Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Listen to our Radio Interview

CLICK HERE to listen to and view a slide show of our radio interview on via Vimeo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Words... "French Press"

Subtitle: "I like Nicolas Cage... sometimes"

So, Nicolas Cage is coming out in a new movie by Disney... "Sorcerer's Apprentice". It looks like one of those movies that you see and, on the way out of the theater, you say something like, "I liked that movie the first time when it was called "Harry Potter", or something of the sort. He seems to be drawn to movies like that- I'm just sayin'.

However, there are those occasions where I enjoy me some Nic Cage (ie. "Raising Arizona"). In one movie that my family and I like is "Family Man"- sort of a modern day "It's a Wonderful Life". In the movie, the husband tries to wrestle a large piece of chocolate cake from his wife, but she fights him off saying, "It's too important to me".

So, we're back in the states and.... well... there are some new things that are becoming too important to me. One such thing... a French Press. Coffee never tasted so good! This is one thing that I'm packing for the return trip.

Step 1: Set some water on to boil

Step 2: Clear the French press of the sludge leftover from last time

Step 3: Getcha some DD coffee

Step 4: Pour in the boiling water

Step 5: Stir

Step 6: Let 'er brew for 4 to 5 minutes with the lid on

Step 7: Wait...

Step 8: Press the strainer...

Step 9: Pour

Step 10: Enjoy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Radio Interview

Working out of a converted garage in State College, PA, RevFM broadcasts throughout central PA. We were invited for our second interview recently.

Megan takes her turn with DJ Eric.

Sam the man.

At the end of the interview, the RevFM program manager gave Joe a weeklong pass to the Creation Festival concert! Thanks Jim!

Give & Take

While we're back in the states, we've got some things to give and take. We've brought some items from Africa to give to friends and family. We also have many things that we'll be taking back. Here's an example of some give & take that took place recently...

Here I am giving Wayne S. (Eastern PA Superintendent of the C&MA) a gift. It's a soap stone carving of the Bongolo Hospital emblem, created by our friend, Abel. Abel is a businessmen and artist living in our home of Libreville.

And here is Wayne giving me a set of communion plates to take back to our local church in Okala, a suburb of Libreville. Our Pastor, Laurent, will be thrilled! Thanks Wayne!

A Really Difficult Decision...

As we return to Gabon, we'll have just a few weeks together as a family before driving up to Cameroon and dropping off Joe and Megan for school at Rain Forest Int'l School.

As many of you know, we've been homeschooling for the past two years (Palm
Forest Academy!) using SonLight and then AlphaOmega products. Now, as our oldest two will be High School age and have started asking math and science questions that make Alace and I scratch our heads... we have made this very difficult decision.

(Pictures: We left at first light / It was a long, bouncy trip / we found "SAM" along the way!)

As you can guess, this decision,
as with all others in our journey, has been one where we invited many to give input and prayer to.

Ultimately, we found that many MK's look back upon their senior high schooling as a very positive time (as opposed to grade school and jr. high away from mom and dad).

(picture: Here's Megan with a new friend!)

We also made two visits, over the past 2 years, to the RFIS campus in Yaounde, Cameroon and saw, first hand, why many of their graduates go on to thrive- some even attending Ivy League schools in the US. The school was established by Wycliff Bible Translators. We can make the drive from Libreville in one day (14 hours).

Another aspect was the offer of low-cost housing and supervision for Joe and Meg when friends of ours who live in Yaounde, offered to house them. They are a family of 6, however, their two oldest are in the states attending college. The younger two, who are also RFIS students, are similar ages to Joe and Meg! This will save us thousands of dollars!

As you can imagine, th
is is one of the most difficult things we'll ever do as a family. We're happy that RFIS has longer-than-normal breaks throughout the year, but that won't make it too much easier to be apart. Please pray for our family through this transition.

We are thankful that we have found a great school that is relatively close (some send their kids over 5 countries away!) and that our children will be so well cared for.

(picture: Here's an aerial shot of the new campus they're building, opening this fall, just for our kids! How nice of them!)

Flying Pics

Some random photos of flying in Gabon...

Preflight- remove the tie downs fashioned by a cat food container filled with rocks and rain water. What can I say? ... it's not fancy, but it works!

Final approach, runway 16, Libreville Int'l.

Base leg of the traffic pattern for runway 16 at LBV Int'l.

Bongolo Hospital fly-by.

