something else. He left his motor with another boat. They couldn’t get that driver to do the job. It took them all morning to find someone to take the plane upriver. They were supposed to meet the truck at 12 noon. It takes 3 hrs. to go upriver. They were very late. When they got there, the truck had just turned around and left to do something else. By the time the truck got there, it was dark.

We can’t fly here after dark–due to no lights on the airstrips or anywhere. So, Bob couldn’t bring everybody home. He had to go out on an emergency flight this am, which i was hoping to go on, but couldn’t. So Gary & Celso will probably come back on the truck this am. It’s a 4 hr. drive. I know they will be tired, hungry and ready for a shower and some rest!! Anyway, i’ve rattled on too long.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Leaving for the Jungle

This morning I am leaving for the jungle for a few days to help take apart the crashed plane. We will take the wings, tail, and engine off; haul it up the steep embankment to the “runway” then down to the other end. We will take it down the embankment to the river to load on a dugout canoe. They think we can put it all on the one canoe.! Then we have a 3 hr trip up river to where we can load it onto a truck from the academy. From there, we will truck it 500 miles north to the repair shop. Hope to have it done by tomorrow night, but may take until Fri. We would really like to have the plane in the shop by Fri night if all goes well. The place where we are working is very hot and humid with lots of flying insects and creepy crawlies. Should be quite an adventure!! When we were there a couple of days ago taking out the instruments and seats, there were lots of butterflies. There is lots of humidity, and it is very remote. The “airstrip” is very short so we have to take fuel off and on at another longer strip before we go in. Toni will stay here and keep things going here. Will try to take some pictures that will show some of the fun.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Venezuelan Plane Found!

Greetings from the jungle: we have been waiting for over 4 weeks to get the Cessna 172 finished up, and down here so that we would have something to fly. Maybe this next week if we are lucky, we’ll be able to fly—but there are no guarantees!!

We hope to have the final paper work to start extracting the crashed one out of the jungle by tomorrow– if the promises hold!?? If these things don’t happen next week, then it will most likely be after the first of the year. The elections are over now and the reforms were voted down. The president is still in until 2012 so things could still….

We missed it in the last bulletin, but we are now the proud grandparents to a granddaughter born to our daughter, Katherine and her husband Kalyn, about a month ago. We hope to see before too long!

We have found a 1970 Cessna 182 for sale down here that we are negotiating to buy for our mission project. We would like to have it soon after the first of the year and it is ready to fly. We would use it here at the airbase to do medical flights, and also to do my training. When that is done, and the other one is repaired; we would then take it where we plan to start a new base in Amazonas. It has low hours and is the best we have found for the money. It costs about $85K US. A large down payment has come in for it and we may be able to trade the 172 in for half of the cost or GMI will raise that half for us, in lieu of trading the 172. It will need about $8K US in improvements ( i.e. STOL kit, wing extensions, STC for auto gas, and large tires) so that it will be safer and cheaper to fly in the jungles here. A 182 would be a much more powerful and safer bird for us to fly and even cheaper than the 172 when you figure speed and less number of flights. We are amazed at how the Lord has provided thus far for this project, and we believe He will help us raise the balance of $28K in time.

As we celebrate the holidays coming up, let us remember the great gift that God gave each of us by sending His son to die for us that we might live with Him! May the new year bring us each closer to Him Thanks for your prayers and support!

Friday, November 30, 2007


It’s late Fri afternoon, we will see if we can type this and send it yet today. Never know–with the internet the way it is! (It’s like changing the speed of dial-up to high speed in the reverse– much worse than dial-up).

David Gates got here last Fri night, and left yesterday afternoon. He was here only Sabbath and yesterday. Becky and a student from Bolivia were here the whole time. They ate at our house and helped with the food expenses. It gave us a chance to get better acquainted with them. They have their own little churuata they stay in when here.

