Thursday, July 30, 2009

Internet Woes

A telecommunications company in Libreville is on strike and our internet and one cell phone is out of service for now. We are thinking that this may be a taste of things to come as we near the elections here. Thanks for your patience! We'll update you as we're able.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Paint Job for the Airplane

Here's a "rough draft" of what our new airplane will look like. This rendering leaves out the cargo pod that will go under the cockpit and first row of seats.

Seeing this makes things start to feel more real. We are excited that things are moving along. In the next couple of weeks, we hope that the avionics work will begin and by the end of August, the paint job will be done. Then, perhaps by mid August, the new engine, prop, and interior will be done and we'll be very close for the delivery date.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Friends of Hope House STEP UP!!!

This past Sunday afternoon at 3:30pm, Pastor Israel and Natalie, his wife, hosted a gathering for the "Friends of Hope House". It was a time where Pastor Israel could review the vision of the Hope House home for displaced children and ask for those gathered to pray together and seek the next step in the journey for the effort.

Here's Pastor Israel (on the left). He is such a great man of God with a HUGE heart for the Hope House kids.

There were approximately 30 to 40 people. They were very passionate in their responses to the needs! One gentleman stood up at the end of the presentation, walked forward and laid down about $200 on the podium! Others spoke of ways they would advocate for the program or ideas they had for the future. By the time all the discussion ended, a list had been generated with everyone's name and contact information on as well as a follow up meeting set! Praise God!

Alace spent hours slaving in the kitchen and freely gave of our precious chocolate chips & brownie mix to make cookies to serve. I caught Megan taking a taste! Since the meeting lasted for 3 hours, the ladies decided to serve the guests as if they were on board an airplane- in their seats! The raved over the treats and drinks that were served. Well done ladies!

Here's Alace with Pastor Israel's little girl at the hostess station.

Several of the Hope House kids were at the meeting at the start, but had to head home for dinner as the meeting got under way. However, one of the most adorable got to stay. Here she is on the left with Megan- Naomi.

Please continue to pray for Hope House. There is a new wave of support happening and we are thrilled! Pray that those that are making committments will be fervant and endure in their effort to take care of these dear kids.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New House for Hope House?

Subtitle: When in the jungle, stomp your feet frequently

GREAT NEWS! A women in a local church has donated property to the Hope House! As you may remember, the Hope House is an orphanage in the city of Libreville that has been told, by the owner, that their home will be sold. Since they had no money to purchase the home, they were in crisis mode. Many of you were praying and we have seen the Lord provide! Here are some pictures of a trip to visit the property.

It was a large group of us on the search for the property. It is located north of the Libreville airport in a remote area. Very tranquil and not too far away from schools for the kids. Our group quickly found out that, if you don't keep moving around or stomping your feet frequently, you end up with little invaders climbing up and down your legs looking for a meal.

Tim was pretty sure he saw the property markers which consist of tree limbs stuck in the ground.

Pastor Israel confirmed the property boundaries on the site plan.

Here's Leanne, a friend, and Pastor Israel surveying the property. It is a great piece of land, a great location, and far superior to their current location. We are thanking God for this great answer to prayer!

We even got to meet some of the new neighbors! A dear older man walked up with a puppy. It was hard to understand him. I think he was either saying he'd like to sell the dog to me or he was inviting me back to his home to make a meal of it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tozer Emergency

Tuesday morning I was due to run some errands. From time to time, the folks down at Bongolo Hospital have a need for this or that. I've been shopping for a variety of items lately- batteries, tire tubes, copper tubing, anti-termite wood treatment, spark plugs, pulleys, and more. Along the way, I'm learning a lot about Libreville.

However, Tuesday morning, I just was not feeling like it was the day to run errands. Hmm... laziness? Surely not. Well then? I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was, but I decided I should do a quick check of email and then resume a big project we have going on to clean out and rearrange a large storage closet at the guest house.

As I was walking down the driveway to our residence, I noticed that Tozer, our Rotweiler-Doberman-German Shepherd puppy, was following me but walking in a zig-zag fashion. As I got to the front door, I saw where he had apparently had diahrea or had thrown up. It was a strange color. That's when I saw that our lower storage closet door was open and that a baggy of small purple granular stuff had been bitten into and was now on the ground. OH NO!

I took a closer look at Tozer, saw that he was salivating excessively and look very confused. I yelled to Alace that we should get to the vet quickly. About 20 minutes later we were at the vet's, only to find our that she had been called away. Her assistant was very nice and gave an initial shot of something. Soon, the doctor arrived, she put in a doggy IV and Tozer was given 3 more shots! WOW! During this time, Tozer had another round of diahrea on the exam table, which the assistants quickly cleaned up. We were very concerned, of course.

They put one of those plastic guard things around his neck to keep him from messing with the I.V. and were told that it would be best for him to spend the day there for observation. We were sad to leave him, but knew it was for the best. Before we left, we sensed that he was turning the corner a little.

We returned at 5:30pm and Tozer was doing great. However, the doctor requested that he spend the night just to be sure. So, the next morning we were there to pick him up. He was so happy to see us. Sam's face was licked clean of any and all things!

