Thursday, September 1, 2011

"Epic Flight" (Guest Blog)

Dr. David Thompson, left, with Alace and Steve Straw (pilot).
Twenty years ago I dreamed of flying in an ultralight to Libreville from our remote hospital, leaving far below the dust, the ruts, and 8 to 10 hours of stressful driving. In 2007 I even went through flight school and earned a pilot's license. The dream died in 2008 with the crash of a donated ultralight that I never got to fly.  In 2009, pilot Steve Straw began flying a Cessna 207 between Libreville and Bongolo, while Becki and I were home on furlough.  Before we returned to the field, the plane was damaged and had to be shipped back to the U.S. for extensive repairs (they should be completed in early October). In the meantime, Steve has been able to lease a Cessna 206 from a local businessman to provide occasional flights.
Dave, moments prior to liftoff at the Bongolo Hospital's runway.
On Monday, August 29, 2011, I climbed into the copilot's seat next to Steve and lifted off from our dirt airstrip in Lebamba.  As we left the ground I felt my spirit soar in worship and praise to our great Father! The ground dropped away below us, and as we circled the hospital I took more than 20 pictures.  One hour and 45 minutes later we landed in Libreville--still fresh and praising God!

Dave Thompson


  1. wow, God is still working in Gabon! and He always will be until the very end. I'm so thankful for servants like you guys!

  2. Hi Dave, I was there in 2003 and I have photos of you then working on your plane, and I remember your vision. I am so happy for you that your prayers are being answered, thank the Lord for Steve and his family. Bless you Dave and Becky for your dedication to the people of Gabon. Lydia Mayes

  3. So happy for you Dad. Watching the birth of your dream, the many long years of waiting, what appeared to be the death of that dream and then its phoenix-like rise from the ashes has taught me the nature of faith and the power of patient prayer. Many men would have given up long ago. I take courage having watched you stick it out to see this day. Thanks Dad, for another priceless life-lesson.

    A Proud Son,

  4. That truly is amazing! I remember too well the LONG, Tedious trips to Libreville with water over the roads, long stretches of mud, bridges out, and long waits at the ferrIES! 1 hour and 45 minutes---UNBELIEVABLE! wONDERFUL accomplishments! I know it must just thrill you as you fly over the jungle and rivers! May the plane soon be back in Gabon is our prayer. Blessings on you, John and Faith Brokopp