We arrived in Loma Linda 2 weeks ago and I attended the Robinson Helicopter maintenance course in Torrance while Wendy stayed with her brother and family in Loma Linda. We flew up to Montana a couple days ago and will be here for Christmas with my family. Its’ nice to be home.I just received an email this morning regarding a Cessna U206F that has recently come up for sale in the Philippines. We have been praying for a bigger airplane to use in Palawan for over a year and it seems this may be God’s answer. We have been operating the Cessna 172M in Palawan for almost 4 years and it has worked well but needs are increasing and upgrading to a Cessna 206 gives us two more seats, 700 lbs more carrying capacity and room enough for a stretcher. I inspected the airplane briefly before returning to the U.S. a couple weeks ago. We prayed about it and made an offer for 4 million pesos which is about $85,000. It was a low offer for a Cessna U206F even in the U.S. but in the email this morning they accepted it. This is very encouraging to us and as God continues to open doors we feel we should pursue it. Having this new airplane would also allow us to take the Cessna 172 to our airbase in Luzon and as God provides another pilot, we would be free to focus more on the Mindanao airbase and eventually base the Twin Commanche there. We have an airplane fund with about $13,000 in it already. Please join us in prayer for God to provide the rest of the funds to be able to purchase this airplane.This last month has been another eventful one. We were supposed to go to Palawan, but when we were coming through Manila during the SSD Division year end meetings I saw Gary Roberts, a fellow missionary pilot and my plans changed. Gary has taken over the Adventist Aviation mission program in Papua Indonesia after the accident that took his dad’s life. Gary was heading soon to Austria to pick up an airplane that they had just purchased and was going to fly it back to Indonesia for their mission work. He was planning on flying alone because no other pilots he knew had time to go with him. The Pilatus PC6 that they purchased is an amazing bush plane but it is slow and unstable and takes full attention of the pilot when in turbulence and bad weather which does not leave much time to navigate if rerouting is necessary. Flying half way around the world makes it likely bad weather would be encountered at some point.I prayed earnestly that God would show me if I should volunteer to go with him. I had three people tell me that next day that I should go help him so I took that as God’s answer. I arranged to meet Gary at the airport in Austria on the 18th where the plane was. I found and purchased some cheap tickets from Manila to Dubai then on to Austria. Wendy went as planned to Palawan and helped with a one month evangelism effort our missionaries were holding.
The week my flight left there was an APEC summit in Manila and flights were being canceled right and left because of security reasons the government said. I kept looking at the flight schedules and my flight was one of the few that was not cancelled. On the day of my flight I borrowed my in-laws car and headed into the airport 5 hours before the flight with my friend Andrew who was going to drive the car back. We got half way to Manila and the government had shut half the expressway down and closed the end of it so all traffic slowed to a crawl. 3 ½ hours later we reached the exit that all cars had to take and I decided there was no way I would make my flight at this rate. I told Andrew I would walk the rest of the way. I got out of the car, grabbed my backpack, and crossed over 4 lanes of oncoming traffic and climbed over the fence. I was able to get a taxi on the frontage road that took me the rest of the way to the airport. We departed Manila on time but half way to Dubai a lady had a bad stroke and we had to divert to Mumbia, India. Because of the requirements for refueling an aircraft in India it was 5 hours later
before we took off again. By the time we arrived in Dubai my connecting flight to Vienna had just left. The airline would not re-book the flight so I contacted Gary and he suggested I meet him in Greece near Athens as he had an appointment the next day in Slovenia and Greece would be his next stop. I searched and found that the cheapest tickets to Athens was through Doha to Istanbul, Turkey so I purchased the tickets and flew to Doha that evening. I spent the night in the airport and left the next morning for Turkey. I spent that afternoon and night in Istanbul and then flew to Athens on Friday
morning. I spent the weekend in Athens at a cheap hotel near the Acropolis and was able to attend an English speaking international SDA church. Half were Filipinos so I felt right at home.
Platus PC6 Bound for Papua, Indonesia
There was another series of obstacles that came up but God worked things out and Gary arrived in Athens Sunday afternoon. The wind was blowing so hard he decided it was best to stay the night in Athens and take off early the next morning. We finally took off at sunrise Monday morning and had a beautiful day of flying over the Mediterranean and across Egypt. 8 ½ hours later we landed in a small resort town along the red sea where we fueled up and spent the night at a beach side hotel where we took a swim before going to bed. We took off before sunrise Tuesday morning for the flight across Saudi Arabia- the longest leg of the trip. We started running into bad weather by mid morning and were picking up ice at 15,000 ft. We finally had to descend to 9,000 to stay out of the icing conditions and we requested to be routed to the south where the weather was better. After several hours of getting tossed around by turbulence we got into some better weather. We landed in Abu Dhabi an hour after dark after 11 hours of flying.
Ice at 15,000 ft
I spent the rest of the week staying with the Adventist pastor in Abu Dhabi trying to get a visa for India (which was our next stop) while Gary flew over to Manado for some meetings. I had time to visit the Grand Mosque on Friday. It has some incredible detail in its architecture and is a most impressive building. Unfortunately I was not able to get the visa in that short amount of time and I had to leave Gary in Abu Dhabi. Gary continued the rest of the way by himself and God blessed him with good weather most of the rest of the way. He has arrived safely now with the airplane in Papua.
One thing struck me after briefly visiting the countries around the Mediterranean and middle east. There are billions of people out there without the hope we have in Christ. Many are chasing after worldly pleasures. Others are seeking salvation through their own works and merits, through rounds of meaningless rituals. God has called us to take the Gospel to the world to every nation, tribe, tongue and people so they can have the sure hope we have in Christ. This is our purpose on this Earth and all of us our called to play a part.
During this Christmas season let us remember the sacrifice that Jesus made in coming to earth that we might have a sure hope of salvation in him. The sacrifice He made on our behalf reminds me that any sacrifices that we may make are very small and insignificant in terms of eternity.
PAMAS’s mission is to speed the spread of the gospel to the unreached and remote areas of the Philippines and beyond by providing air and medical support to established SDA missions and organizations and to help the church to open new work in unentered territory.
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.
–Church/School building for Karusuan ($1,000)
–Cessna 206 Airplane ($78,000)
–Engine and propeller overhauls and needed parts ($20,000)
–Fuel for operating aircraft ($3,000/ month)
–Motorcycles for Bible workers’ transportation ($1,000 each)
–Computers for child & health evangelism ($500)
–Sharing tracts and Hymnals (Ilocano and Tagalog)
–Legal Rep (Manila)
–Praise God for one motorcycle and one computer donated for Bible Workers!
–God’s guidance/provisions for Wellness Center in Palawan
–Pray for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit among each missionary and church member
–God’s work to continue forward without delay for lack of funds or any reason
–Provisions for helicopters for Mindanao and North Luzon
–Missionaries needed for Mayoyao and Ponggo
If you’d like to help
Make checks payable to:
Gospel Ministries International
Send checks to:
GMI (Gospel Ministries International)
P O Box 506, Collegedale, TN 37315-0506
(Be sure to specify donation is for “PAMAS”)
(or specify “PAMAS Palawan Airplane” for the Cessna 206)Online Donations
You can donate online at our website: pamasmission.org
Thank you for your prayers and support!
Dwayne and Wendy Harris