AMA Venezuela began operating in early 2002. As Pastor David Gates flew throughout neighboring Guyana, he received frequent requests for help from the Davis Indians in Venezuela. Many of the villagers have family on both sides of the border. David prayed in faith, asking God to impress someone to come to Venezuela to establish the aviation program.
The AMA air base is located at Colegio Gran Sabana (Colgransa) by Maurak Village near Santa Elena de Uairén, Bolívar state, on the Southeast end of Venezuela, bordering Brazil and Guyana in South America. Angel Falls, a local tourist attraction and the world’s highest waterfall, is located only 1½ hours from the AMA base.
AMA provides emergency medical transportation and evangelistic support to dozens of otherwise inaccessible villages, enabling the inhabitants to have another chance at life. Most of our flights involve medical emergencies. These include pregnant mothers in trouble, very sick babies, malaria, appendicitis, broken bones, snakebite victims, and the list goes on.
We fly patients out to the hospital in Santa Elena, returning them home upon recovery. The airplane also carries lay workers to the villages. Many areas are opening up to the Gospel because of the medical help provided, resulting in hundreds of baptisms.
began our ministry flying a Cessna 172, while praying for a more powerful plane which could safely handle the short jungle airstrips with a full load of patients. In late 2006 we began using a Cessna 182 – a much safer plane for this area. During the first five months of use, we flew more than 500 hours, getting 180 patients out to medical help. Each patient is accompanied by someone to help them, so that means 360 were flown out and at least 200 flown home, totaling 560 people transported in emergency flights alone.