Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Island Time Pictures

Picture 1: Mark and Gary take part in the welcoming ceremony....watch your ankles!

Picture 2: Candy is a big hit with the kids. Steve has a sudden following.
Picture 3: A health outpost on Kiruru Island
Picture 4: The resson we stock the shelves at the health outpost we visit. (Inside the outpost on Kiruru)
Picture 5: Singing praise songs around the fire with the village kids.

Jungle Adventure Pictures

Picture 1: The mission station in the jungle that we visited. Click on the picture to enlarge it.
Picture2: The airstrip that we landed on before our hour and a half float down the river.

Picture 3: Hiking through the rainforest back to the airstrip. We were joined by Heidi Greenlaw and her baby who were flying to Wewak for a visit with the doctor.
Picture 4: A CURE kit (medical supply kit) headed through the jungle to the mission health post.

Samaritan's Land

We are back in the States now and are trying to get caught up on everything while recovering from jet lag. The next few posts will have a lot of pictures so you can see what we were writing about during the trip.

The last day we had in PNG was spent in meetings with two members of parlament. The main reason for these meetings is to get a government title for our land in Wewak. The Pasa Clan gave Samaritan Aviation about five acres that sits on a green hill above the airport and looks over the bay and out to the Bismark Sea.

We plan to build our base of operation on this land and and have been working on a government title for three years. This trip was very successful in part because we were able to make significant progress towards a land title.

One picture is of our land and the other is of us standing with the Minister of Lands...Dr. Temu.

The lady on the right is Mobata Gamoga who works on behalf of Samaritan in Port Moresby, PNG's Capital

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Health Outpost

This picture is of one of the three health outpsts that we gave meds to during this trip. It is the only medical post available for five villages.


This picture is of us fixing the six wheeler for our missionary friends, the Greenlaws.

On The Way Home.

Today we are in Brisbane, Australia and will be flying home in the morning. It has been a very good trip and much has been accomplished.

We have not had an Internet service that was fast enough to post pictures till now so we are going to get caught up over the next several days.

The first one is of us when we landed at the small airstrip way back in the Sepik.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Big Meetings

Yesterday we went to a very lively church and Mark taught them a new song in English. Later we went to have dinner with Pastor Joe and the Pasa Clan who gave us the land. We got home late in the evening and packed up for an early morning flight to Moresby.

This morning we left Wewak before dawn and were picked up at the airport in Moresby by Mobata who is our assistant. We went directly to two separate meetings with members of Parliament. We met with the Minister for Health and the Minister for Lands and had two very good meetings. They both promised their assistance and the Minister for Lands said we should be done with everything on our land by July. We are cautiously optimistic.

Tomorrow we are leaving for Australia early in the morning and should be able to post a lot of pictures when we arrive.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Island Time

We had a full day of meetings with the hospital and government officials in Wewak yesterday and then left for Muschu, an island about twenty-five miles away. We arrived on the island just before dark and spent the night with our friend, George, who runs a small lodge that consists of grass huts with mats on the floor and mosquito nets. The island is spectacular with white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and turquoise water. We got to see spinner dolphins up close during the boat ride.

Last year we delivered a CURE kit to George’s village and showed the Jesus Film so they remembered us and met us at the beach with tropical flowers and a greeting song. We then put dinner on and played a quick game of water tag with the kids. After dark we sat around a fire on the beach and Mark played the guitar while we sang songs with several of the villagers. They have beautiful voices and enjoyed teaching us some of their songs.

The next morning we packed up the boats and headed to another village where we delivered a CURE kit and inspected a health outpost that we gave money towards during our visit last year. There was another greeting ceremony and Mark and Gary did a hop scotch dance thing with the villagers as part of the ritual. After several rounds of speeches we went through the medical supplies with the local nurse and then headed off for yet another village on a neighboring island.

We inspected a health post on Kiruru, the island, to see what they need and then headed back to Wewak after we had a quick lunch of noodles back at George’s place. On the way home we saw several small, blue flying fish that are able to fly about fifty yards. It was fun to watch them fly right beside the boat.

Tomorrow we will be going to church where Mark is going to sing and then will head up to our land for a quick tour and dinner with the Pasa Clan. Thanks for your prayers. We have been able to accomplish a lot this past week.