I took some photos with my cell phone (above). We showed them to some of our African friends. They were very surprised to see a DOG receiving such high level of care. As you can guess, they don't see many people getting that kind of attention from a doctor.

We are thankful that Tozer is ok. We are thankful that I was around, with our only car, to respond quickly to the emergency. In the end, we think it was a bag of purple dye that caused the problems.

So, Tozer is becoming a very important part of the family! Our staff here really loves him to. Our night guard just remarked this evening that Tozer is starting to hang out with him through the night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Airplanes Need Airports... and we got one!

Subtitle: The Chinese Have Landed!

The Bongolo Hospital's airstrip just got a big face lift! A Chinese road crew started work on Sunday, July 12th, and wasted no time!

Graders and rollers and dozers... oh my!

They're even giving the ramp area an upgrade!

We're trusting that the plantation owners
bordering the runway will understand!

This is near the West end of the runway looking East.

This is the East end of the runway looking West.
It looks like the start of a drag race!
Kelly Family "Patrol" on the left
Thompson "Land Cruiser" on the right.
I know where I'm putting my money.

It is incredible to me that these things are starting to happen. The purchase of the plane and the preparation of the airport are coming together. We are so grateful to the Lord and the supportive team that He has assembled to make this possible.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The contract is initialed, signed and dated by both parties."

YES!!! This is the email that we've been waiting for! Praise God. Here's some pictures of the aircraft that should be in the Gabon air this fall.

Here are a couple photos from the shop in OK where it is going through the final stages of preparation.

8 seats and plenty of luggage room.
Notice the storage compartment just behind the engine
and the cargo pod under the airplane.

Here's a side shot from earlier on in the project.
You'll notice that the cargo pod has yet to be installed.
The Cessna 207 sports great double doors on the side for large loads.

Here's the cockpit all pulled apart. We'll be putting some
new avionics- outfitting it well with over $20,000 of equipment.

Here, we're looking from the co-pilots seat, rearward into the tail.
As you can see, they've really pulled the guts out.

We hope to see the aircraft in action around the end of the fall, this year. We'll be adding the avionics, new paint, and then making a decision whether to put the aircraft in a container for 6 weeks and then reassemble it in Africa, or to set it out for an 8 day voyage across the North Atlantic and then through Europe to Gabon.

Thanks so much for your prayers and financial support. We truly could not be doing this without that.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Give me your money ...again and again!

Our effort now offers you all the convenient tool of automatic recurring donations! Here's the link:

You'll be using the "Network For Good" organizations on-line tool to make donations to Air Calvary, the organization that sponsors the work that we are doing to establish medical air transport in Gabon.

Thanks so much for joining our efforts to link people to physical and spiritual health.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Patriotism Knows No Boundaries!

Enjoy the video of our awesome 4th of July parade.

Joanna Th. organized a great parade and many entered into the parade to make it a superb spectacle! We've heard that this years' parade was one of the best ever at the Bongolo Hospital.

In the video, you can see the hospital in the background. After the parade made the 1st pass, several people milling around the hospital grounds stopped and took in the sight. I can only imagine what they were thinking seeing American flags waving, people throwing candy at one another, hollering, shouting, a women playing a flute, decorated golf carts, children walking dogs, and the head doctor riding a scooter!!!

After the parade, we had a good old American BBQ and swimming. We had a great desert spread as well. Mmmm....

Check out all the photos here: PicasaWeb Photo Album

We hope you had a fun 4th wherever you found yourself.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Photos from the Jungle

We celebrated Wendy H's birthday- she's an eye doctor.
Dr. and Becki Thompson are to the left.

"The boys" having fun. Eric H., Sam, Rob Jr., Joey, and Luke.

Chilling at the Kelly's with the cool African pants that Alace
found for me at the market in Lebamba. It has a matching top! Don't ask me what's going on with the hair...

The Jungle agrees with Megan!

Field trip! The hunt for butterflies and fish begins.

More Field Trip!
That's Melody D. on the right.

Queen of the jungle!

The whole crew!
Amy T., Gracie T., Sara Th., Megan, Alace, Melody, Sam, Joe, Luke Th., Rob Jr. T.
Joanna Th. took the picture.

Joanna is explaining the finer points of African river fishing.
The kids actually caught some fish and added them to Dr. T's aquarium!

We did some house-sitting for the Kelly's for most of the week. Here we are in their beautiful living room- it's so homey!
They arrived back from their vacation today and checked their email for the 1st time in 8 days.
We look like a group of STMO interns! HA!

Cool Stuff A-Happenin'!!!

Here's some great news...

1) HOPE HOUSE orphanage has been donated a piece of property to build a new house on. A woman in a local church heard of the need and responded!

2) AIRCRAFT SELECTION: Our team reviewed an evaluation of an aircraft (Cessna 207) being refurbished and we are now putting together an offer to purchase! WOW! I think this may be the one! Also, we received word that a supporter would like to purchase a new engine for us- about a $40,000 investment! SWEET!

3) AT BONGOLO HOSPITAL: We are having a great week in the jungle. Kids doing a VBS program, Joey doing translation work in the eye clinic, house sitting at the Kelly's house, swimming, cleaning up the airstrip hangar, and more!