Monday, I went with Becky to a small village about 1 hr by road (very rough road) (15 min by air) called Chirikeyen. They have operated a layman’s bible school there in the past. It has been closed the last two years due to lack of a director and support. Anyway we found a new director, (a teacher retiring here who has retirement pay so won’t cost us anything) and he will start getting things ready in the next couple of weeks. The thatch roofs have to be repaired and some minor repairs on buildings. They hope to start classes soon after the first of the year. The new district pastor is all fired up about it. He wants to have laymen go for a month to study, then to an unentered village for 2 months, then attend 2 weeks of classes; then 2 more months in another village and 2 more weeks of training. I will be David’s representative here for the school, will also handle the overseas money for it; and help coordinate movement of people and supplies via the airplane. I can’t do the flying myself until I have a license here, and get checked out in the plane. Bob will help with that, until then. We also plan to use these students in our district when we get there.The students will be taught how to give bible studies, grow a garden, teach first aid, and keep the church running when a pastor isn’t there.

Wed night, Becky was nearly electrocuted. She had gotten out of the shower to answer the phone. She was still wet, and needed to turn on a light to get a phone number. When she reached to turn the lamp on ,it shocked her and she couldn’t let go. No one was near enough to hear her. She realized she couldn’t get away. She cried out to the Lord and suddenly Someone (we think, an angel) knocked it out of her hand and it ended up on the other side of the room. She ended up on the floor. She has a small burn on her hand and a very sore shoulder. She can’t raise her arm up. That is the 3rd person the devil has tried to kill in 6 weeks. Myself, in my plane, then 2 weeks later Bob, in his crash here; and now her. The devil doesn’t want us here. Time is very short, and he is pulling out all the stops!! Thankfully we serve a God who is still in control and has won the battle.

David is anxious for us to get our new area opened up. Now he believes that the 172 is too small and we need a 182. So now we have to raise the money for one. Bob needs a 206 here because he flies a lot more people. We had leads this week on a 182 and a 206. Both are only 10 years old and have low hours. We could have had them both for about $110,000 US. The 206 is sold and we are still trying to track down the 182 to see if it is still for sale. If we can get good ones at that price, we won’t repair the crashed one. God knows our needs here and He will provide for us some way. We would appreciate your continued prayers in this matter. David wants to open another area north of here in the delta with a float plane and a launch. Then the union asked this week if we could open a fourth base in the Northwest region. The harvest is ripe, the workers are few!! Guess this is kinda long so will sign off. We just wanted to give you a short update.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Growing Patience . . .

Life here continues to be interesting to say the least! We’ve had: 1) Uninvited house guests during the day and sometimes at night– i.e. large rats, very large spiders heading for your bed in the middle of the night, frogs in the bathroom, this a.m. it was a mass invasion of large red ants, in minutes they were swarming the kitchen and living space.

2) Tornado (unheard of here) touches down in a town a couple of miles from here and removes roofs, trees, and power lines to about 20 homes. Pathfinders and the village next to us take food and clothing to them. During a downpour while there, everyone stood under a churuata (upside down cone with open sides made from thatch) and the pathfinders sang to them and talked to them about Jesus and His love for all of us. The military and government officials were there and witnessed it all.

3) Toni is learning to bake bread here in conditions she isn’t used to, but doing very well. She is turning out good meals even though there isn’t much to work with most of the time and it is all from scratch. Amazing how far she makes the money stretch, yet she worries she spends too much. What an inspiration she is here.

4) Toni is playing the organ and keyboard for the church here at the academy. She always seems to be busy. (no surprise if you know her).

5) We had hoped to get permission to start extracting the crashed Cessna 182 out of the jungle this week, but received word this morning that the inspector is delaying it yet again, maybe another week yet or ….. We will have to take the wings off and then have a helicopter take it to a road so we can load it on a truck to ship it 500 miles north to have it repaired. We had also hoped to get the Cessna 172 out of the shop where it has been for the last 18 months, so we could do some flights while the other one is getting repaired. We used the money you sent us last month to try to pay off most of the final work needed on it. Hopefully we can get it soon so the medical flights can resume to some degree. Sunday there was an urgent call for a 22 yr old female to be flown out. There weren’t any other planes available to take her out, and we couldn’t, of course. What we really need here to be somewhat safe, is a couple of Cessna 206’s. The 172 and 182 are really too underpowered for what we do. God is able and willing to provide for all our needs. Maybe more patience is needed yet.