When needed, we collapse a row or two of the back seats to load in cargo. Here you see some luggage and a cooler full of temperature-sensitive medications for the HIV/AIDS clinic.

A passenger snapped this picture just after take-off of runway 16 out of Libreville. The control tower instructs all departing traffic to avoid flying over downtown (where the presidential palace is), so we fly over the estuary, south-bound, until we're clear and can turn on course to Bongolo.

Part of my preflight includes a call to my team mates at the hospitals' airstrip to confirm that the runway is clear and the weather is looking good.

This is just after landing at the hospital's strip- swinging around in front of the hangar.

Final approach, runway zero-nine (east bound), Lebamba airstrip (Bongolo's airport).

Great Hospital Video

A couple of years ago, a very talented, young, film maker produced a great video outlining the work of the Bongolo Hospital. It is a very well done, moving piece of work. It may take a moment to load, but be sure to check it out: CLICK HERE

Central African Fire Truck!?!

If you've followed the efforts of the Bongolo Hospital over the years, you know the there have been a fair share of fires. Even though the hospital campus sits on a hill along side the Louetsi River, it is difficult to get the water moved in the volume needed to affect a raging fire.

One visitor, after hearing this, decided to do something about it. After returning to the states, they found a solution!

A circa-1960's pumper fire truck!

Found on ebay for a steal!

A church in upstate NY is now working to raise funds for the delivery of the fire truck. Pray for this effort and the additional logistics required for the delivery and training of a crew to operate the first fire department of it's kind in the region!

CLICK HERE to read more.

Now we'll be looking if anyone wants to sponsor one of these...

VIP Passengers

Every passenger flying with our service is treated to First Class levels and each one is a V.I.P. in our book. However, some passengers are notable...

On one of our flights at the end of March, we were pleased to have the US Ambassador to Gabon as well as the Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy.

(L to R): Mr. Samba (our dispatcher), Ambassador Eunice Reddick, Me, and Kathleen, the Deputy Chief of Mission.

Here's our team mate, Pastor Ferdinand Sangoye, who assists our team in countless ways. Here is just one way- chauffeuring passengers to and from the airplane at the Int'l airport.

On our return, Pastor Sangoye was right on time to pick us all up and get one more photo with the Ambassador.

The team gathered at the "Foyer" at the Bongolo Hospital Mission for a great meal and a time to mix and mingle.

The Ambassador and DCM had a great visit with the team at Bongolo. They provided encouragement and insight to the US / Gabon relationship and their thoughts on the future. All the American's were very encouraged. Ambassador Reddick has concluded her 3 year term in Gabon this summer- she will be very much missed!

Airplane Update

When larger organizations/companies have an aircraft go down for maintenance, they're able to absorb the loss by shuffling other airplanes to fill in. Well, as you know, we're a one-airplane operation... so... we have to look for other options.

As previously
mentioned, we have some initial possibilities in a Beechcraft Baron (right) and Cessna 206 (left). Both are 6 seat aircraft with double doors that make loading a stretcher or larger cargo possible. We are still negotiating things with the owners- please pray for this.

As for our aircraft, we are moving forward with our insurance. They have agreed to the quote we provided and will be wiring the initial payment soon. This will assist us in getting things going.

For now, N207FD remains in the hangar at the end of the road where we set it down during the emergency.

We hope to have a crew from MMS Aviation in Gabon to containerize the airplane for its' trip across the Atlantic for repair at their
facility in Ohio. Our aircraft will be used by this faith-based organization as a training tool for men and women getting experience as they prepare to serve in mission aviation all over the world. Pretty cool.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Texas R&R

Q: So... what can help us relax & recharge after 2 months in the states and over 40 project presentations under our belts?

A: A trip to TEXAS!!!

Here we are chillaxing with our TX crew- Alace's family.
A big thanks to Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Skeet for hosting our stay which includes the blessing of our family trashing the place and borrowing automobiles.

Skeet & Kathleen also treated our family to the Broadway musical "Wicked" (a spin off of "Wizard of Oz") playing at the Dallas Summer Music Hall. This is the only photo we were permitted to take... the curtain before the 1st act. Awesome musical!

This weekend, we've been with friends in East Texas. Here we are on our friends' sail boat on the Lake O' The Pines. It was a beautiful day.

Good times on the open seas ... or... lake.

Then our good friend (and Lieutenant Colonel) Dave buzzed in with a student in a T-6 out of Pensicola, FL. Here he is with the the kids.