PAMAS News: Avgas Miracle

Here’s the “rest of the story” from Dwayne’s latest faith adventures to Timor Leste (with Doug Venn- SSD Global Missions Director, and his media intern) that many of us were praying for.


Doug Venn

“We had been talking about making a trip to Timor Leste for about a year.  The plan was to fly our Piper Twin Comanche there from the Philippines. One of the reasons for the trip was to gather information and make plans for starting a medical aviation program with a helicopter. Another reason was to film mission stories to promote the work of the SDA church in Timor Leste. God had recently provided a donated helicopter in need of overhaul for the medical aviation program in Timor. The week before our planned departure both vacuum pumps quit working on the airplane. Between the three non -functional vacuum pumps I was able to assemble one that worked. With some phone calls I was able to find one new pump that we received and installed two days before our departure.

Entry and exit permits had been obtained for the Philippines ahead of time.  An overflight permit had been granted for Indonesia, but we were still waiting on a landing permit in Dili, the capitol of Timor Leste. We had been praying for God to open the way. The day before we left permission was granted to land in Dili. The last obstacle was getting fuel in Timor Leste for internal flights and for the return flight to the Philippines. There were two aircraft operators that had avgas (aviation gas), but neither was willing to share by selling us a few drums. We moved forward in faith trusting God to open the doors and provide.

We flew from Manila to Davao on Sunday morning where we filled the airplane with fuel. Although we had an exit clearance it was still a complicated process requiring 7 signatures. On a Sunday, people were not in their offices. After much prayer and five hours of acquiring signatures, everything was in place for our departure. We left Davao on schedule at 11pm. After flying for 7 hours we contacted Dili approach. Their response was, “You don’t have permission to land here.” After a brief conversation and explanation they found our landing permit and cleared us to land.

We were planning to make several flights within the country but had to obtain another permit to do that, and the head of aviation was out of the country. We still had not found a fuel source and continued to pray for fuel and the local flight permits. The flight permit was granted but still no fuel. We still had enough fuel for 3 hours which would allow us to fly to Darwin, Australia for fuel if we had to, but it did not allow any extra for local flights. By Thursday evening we felt that one place had to be visited on the other end of the country to film some inspiring mission stories. We took all of the answered prayers and approved permits as a sign that God would provide fuel. So stepping out in faith we made the flight to Los Palos at the other end of the island. This left us with only another hour and a half of fuel – not enough to reach Darwin.


Faith flight to Los Palos


Dwayne in front of traditional houses


Interviewing church workers in Los Palos

We planned to return to the Philippines on Tuesday, but Monday morning came and still no fuel.  We decided to contact one of the operators that had avgas and ask once more even though he had said no before. We tried all morning to contact the guy but never could reach him. I decided after lunch to go ahead and fly to Darwin for fuel, which was a two and a half hour flight. We proceeded to buy enough auto fuel to put in the plane to ensure we could reach Darwin and we started working on our exit clearances.  I called an FBO in Darwin and learned we could not get fuel after 6 pm and it was too late to get there before then. Already having an exit stamp on our passports we wanted to leave that day so I told the Darwin airport we would fly down and sleep overnight in our plane until we could fuel up the next morning. They informed me that staying overnight in or at your airplane was not allowed and the parking fee for the night would be $950. As we were dumping the last bit of auto fuel in the tank we were pondering what to do next. There was a local airport worker standing with us as we put the gas in and he asked us if we needed any avgas. He said he knew where one drum was located.  We asked him to show it to us and he took us away from the airport into town to a guy that had not only one but two drums of avgas! Apparently, he had been saving the 1-2 liters left on the bottom of each barrel from the local flight operations. After making sure it was indeed avgas we bought it and were able to fill all our tanks.  We were able to leave Dili early Tuesday morning and fly straight back to Davao. God always honors our petitions though it often is at the last minute.”




Areas of need & prayer requests:

  • Wisdom to select the right helicopter
  • Funds for shipping helicopter and customs
  • Side-car for Bible worker’s motorcycle
  • Bibles (in local language, with SDA helps)
  • Funds for Land and Church building for Maiinit


If you would like to help:

Make checks payable to: Gospel Ministries International

Send checks to:
GMI (Gospel Ministries International)
P O Box 506, Collegedale, TN 37315

(For all donations, be sure to specify it for “PAMAS”)

Or donate online at our website:
(be sure to specify donation is for “PAMAS”)

Thank you!

PAMAS is a faith-based, volunteer-driven organization which aids the Seventh-day Adventist church in it’s mission to carry the great news of the Gospel to the world through the use of aviation and medical ministry. Though not officially affiliated or supported by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, PAMAS is a well-established supporting ministry of the church, working closely with pastors and leaders all over the country. Any services offered or opinions expressed by PAMAS are solely those of PAMAS.

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