Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pictures from the Equator

Meanwhile, back in the jungles of central Africa....

Luke and Fitia- good buddy's in the jungle!

Azar braiding Sarah's hair.

Sarah and baby Esther.

Zach and Jen- both surgeon's joining the Bongolo team in May after language school in Switzerland.


Rainy season has arrived!

More rain.

Sunset over the hills behind Bongolo.

This tree fell just millimeters from one of the homes on the station!  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

5 snakes have been killed around the station in 5 days!  Thankfully, no one has been bit.

Luke and Dan working on the bamboo fort.

This visitor, Suzanne, helped with beautification around the Bongolo mission.  Last Friday, Suzanne and a Bongolo teammate, Joanna, planted 24 plumeria trees, 40 hibiscus plants, and 30 fuschia bushes!

A special thanks to Joanna for the pictures and notes.  She reports that no snow has been spotted at Bongolo, but they are keeping their eyes open!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Plan A... Plan B... Plan C... and beyond

Quick Update:

I think we may be on "Plan C" at this point.  The schedule has changed a few times...

HF Radio installation that was approved by the FAA at the last minute is the current project that we are focused on.  Early this past week, we were surprised to find that additional parts needed to be ordered.  Long story short, the aircraft interior was sufficiently pulled apart to keep us from doing some of the final items that remain on our list during the time we wait on parts, so... we have a new TENTATIVE schedule:

Monday, 31 October
> HF parts arrive
> HF radio install wraps up

Tuesday, 01 November
> Electro-Magnetic Interference test
> Compass Swing
> Fuel injection system adjustments
> New Propeller Governer testing and adjustments
> Local flights to start evaluation of all work (as well as any needed tweaks)

Wednesday, 02 November
> Wrap up local flights
> 1st Cross-Country to York, PA

Thursday, 03 November
> 2nd Cross-Country to State College, PA

Friday, 04 November
> 3rd Cross-Country back to MMS Aviation for any additional tweaks
> 4th Cross-Country to Indiana

Saturday, 05 November
> 5th Cross-Country to Kansas
> Steve returns to York area commercially

I'll keep you all posted!!!  Pray for good weather and smooth work at MMS.


See more SNOW! pictures- CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family Video

Our home church, York Alliance Church, put together a nice video update that they viewed a few weeks ago as part of an update during their morning worship services.  The video was shot by our dear friend, Wendy, and Chris, another good friend for YAC, polished it all up and spliced it into the finished product.  Enjoy!

Straw Global Update from Chris Horsman on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week #3 at MMS Aviation

Sunrise at MMS Aviation
After a 6 hour road trip yesterday, I am once again at MMS Aviation to assist in the final stages of preparing the aircraft for service in Africa.

This morning, we evaluated the situation and have a tentative plan for the week:

TUESDAY - WEDNESDAY:  Propeller governor and HF radio installation

Dick Snook, President and CEO of Missionary Flights Int'l was a special guest at MMS today
THURSDAY:  Ground checks

FRIDAY:  Let's Go Flying!!!  Local flights to make initial adjustments.

SATURDAY:  Visit to York, PA

SUNDAY:  Visit to State College, PA

Each morning at MMS begins with scripture reading and prayer
MONDAY:  Fly back to MMS Aviation for follow up "tweaking" if necessary

TUESDAY:  Fly to Indiana for my Aviation Medical with Dr. Scott M.

Here is our iCOM 706 HF Radio
WEDNESDAY:  Fly to Kansas to drop off airplane at Weaver Aero where aircraft will be prepped for the ferry flight to Africa!

Fueling Progress Event- Greenwood, Indiana

(note: additional photos will be posted soon)

Last Friday night, we had a wonderful turnout for our "Fueling Progress" fund raising event in Greenwood, Indiana.  The local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association hosted us at the main terminal hangar at the Greenwood municipal airport and about 50 were in attendance!

We had a great time, thanks to the efforts of so many!  Here are my remarks, from that night, regarding all that were so kind to make the event a great success:

" Good evening, my name is Steve Straw, and it is my great privilege to be here to represent an effort of God’s people to express His great love and compassion to a small corner of the world, in Gabon, using the tool of aviation.