(We are having a hard time posting pictures with the slow internet connection here in Wewak but have we several good ones and will post them as soon as we are able.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jungle Adventure

We returned from the remote village yesterday but had quite an adventure while we were out there.

We met our pilot early in the morning and headed way back into the Sepik. We buzzed over the mission station to let them know we were landing and then descended into a valley and landed on the closest grass strip which is an hour and a half away by foot. The strip is alongside a river and is cut out of the jungle at the end of a long valley.

After landing we were met by our missionary friend, Greg Greenlaw, who had made the trek through the rainforest from the mission station to meet us. Greg is an amazing guy and has been living with a tribe that is eleven days walk from civilization for over ten years. He is translating the Bible into their native language and is also the only health care provider for miles and miles around. Although he has not had any formal medical training Greg and his wife have to treat the cases that are brought to them because they are the only option.

Since the mission station is down river from the airstrip we were able to jump in the river with inner tubes and float for an hour and half rather than trek. The locals were paid to carry our bags and we would catch an occasional glimpse of them when the trail and the river came together. It was funny to see a CURE kit carried on a pole the same way they carry a dead pig. The float was amazing and allowed us to visit with Greg and catch up on the latest news.

Their “car” as the call it, is a Polaris, six wheeler that has been broken down for the past six months. We brought the part they needed from the States and got to work right after a quick lunch. The “car” is very important to them and allows them to make the trip to the airstrip in only 20 minutes. We worked on it for several hours and finally got it fixed. People started yelling and running towards us when they heard it start. One native man dressed in only a tattered pair of shorts said, “thanks for fixing our missionary’s car.”

We also delivered the CURE kit full of medical supplies for their little clinic and took a tour of the village before going to the river with a bar of soap for our evening baths. Later that night we had dinner together and then climbed into bed for a much needed night of rest. Their house has a grass roof and is mostly made of “bush” materials.

We were supposed to leave the next morning early on the trek to the airstrip but woke up to a steady rain. After most of the day had passed we heard the short wave radio crackle with the voice of the pilot. He had found a way around the rain storm and would be landing in 45 minutes. This meant we were already late so we took off through the jungle and drizzle and sloshed through the mud for an hour and a half until we popped out of the jungle and on to the airstrip.

We finally made it back to Wewak and had several meetings the next day. The experience gave us a new found respect for the Greenlaws and the work they do.

Tomorrow we will have more meetings with the Hospital and local government officials before we head off in boats to some small islands off the north coast. We will be delivering more CURE kits to remote health outposts and will be checking out the needs on an island we have not visited before. Thanks for your prayers. We are all doing quite well.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Big Meeting

Today I had the biggest meeting of the trip which was with the Secretary of Lands. As many of you know we have been working on our land deal for almost four years. Today I got to meet with the guy who is at the top and was able to tell him our story and what we have been working towards.

He could not have been more helpful and pledged his support. He even delayed a meeting until they get all of our land issue on the docket. It turns out that he is a big fan of my Father's radio station here in Port Moresby. Thanks for all your prayers. We should be very close now.

I am flying to meet the other guys in a couple of hours. We will land in Wewak tonight and settle in tonight and will be leaving early in the morning for a mission station way back in the Sepik bush. We have a cure kit for them as well as gifts for the missionary family. We will fly back on a Cessna 206, like the one we own, and then will hike a couple miles through the jungle to the station. There is also an option of jumping in the river and floating down to the station.

Thanks for reading! We will be updating again soon.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

We made it!

We landed in Sydney at 10 pm after a fourteen and a half hour flight, and then had a ten hour layover. We decided to tour the town because none of us had ever been there before. We saw the world famous Opera House, several flying foxes (worlds largest bat), and then had pancakes at 2 am. At 8 am we were on a plane for Brisbane and then on to Port Moresby, PNG. The 17th was Mark's birthday so we celebrated it in two countries and three different cities.

It got crazy when we landed in Moresby because we only had two and a half hours to clear customs and catch our next flight. On top of that I (Gary) was waiting for an email or voice message on the sat phone from the ambassador to find out if I should go on to the next town or stay in Moresby to meet with the Secretary of Lands. We couldn't get through on the Sat phone so there was a mad dash to find Internet access. Fortunately, our friend, Robert, has a hangar close by with an executive lounge so we were able to get the message.

