Night Flight Medivac

Taking the gospel the furthest corners of Guyana through the use of a small airplane

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Three New Construction Workers

We’re in the final race to the finish… Most of the materials are on location in Paramakatoi Village.  Most of the preparation has been done, including digging the footings for the church, and making cement blocks.  The only thing they need is time and man power.  Last Friday I flew three guys into Paramakatoi village to build up the work force.  All of these guys pictured are working as volunteers in this church project.  I hope that within the next eight weeks we should have the church pretty well up and ready for use.  I still need to transport 50 more sacks of cement, and food for a small army.  These guys can really eat!

Evangelism Equipment for Chenapau

The church project in Chenapau just got a boost with some new evangelism equipment  At this moment there are two bible workers in Chenapau village, leading an evangelistic effort and a new church building project.  During the day they are cutting boards with a chainsaw, and during their free time, they are doing personal evangelism.  The new equipment will help them do be able to do an evangelistic series in dialect.

Buying Cement Wholesale

Cement is extremely heavy, and very messy to work with…  In this picture I’m buying seven sacks of cement to carry in the airplane out to Paramakatoi.  Because the cement powder leaks out of the bag and gets all over the upholstry of the airplane, I bag every sack of cement in a separate garbage bag.  47 more sacks to go!

A young English teacher flies to Kimbia Mission Academy

An Early Morning Paddle

After getting delayed the day before by stiff winds and a heavy rain shower, I ended up being forced to overnight in Paruima Village.   The next morning I walked down to the village at the crack of dawn,  borrowed a dugout canoe, and paddled across the Kamarang river to the airstrip.  It was so sublimely picturesque that I risked capsizing the canoe to get this shot.  Hope you like it.

Family Fun

Some of you have asked for more pictures of the family…   This last week I took a couple hours off and we went down to the park with the girls to play on the swings.  Incidentally it was the same day that I had the night flight.  I had no idea what was happening when my girls were happily swinging.  Amidst all the crazy business of our ministry, we’re trying to take special time as a family to do fun things.  Today we took some time to  fly kites at the sea wall.  My little girls are growing up.

Night Flight Medivac

The plan for the day was pretty simple in principle…  Pick up a load of cement and food for the Paramakatoi church project, and 10 gallons of gas for the Chenapau chainsaws, load up the airplane, and fly 3 1/2 hours to deliver both.   Simple right?  I wish…  Rarely is a flying day simple, and this particular day was no exception.  In fact I didn’t even get off the ground until nearly 2pm, which meant I didn’t have a lot of extra time to spend on the ground at either destination village.

Halfway to Paramakatoi to deliver the cement, the health post at Philippi village called me on the HF Radio and requested a medivac flight.  They reported that a 55 year old man was running an extremely high fever and had gone unconscious.  They had tested for malaria, but the test was inconclusive.  Since the day was late, and the river extremely low because of the long drought, they were requesting that I divert and fly the patient to the Kamarang hospital.

Because of the lateness of the hour, I realized that I wouldn’t make it back to Georgetown by sunset.  Most likely I would have to overnight in Kamarang village where the field hospital was located.  I also realized that I wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it back to Georgetown unless I used the extra gas in the back.

After dropping off the cement at Paramakatoi, I turned the airplane North toward Philippi to pick up the patient.  Enroute, I tried in vain to contact Kamarang hospital to see whether we could go directly from Philippi to Georgetown so we could perhaps make it just after sunset.

Whenever you pick up a really sick person from a village there is generally quite a bit of emotional drama.  The villagers know that when extremely sick people leave in an airplane, they often times don’t come back alive.   In this particular situation two daughters openly cried as we loaded their unconscious father into the plane and buckled him in.

When we landed at Kamarang the two medex’s met me at the runway to assess the condition of the patient.

They took one look at the man and informed me that he needed to be immediately transferred to Georgetown.  Ok!  25 minutes before sunset, I knew that it would be fully dark by the time I arrived back in town, assuming that I could get permission to make the flight.   Furthermore, the only airport with runway lights was the international airport 45 minutes away from Georgetown city.  I called Joy on the HF radio and asked her to call up the Tower in Timehri to request permission for the flight.  Joy called back in five minutes to give me the initial thumbs up.  She then spent the next 45 minutes on the phone working out the details with the ambulance, and getting permission for them to pass through security at Timehri to pick up the patient.

On the flight back to town, the radio was quiet.  Usually the frequencies are humming with commerical traffic, but at this late hour everyone was on the ground, and I was the only local aircraft still in the air.

The air was smooth, and the sunset beautiful.  Except for a few lights from an occasional mine, everything became pitch black.  Sometimes it’s best not to see the broccoli that you’re flying over!  The lights of Timehri were a welcome sight, and we gently touched down and taxied over to the international ramp to wait for the ambulance.   About 20 minutes later the ambulance arrived, and together we requested the airport duty officer to allow them to drive airside to pick up the patient.   After loading the patient, the ambulance driver patiently waited for me while I moved the airplane to the general aviation parking area and locked up it for the night.  I caught a ride back home in the front seat of the speeding ambulance.   Yesterday I received the sad news that the patient passed away.  Evidently he was hemmoraging in his brain, perhaps from hemmoragic malaria, or an aneurysm, and there was nothing that the doctors could do to stop the bleeding. I always feel sad when I hear that a patient that I carried in the airplane has died.  I wish I could write a fairytale ending to this story and tell you that the man has made a complete recovery and is anxiously waiting to travel back to his family.  Some cases do in fact turn out like this.  But sadly in this particular situation, this is not so.  The Bible says in Isaiah 55:8,9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” I don’t know why the Lord opened so many doors for us, and the patient still passed away.  But I know that we did everything humanly possible to help.  There comes a point in which we have to leave the outcome with God.

New Aviation Video

Three months ago a volunteer videographer filmed a new documentary video…  You can watch the GAMAS Aviation 2012 video online at Youtube.   If you would like a hard copy of this video and four other GAMAS projects, please email me personally and we can send you some DVD’s to share out.

Making a Difference

We’re trying our best to make a difference in this part of the world… But we cannot do it alone.  We really need an army of people who would be willing to come and start new ministries.  If you can’t come but would like to help the missionary work go forward, you can send a tax deductible donation to:  Gospel Ministry International, PO Box 506, Collegedale Tennessee 37315.  Kindly write on a separate note that it is for Guyana Aviation Evangelism project (GAVE)

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