Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prayer... The FIRST Work

Here are some things that we would covet your prayers for:

 Pray for our preparation for a super quick visit to the states and try to juggle many events and connections.  I’ll be the pastor officiating my niece’s wedding and then have a preaching engagement at our sending church (York Alliance, PA).  This event coincides with our kids’ fall school break, so we’re thrilled about a connection with our family- we don’t get many of those!

 Pray for the kids (Joe-17, Megan-16, Sam-14) as they wrap up the 1st quarter of the school year well.  Joe is his senior class president and very busy!  Megan is part of the drama evangelism team that presents the gospel to villages in the region of their school.  Sam is the 9th grade representative for student council.  They all LOVE their school- the Rain Forest International School in Yaounde, Cameroon (a 2 hour flight in our airplane from our home).
 Pray for upcoming maintenance on the aircraft that Steve needs to accomplish in Cameroon prior to our US trip.

 Pray for the aviation program’s long range planning and the vision to inspire and involve Gabonese in marketplace ministry efforts, like aviation.
 Pray for the team of 2 men coming from York Alliance (PA) in late October and their goals to accomplish the bathroom renovation work at the guest house as well as the more important tasks of building relationships and inspiring others in marketplace Kingdom expressions.

Thanks for the prayers!!!


Steve and Alace Straw

Friday, September 14, 2012


Terry teaches taking pulses.
 Subtitle:  Bongolo Hospital Nursing School In Session!

Carolyn T. gives us this update:

Here's the Good News about the Bongolo Hospital Nursing School. Thanks for praying for the August 4th Entrance Exam. There were 42 candidates who took the exam and 17 candidates who were accepted into the Nursing Class of 2012-2015. Orientation for this new class began Monday this week, September 10th. There were sixteen (16) students who arrived ready for class. That is so good since in recent years the classes have been smaller but we really need more nurses so a larger class is great! These students came from about nine cities, towns or villages from all the North and from the South of Gabon. Pray for these six men and ten women as they look for rooms to rent, as they adjust to living in the area and as they begin their studies of Nursing.
The new prof!  Amanda M.

 Pray for Karen F., Terry N., and Amanda M. as they teach the Orientation and also the first trimester of classes. Coleen L.also flew from the States to Gabon so she could help the other three with the first two weeks of Orientation. During these first two weeks the students have an intensive time of learning basic techniques used in the hospital such as pulse, blood pressure, bandaging, hygiene, transferring patients, giving medicines, etc.
Students practice taking blood pressure.

September 24th the regular trimester classes will be begin for both the 1st year students but also for the 3rd year students. There are no 2nd year students this year. Pray for those who will have a double teaching load.

Monday, September 10, 2012

I've Got a Gas Problem...

Too much information?  Well... I thought you'd like an update on how the situation stands with our ongoing saga to get our hands on a stable source of AvGas.  Here goes...

Here is an update about the different sources of fuel for our airplane:

Possible Source #1:  Libreville international airport- They continue to not keep our type of fuel (“AvGas”; also called “100 low-lead”) in stock.  Most airplanes use jet fuel, here, and there are not many small “general aviation” airplanes around, so the demand for our type of fuel is almost non-existent.  For this reason, the fuel is very hard to find.

I just stopped by the airports’ office of fueling today, just in case they had a surprise delivery of AvGas.  Sadly, there was no AvGas and hasn’t been any there for over a year.  They cannot give me any assurances when any might show up.  So, this is not a source we can count on.

Possible Source #2:  Local Agricultural Company- An agricultural company with plantations throughout Gabon and west Africa has an aircraft based here that uses AvGas.  They import their own fuel from South Africa and stock it at their warehouse downtown.  They have been my steady source of AvGas since our program has been operating.  This is a great answer to prayer!  Even today I stopped by to pick up 3 barrels of fuel (600 liters).

It is expensive!  Almost 3 times the cost of what it is going for in the US!

However, I need your prayers regarding this source!  Last week they stated that they may start having to ration their AvGas as their own airplane is using more lately, and they have not received a restock of the fuel.  That has me a bit concerned.  Another issue is that they have been talking about selling their aircraft, so they would no longer be ordering AvGas.  This is a bigger concern!

Possible source #3:  Our own source!  Of course, you know we have been working to import our own fuel.  This is the preferred route- where we are the ones that can do the ordering, receiving, stocking, etc.  Thanks to our friends at a mission aviation organization in the US, we have folks in the US that will fill up the 78 barrels and put them into a 20 foot shipping container to send.   Also, we have the sponsors that have kindly sponsored all the 78 barrels.  However, we have been praying for the government to excuse us from paying about $10,000 in taxes when it arrives at the port.  To this end, we have had an initial meeting with the first lady of Gabon (the president’s wife), but only got to meet with her chief of staff.  She kindly told us that our dossier needed additional documents (they like to have folders thick and overflowing with papers!) and then they would review it to see if we could have the actual meeting with the first lady.  That was this past spring.

Since that meeting, we have been working to get all the documents together- a long process.  Here, nothing happens very fast as a rule, especially in the summer months.  However, I am hopeful that we will have the dossier ready to deposit by the end of this month and then, perhaps, have a meeting set up by the end of October.

Having our own source is the way to go.  There are simply too many variables otherwise.  We really appreciate your prayers to this end!!!