After all the madness we found out that the flight to our next town...Madang...had been canceled so Air Niugini put all of us up at the Airways Hotel. (http://www.airways.com.pg/)

Mark and Steve left for Madang at five this morning where they will be meeting up with Markus, our Swiss missionary, and also be meeting with Dr. Illomo at the Madang Hospital to assess their needs.

I have a meeting tomorrow (Monday) with the Secretary of Lands and then will be flying on to Wewak to meet up with the rest of the team. Please pray for me and that this meeting will go well. We have been working on this land issue for three years.

Steve is enjoying his visit so far and has been enjoyable to have on the trip. He said PNG is beautiful and the people are very nice. He has been transporting meds for us and has been very helpful.

I have included a map of PNG so you can see where we are. I am in Port Moresby...the other guys are in Madang, and by tomorrow evening we will all be in Wewak where Samaritan is based in PNG.

Thanks for reading...Tuesday we are headed deep into the Sepik River area. It will be a flight on a small mission plane and then a trek to the mission station where we will be delivering a Cure Kit.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Leaving for PNG

We are in Los Angeles and are just about to board the 747 for Sydney, Australia. We met at the airport, shifted meds to the proper bags, and got everything checked onto the plane. The next time you hear from us we will be on the other side of the world.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Meds for PNG

Today we received a shipment of meds from Heart to Heart International (www.hearttoheart.org) for our trip to Papua New Guinea. We will be loaded down with as much as we can carry and will be leaving tomorrow morning, the 15th of February.

Some of the meds will go to our partners at the Boram Hospital and the rest will go to health outposts including one mission station in the heart of the Sepik. Our friend Steve from Phoenix will be joining us on this trip and we will be meeting up with Markus, our new missionary, once we get to PNG. There will be a lot of adventure and a lot to tell so check back often and don't forget to pray for us.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mercy Flight

A few days ago we organized a Mercy Flight for a man who's name is John. He is battling cancer and needed to be brought home from a distant hospital. Please join us in praying for John and his family during this difficult time.

Our Mercy Flights continue to be a blessing to families in need. We are thankful for our supporters who make the flights possible.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Samaritan Aviation in the News

Today the local Montrose paper did a story on Samaritan Aviation and Western Skyways. We are thankful for the generosity of our friends at Western Skyways and use their engines in both of our planes. It is very important to have a solid engine when you fly in remote parts of the world. Click here to read the story for yourself: http://www.montrosepress.com/articles/2007/02/12/local_news/61.txt

You can also get more info on Wester Skyways at http://www.westernskyways.com

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Medical Supplies From Denver

Yesterday I flew across the Rockie Mountains from Montrose to Denver and met with Project Cure (projectcure.org), one of our medical suppliers. I picked up three C.U.R.E. Kits that contain medical supplies for remote health outposts. We will be delivering them to Sepik villages on our upcoming trip to Papua New Guinea Feb. 15-28. The value of the kits combined is $10,500 and Samaritan's cost was $450. That is an excellent deal but is actually the highest ratio we pay for medical supplies.

We also talked about our plans of sending two more shipping containers to PNG this year. We are planning to purchase two 40-foot containers and use them for tool storage and office space once we begin to develop the land in Wewak. One container will be filled with medical supplies and the other will be filled half way with medical supplies. The rest of the space will be used to ship the floats for our Cessna 206 as well as the Palm's personal items.

We are thankful for Project CURE and all our partners who help us stretch the value of each dollar.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Welcome to our Blog

We are excited about this new feature of Samaritan Aviation's site. It will allow us to keep in close contact with our supporters in a non-intrusive format. You will be able to log in and see what we are up to each week as well as leave comments and suggestions of your own. It is meant to be a less formal and fun way to communicate.

This year already promises to be big for Samaritan Aviation. We are in the process of updating our site and have several new things to tell. For example...did you know that we are in the process of buying a third airplane, that Samaritan has a new missionary family, and that the ambassador for PNG will be coming to Montrose to visit?

Log on often and tell your friends to watch and read as this Adventure in Faith unfolds right here on the Blog!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007