Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today's Flight- Bongolo to Libreville

After a great 3-day visit with our team at Bongolo hospital that ended with a HUGE African rain storm last night, we launched this morning for a flight back home to Libreville.

With only 3 passenger seats needed for the flight and plenty of useful load to spare, we used the occasion to shuttle some fuel to Libreville.  Fuel that was meant for a Cessna 402 performing some aerial photography project in the south of Gabon.  Their project was canceled early and they made us a great deal on the dozen or so barrels.  It worked out to about $8.50 a gallon. In Libreville, our source is currently selling AvGas at $23.50 a gallon!!!

This year, by April or May, we'll shift our base from Libreville to the Bongolo hangar.  A new teammate, Rob, on loan from SIL-Cameroon, will help us develope things there.  Some needs: a 40' shipping container for storage/office to put along the hangar, new solar panels and batteries, lighting, eviction notices to many wasps, and much more!

Looking down the Lebamba/Bongolo airstrip toward the west.  Low clouds, but not too low to launch.  We were still able to get our "bon voyage" fly-by over the Bongolo mission and hospital just as church was beginning.

Bongolo field elevation is about 600'.  We climbed between clouds until about 4000' and then came on top of that layer (as pictured) at about 4500'.  A check on the radio frequency (118.1) to give a position report, but there were no other flights happening in our end of the county- no surprise.

Our passengers were very happy!   Dr. Neni (Bongolo dentist- holding baby Meara) and our Libreville bookkeeper, Clarisse (behind me) stayed in conversation and laughing most of the hour and 40 minutes.  It was super smooth!  My favorite co-pilot made the flight fun for me!  By the time we crossed over Lamberene, the low clouds were mainly gone.

A look to the west just after passing Lamberene.  That's the Ogouee River complex heading out to the Atlantic Ocean- one of the largest river complexes in Africa after the Nile, Niger, and Congo rivers.

A look to the East at about the same area, toward the "Crystal" mountains.  A very beatiful flight... the "sanctuary of the sky" for worshipping our Creator this Sunday morning!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Asking the Right Questions in 2013

We'll be sending out a newsletter soon called "3, 2, 1, ... LAUNCH 2013!".  It describes much about where we're at and where we're headed this coming year.  If you don't receive our "snail mail" newsletters, please email me to do so ( I'm happy to make sure one gets to your front door!

In 2013, there will be much transition and growth for our program.  In it all, we will seek to prayerfully reflect.  We want to strive to make sure to ask the right questions.  One big one is, "what does 'success' look like for our work here?", and, "what are the right 'metrics' to assist us in evaluating our journey and effectiveness?".  We covet your prayers and teamwork on this adventure!  Much of this is uncharted airways!

A Friend of mine, Brian Rice, leads an organization called "Leadership ConneXtions International". In a recent email, he shared some great food for thought as we enter 2013:

"It seems as though the second half of a (person's) life is made up of nothing but the habits he/she had accumulated in the first half."  (Dostoevsky)

Important words to hear. They go along with another statement that I quote from memory below (and cannot remember the author).

"Middle age is when we pay the price for not dealing with the dysfunctions of our youth."

Take a little time and reflect on what you are buidling into your life in the FIRST HALF... for that will inevitably frame how your SECOND HALF is experienced.

* What do you want to build into your life this year?
* What changes do you want to explore in 2013?
* What new areas of learning are you going to pursue?
* What issues do you need to attend to NOW so they are not crippling LATER?

By God's grace, he will complete the good work he has started in your life. However . . . He does invite you to be a part of that process of maturity and growth.

(for more from Brian, contact him at )

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hope House Christmas Visit

We had a nice visit with some of the Hope House children the day after Christmas.

Not many were home the day of our visit- the Hope House is currently in the midst of a move to two new homes- one for the younger kids and girls, the other for the older boys.  This will help cut down on all the time and money they spend on getting back and forth to school.

We came with some gifts that churches had collected in the US- clothes, toothbrushes/toothpaste, medications, soap, some games and more.

One woman from the states had a great idea to take pillow cases, add some decorative material, and put straps on them for dresses!

Some of the guys returning from washing up some dishes.

Joe playing some games with the kids.

Sam waiting his turn patiently!

Some great clothes were donated like these cargo pants for boys!

Michel, to the right, was pretty sick- we took time to pray for him.

Henricka, center, is our future pilot!  I had some pilot magazines to share with her to keep her inspired.  We pray for a flight academy to form with the help of our newly formed aviation association.

Thanks for all your prayers and support in 2012 for Hope House!  Please pray for them as they make the move at the start of the new year to better serve the children.  We'll keep you updated.