6) Gary has been learning how to plant and take care bananas and planting mango trees for future food needs. He has spent lots of time leveling grassy areas so it is easier to mow. Lots of mowing to do here.

7) Bob (chief pilot) is in the capital getting his annual medical exams and paperwork for license renewal. It takes a couple of days and he has to see 5 doctors! Paper work and signatures take lots of time here.

8) After days and weeks we think we have Internet at our house now on a sporadic basis, usually best early in the morning and it is very very slow, but we are grateful to have it. God is so good to us. We even have a phone line to our house with a phone. It doesn’t ring as often as it did in the states.

9) The building (house) we are staying in, is a block building with a concrete roof that leaks a lot. It was built to be a meeting/dining hall for groups. It has a kitchen area with a nice stove, 2 refrigerators and several sinks. We live in the kitchen area, as it is drier there. It has a bathroom with a shower, and we even have a washing machine.

10) We are in the “dry season” here. Rains every couple of days or so, Lots of clouds and pretty thunderheads everyday. We have taken a few hikes up into the jungle and it is so fascinating to see all the plant and wildlife. We have only killed one poisonous snake (by the airplane hanger) so far. It was nice to have a lawn mower in hand when he raised his head. So we hope this gives you a little glimpse into our life here, We don’t want it to sound too bad, we are enjoying life here and learning lots. Sure hope to get back in the air soon though. Love to soar with the eagles and the need for medical flights is so great here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pathfinders to the Rescue

Pathfinders to the rescue in Venezuela. Friday night, Nov. 2, tragedy struck the small village of San Antonio which is just a few miles from the school and airbase. We were having one of the torrential down pours, when a funnel descended over San Antonio. It took off the roofs of 15-20 homes and half the roof off the school building there. This village has very few if any Adventists in it. Sabbath the call went out for help. The small village of Maurak, which is mostly SDA, and is next to the academy and the airbase responded. Sabbath afternoon with rain showers off and on the people of Maurak went around collecting food and clothes for San Antonio. The Pathfinders were in Class A uniform doing their part. We loaded up trucks to haul people and the collected items to the village. Upon arrival it was easy to see the damage. Homes with no roofs, just walls standing, trees and power lines down all over. People were gathering up the pieces of roofing and trying to salvage what they could and starting to repair the roofs.

In the middle of the village was a large Churuata (a round upside down cone, covered with palm thatch and open around the sides ). They began to unload the food and clothing inside the churuata and the village leaders were helping. The military came and was assessing the damage as well. Dark clouds began to form and when it started to down pour everyone went to the churuata , including the military.

Then the pathfinders in class A uniform began to sing to everyone. They all had to stay and listen or get drenched when leaving. After several nice songs, the leader had a few words about Jesus and His love for everyone. Then they prayed, about then the rain let up so people began to go about the clean up again. The rain brought them all together though to hear the singing and devotional.

Then the pathfinders helped organize all the food and clothes so the village leaders could give it out to those who needed it worst. There was a very large table stacked high with food and lots of bananas and potatoes under the table. There were also lots of clothes. These all came from the Adventist village of Maurak. They don’t have much to give either, but they gave what they could and the Lord blessed! It appeared to me that He had multiplied the food to make it go further. I’m sure it made a great impression on the people there. There were also many government leaders there as well as the military, to witness this service to the community.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our House

We´ve moved into our temporary residence. It is much better than we expected. We have a decent mattress on the floor, bathroom and kitchen with stove, fridge, and washing machine that floods the floor.

We arrived at the airbase Wed. pm. Thurs. I was to go on a flight to take patients home, at the last minute 3 government officials needed a ride to investigate a situation. So, I got bumped, and waited in the airport. The pilot, Bob, was to return in an hour. An hour and a half later, I received word that he had crashed. No one was hurt. He got a gust on his tail and couldn´t stop by the end of the runway. The plane hit a log and flipped over. So, we are without wings at the moment. I´m thankful that I wasn´t in the plane–for a second crash in 15 days. God is good! Tomorrow, I´m going to the city to work on getting my Venezuelan pilot´s license. The plane that crashed was a Cessna 182 that we hope to start taking out of the jungle in a couple of weeks to get it repaired. What we really need is a Cessna 206 to really be safe here. That´s what everyone else flies. So we are praying for a 206. In the meantime, we are doing some of the projects that there isn´t usually time for. Toni is trying to get food and supplies from town and get our place cleaned and fixed up.