Alace, my wife, and I would like to first express our deep gratitude to all those who have worked so hard to make this evening a reality.  So, on behalf of Air Calvary, the Bongolo Hospital, the national Christian & Missionary Alliance churches of Gabon and the people that we serve, we would like to express our thanks to the following people:
        1.  Chapter 1354 Johnson County Aviators- Alan Gluff, Penny Ratliff, Kerry Geeseman, Ken Parmer, Bob Kessler, Roger Tomey, Rusty Nicholes, and Ivy Logsdon.  Not only are you supporting local interest in aviation, but you have opened your hearts and hangar to host this event to spotlight international aviation efforts.  Thank you so much.
        2.  Iozzo’s Garden of Italy Restaurant for providing a delicious meal at no cost.  This is incredibly generous and I commend each of you who live locally to visit them often with all of your friends!  To the whole team at Iozzo’s, we express our thanks.
       3.  Ralph Hill, the manager of Greenwood Airport and his staff.  A pilot recently reported on an AOPA message board that Greenwood Airport has been revived of late with flight training and aircraft maintenance.  He made a special note to one and all that coffee is now available in the terminal!  Keep up the great work Ralph and company.  Thank you for having us here.
       4.  A very sincere thank you to Erick & Nancy Miles, Dr. Scott & Cindy Miles, and Roger Tomey.  Alace and I were only steps away from losing heart in aspects of this important work and were praying for a support.  Our Heavenly Father answered our prayers as you stepped, put your arms around our shoulders, and injected fresh ideas and focus.  We are more grateful than you know.  Thank you for demonstrating to us lives that are sensitive to God’s leading."

  WE now have over 20 barrels sponsored out of the 78 needed!  


Video- Gabonese Pygmies

Here is an interesting story highlighting the pygmy people in Gabon.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Governor Drama!

In my home state of Pennsylvania, the state governor is taking control of the capital city's finances after the city council tried to apply for bankruptcy and the city's mayor was unable to control the situation. 

View of engine looking upwards from the front of the aircraft.
Well, in our neck of the woods, at MMS Aviation, we've got "governor drama" on a whole other level!  While adjusting our propeller governor, it became clear that the governor had served its' time and a new one should be ordered and installed.  So, the part will be ordered today and we'll install it ASAP.

Today we had the pitot/static system done to verify precise operation of aircraft instrumentation.

Here is the hi-tech equipment set up to evaluate our aircraft.

Here is the technician, Mark, from ProAv Services of New Philadelphia, OH.  I highly recommend their shop- some LeTourneau University alum run the shop!

The weather continues to be pretty lousy.  Pray for blue skies please!  Thanks!
The work may be taking a bit longer than we had slated, but there will be no wine until it is time!  We're patiently progressing through the reassembly and return to service of the Cessna 207.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Week #2 at MMS Aviation

Alace and I had a very nice weekend with family in State College, PA as we gathered for my father’s 80th birthday, which included attending a Penn State football game. (more pics here)

I was also able to do a brief update in both of the morning worship services at the State College Alliance Church.  They will be sending a short term missions trip to Gabon next July, so it was really nice to make that connect.

Alace and I made it back to Ohio this week- she is again at her mother’s home while I am at MMS Aviation. There is still quite a list of items that need to be taken care of. They are weighing the aircraft today, and then launching into the annual inspection and a list of discrepancies.

We are due to have our pitot/static testing done at an airport not far from here on Thursday. We really need the weather to cooperate for things to come together on all of these things. We also need to avoid any surprises. We would like to do a bit of flying to visit some supporters with the aircraft prior to flying to Kansas for the ferry flight preparations.

Thanks for your prayers.

Aircraft Engine Run up

Here's a video from last Friday.  MMS Aviation is wrapping up their work and have run up our Continental IO-550F engine.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

This Week's Med Evac

After the passenger briefing and prayer, we loaded up in our rented Cessna 206, bound to Bongolo Hospital.  The gentleman in the middle of this picture has cancer.  He was turned away from a well-known hospital in the capital city of Libreville.  He is too weak for travel by road.  Without our aviation program and Bongolo accepting to see him, he would have no other options.

The two gentlemen are friends of the patient.  They stayed with us as we loaded up and departed.

On the very same flight, were two new team members at Bongolo- Jen and Zack O.  They are both general surgeons that have come under the Samaritan's Purse program.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Coming Together

Here in Gabon, everyone is getting quite excited about the return of our aircraft.  In fact, some are very fanatical!

Okay... okay... it's a helicopter- but, you get the idea!