We´re enjoying our time here so far. Yesterday we took a hike up in the mountains in the jungle. It was a great view of the school, and the waterfall was beautiful. It´s the water source for the small village near where we are living. We hope to get internet at the base soon.

Coming to town to do it is difficult. Bob (the other pilot) is trying to work on his computer. His motherboard went out. We´ve only been able to get on about once a week. It´s great to hear from you. Things are expensive here, and the money is going faster than we anticipated, but we´re doing ok. The exchange rate is about 4,000:1–makes it fun to count the money. Reminds us of Bolivia!

It´s warm and humid, but a little cool at night. We´re still waiting to get our missing duffle bag. A taxi driver friend in another city was able to get it from the airlines–so, we hope to get it one of these days. Gary only has the jeans he wore–no other pants. Fortunately he has some shirts and underwear. Hope to get it this week. Most of the missing cooking stuff we´ve been able to borrow for now.

Please pray for a Cessna 206. Thanks for your support and prayers on our behalf.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We Arrived!

We arrived in Puerto Ordaz last night and got to our hotel by taxi in Cuidad Bolivar at 11:30 pm. The Nortons had arranged the taxi and reserved the hotel for us. We met up with them this am. Unfortunately, one of our big duffle bags was lost in Miami or Puerto Ordaz. It either contains most of our clothes or our cooking stuff. We filed a complaint, and hopefully we will get it back. They said it would arrive on today´s flight, but now the flights for today are cancelled. We are way in the interior already, so I hope we can get it. Please pray that we’ll be able to get it back. We are thankful to actually be here and have a safe trip. Thank you for your prayers and support. We will wait here to finish the 50 hr. check on the airplane, then we’ll probably fly out tomorrow or the next day to go to the airbase in Santa Elena. Hopefully, we can get our bag before we leave here . . . We’ll write more later.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Plane Crash!

We are finally ready to depart on our mission adventure to Venezuela. We have been preparing for this for a long time and after several delays, we are finally set to go. It is amazing how the Lord has led us to this point. The devil has been working extremely hard trying to discourage us with major financial set- backs and even tried to kill Gary last week. But when you are committed to serving the Master, these set- backs become His problem to deal with and He is able!!

The book of Job has taken on a more personal meaning in the past few months. Job had no idea why he was going through his ordeal yet he trusted God and refused to “curse God and die”. We know that the devil doesn’t want us to go, but God has said, “Do you trust me; are you willing to follow me no matter what”? Our faith has faltered at times, but it has grown as we keep reminding ourselves that God is still on His throne and still in control!! Praise the Lord!!

I was finishing up my night flying requirements in Prescott in August, on a very dark night flight over desolate areas of Arizona. We were trying to find a time to fly in between the monsoons. We discovered the next day that a value had stuck and we were flying on 3 of the 4 cylinders and didn’t know it. Oh the love of God! That is why we always ask the Lord to fly with us, but didn’t realize at the time that the angels were working overtime so that we didn’t have to land in the middle of nowhere that night. We had a buyer come the next day for the plane, but he backed out when we found an oil leak, and discovered that we would have to have it overhauled. That was an expense and delay that we didn’t plan on. But knowing that the angels fly with us is a tremendous strength.

Last week, I went to Prescott to do some flying in our plane, since I had some extra time and still needed more hours. I needed to finish my check ride for my commercial rating, also. It was the first time that I had flown the plane since it had been overhauled. The maintenance shop had flown it to Phoenix for me to pick up there. On Wednesday morning, Oct. 10, I took off from there, heading to Prescott. When I was northwest of Prescott, the engine suddenly lost power and made lots of noise. I radioed the airport and told them of the problem, but I was still 8.5 miles away. I tried everything I could think of to bring the engine back to life, without success. The wind was gusting a lot. I had to set it down in a rural area NW of town. Unfortunately, I lost altitude too fast and it bounced and flipped. A passerby helped me get out of my seat where I was hanging upside down. I have no memory of the crash or getting out. I was life-flighted to Flagstaff Medical Center. After CAT and MRI scans, no broken bones or long term damage was found. Praise the Lord!! After seeing pictures and talking to those who saw the wreck, they can’t believe I’m still alive, let alone was able to walk away. My angel was working very hard to spare my life that day. I was in the hospital only 24 hours. Toni flew out to help me, and we had a car to drive around, thanks to my sisters. Our friends in Prescott and Phoenix were a tremendous help, in many ways. I have a lot of soreness and stiffness yet, but am very grateful the outcome was as good as it is.

Monday morning, Oct 22, we leave for Venezuela. Things aren’t looking too good right now in that country for doing medical aviation or gospel flying. But God is still in control. If He wants us there, He will provide a way to do it. If that door closes, there are several other countries where we can go to serve in the same way. We just are trusting that the Lord will lead us day by day to accomplish His will.We want to thank those of you who have been praying for us. Prayer is a powerful tool against the fight with the devil –”for we fight not against flesh and blood but higher powers”.

Those who have supported us with your time, your homes, help and donations have been greatly appreciated too. Thank you so much!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Preparing for Venezuela

Some of you haven’t heard from us in awhile and we would just like to give you an update on our progress heading towards Venezuela. We left Prescott Aug 12 after selling our home, and then went to Utah and Idaho to visit family and friends. We are now in Washington DC to spend a couple of days with our 2 boys and take care of paper work at the embassy. Next we will go to North Carolina to finish up my commercial rating for flying.

We are still trying to sell our plane that had to have an engine overhaul after a night flight we took. A valve stuck and took out a push rod and lifter. It should be out of the shop next week. We are grateful the angels were flying with us that dark, moonless night. We didn’t even know we had a problem until we found a large puddle of oil under the plane the next day.

Our niece is getting married the end of Sept here in Tenn. so we will wait and attend that, then leave for Venezuela about Oct 2. We understand that things are not the greatest with the government down there but we are moving ahead until the Lord says to go elsewhere.

Thank you for your prayers and support.We would love to hear from you, also.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Before I ask, He Will Answer!

Just to let you know, good things happen too! God just performed another one of His specials on our behalf just minutes ago!!! I just recieved an email from Nortons informing us that I would need high school diploma and log books, and have them checked at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. I knew about the log books, but not the diploma. I packed them last week in the front of the van. The house is nearly packed. I said “Lord what will I do now?” I walked into my closet and there on the shelf that I had already packed, was a small box; I took it down and it said “Gary’s graduation stuff”. I opened it and there was my academy diploma!! I hadn’t seen that box sitting there all week!! It is so neat to see God’s hand move on our behalf!!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Missionaries Again?

We were missionaries about 30 years ago in Bolivia, South America. We have each recently been impressed, that we need to do it again. We had planned on waiting until Charlie got out of college to do this, but we feel we need to do it now.

We became convinced that God wanted us to do some volunteer, self-supporting work in Venezuela in about February of this year. We came down here to visit the end of January. Gary was online looking and came across this project of Gospel Ministries. David Gates is the president of this organization. He e-mailed the project in Venezuela, and they responded right away. They told us we should come down and check it out. The ministry consists of flying people out of the jungle for medical care and also taking pastors and lay workers into the jungle villages to spread the Gospel. They are inaccessible except by canoe and foot. It takes some of these people several days or a week to hike out of the jungles.

Gary was already a pilot–he had a plane at PUC our freshman year, but had to sell it to pay for his school bills. He had gotten his license current more than a year and was flying some. We bought a small plane and he started flying in earnest.

We quit our jobs, then sold our house in August. It was only on the market for 1 week and we had 2 offers. Gary got his instrument certification, and finished his commercial license–except the final flying test–he did the written one. He had trouble getting the test scheduled because of illness, plane in the shop, or unavailable instructor.

We are now packing up the house and getting rid of a lot of stuff. We are saving a few things in a 20 foot container, so we’ll have something to start with, when we come back to the US.