Friday, January 31, 2014

Projects Page

Here are some ways for you to invest in specific aspects of our work.  Thank you for considering partnering with this important work in Expediting Health and Expanding Hope in Central Africa.

It's time for a new prop!  We need to purchase a prop in time for the September 2015 shipment.  It's a big ticket item but once we have 2 props, we can move to a cheaper overhaul schedule.

COSTabout $12,000 (w/ shipping)            

FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "New Prop"

The "Lee's Pipes" exhaust maximizes durability and comes with a 20 year / 2000 flight hour warranty! They increase fuel efficiency and horsepower (about 10%), while reducing down time due to repairs.

COST: $3200 (includes shipping)              


Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Engine Exhaust Upgrade"

PROJECT:  Hangar Solar Overhaul.

Installed in 2002, our solar panels are worn out, leaving us powered by a small emergency generator. It's time for a solar overhaul!


FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Hangar Solar Overhaul"

PROJECT: Hangar Storage

To protect the sensitive and expensive inventory of aviation parts and diagnostic equipment, we need a storage system durable and secure to protect against the central African environment.  

COST: $1835                    FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Hangar Storage"

PROJECT: 15 Drums of AvGAS

In June 2013, the first installment of our "Fueling Progress" campaign-funded drums of AvGas arrived in Gabon!  In September 2014, 15 more drums will be sent from the US.  

COST$7,125.00                FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Fueling Progress"

PROJECT:  Smooth Ride Engine Upgrade

The hardworking engines of mission aircraft put a pounding on the engine mounts and airframes.  A "Smooth Ride" engine mount system means longer airframe life and less vibration (70% less!) for our precious cargo.

COST$3975 (with shipping)                      FUNDED:  0%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Smooth Ride"

PROJECT:  Hangar Tools

When you're based in one of the hardest to reach corners of the world, you don't have the luxury of reaching for your neighbors toolbox.  Help us add the wide variety of specialty tools we need, on top of our basic sets, to optimize the care we take in maintaining our fleet of one!

COST$4800 (with shipping)                      FUNDED:  0%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Hangar Tools"

PROJECT:  Where Most Needed

Whether it's assisting to subsidize a med-evac flight or other ways of being the Hands and Feet of God, we'll apply your contribution to the pressing need of the moment.  

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Where Most Needed"

PROJECT:  Store Room Container

Our hangar is just big enough for our aircraft and some minimal workspace and cabinets.  To have the storage we need, a shipping container pulled next to the hangar will be a perfect solution, just as pictured here.  These shelves are need for med-evac equipment, aircraft parts and tools and more.

COST: (waiting for quote)             FUNDED:  0%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Store Room Container"

PROJECT:  Critical Parts Inventory

HELP FILL THESE EMPTY SHELVES!!!  Some parts wear out quicker than others; some parts you hope never give you problems, but if they do, it means that the airplane is grounded for an extended period of time while parts are ordered and delivered.  To keep our aircraft prepared for some of these worst case scenarios, we need to build up a strong inventory of critical spare parts to have on hand- alternators, magnetos, starters, batteries and more.

COST: (waiting for quote)             FUNDED:  0%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Critical Parts Inventory"

Our JPI-700 engine monitor has expansion plugs to allow for monitoring of fuel flow information.  Having this info will allow us to more safely operate the aircraft and operate in an economical "lean-of-peak" mode, resulting in HUGE savings in fuel consumption.

COST: $650                              FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Engine Monitor Upgrade"

Refueling the aircraft is difficult as a one person job- which is a reality our small program.  This requires tipping a 55 gallon drum of AvGas on its' side, rolling it out of the hangar to the airplane, tilting it back up (330 pounds!), then toting the hand pump, filter, and awkwardly putting it all together to refuel.  A fuel cart is an "all-in-one" unit on wheels that attaches on and moves a 55 gallon drum.  It's much safer and less complicated, leaving the pilot with more energy for other tasks. 

COST$2200                              FUNDED:  100%

Donate On-Line  (enter "Gabon Airplane" in prompt)

Email Us - Let us know your funds are for "Engine Monitor Upgrade"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Aircraft Annual Inspection Complete!

My son, Sam, and I at the SIL hangarYaounde, Cameroon
From chief pilot, Rob:

"Yes, the annual inspection is completed.  I’m again very thankful for the resources and help of SIL- Cameroon. Without them we would be in a tough spot. It was honestly a pretty heavy inspection with a good bit more work than I had anticipated (40+ discrepancies) ..and I’m realizing that there is still additional refining to do.Beyond the annual inspection and routine servicing we addressed a number of issues on the airplane.  


We did have to replace 1 cylinder due to low compression and I am working with JAARS to

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bongolo Fire Update- HUGE GIFT!!!

Dear Friends,

I'm thrilled to report that our friends at Compassion and Mercy Associates (CAMA), are giving $50,000 (USD) to help pay for the over $180,000 in costs associated with the transformer fire at Bongolo

Not familiar with CAMA?  

"CAMA provides a variety of relief and development ministries that…

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bongolo Fire Update Jan 24

Here is today's update from our Gabon team leader and Bongolo Medical Director, Keir T.:
The transformer shack sits on the edge of the
Bongolo campus in the white shack
"Greetings from the heating up jungle.

Just 6 days ago our main electricity transformer, which supplies the whole hospital and homes, caught on fire and then subsequently was destroyed.  We have been running on generator since, except for about 30 minutes of down time that we had due to a concern about a possible leak in the radiator of the generator; we checked this out and did what we could to address the problem.
The burned up transformer & damaged shack

We have seen God at work in amazing ways:

1.  No one was hurt in the fire

2.  Our generator has run for all but 30 minutes for the last 6 days, we have been on energy conservation mode, and God has sustained and had His hand on the generator

3.  Pastor Serge (our hospital administrator) was able to meet with

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bongolo Fire Update- 22 January

Carolyn T., a colleague serving at Bongolo Hospital, passed along a couple of photos…

As unbelievable as it may seem, a new generator rolled into the Bongolo Hospital campus under 96 hours after the last one exploded and burnt up!!!  This is unheard of in this remote part of Africa!  We are so thankful for its' provision.  I still haven't heard the details, only that the price tag is about $176,000 US dollars.  They are working on hooking it up as soon as possible.

Here is the trusty diesel generator that has been steadily working for the past 4 days, non-stop!  It had some glitches in the weeks leading up to our crisis, but at just the right time, it was ready to work.  Again, we are so thankful for Paul (head of maintenance) and his commitment to honor God in his service to Bongolo- he keeps the place running and will be the first to humbly redirect your thanks to the Lord.

Wacky Week Continues- Crazy Hair Day

The students at our dorm house (UBAC Hostel) did a pretty good job of getting into today's theme of Crazy Hair.  Here are the results:


More pics…

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bongolo Fire Update- 21 Jan

I just received word from Bongolo's maintenance director, Paul D., that a new electrical transformer arrived this afternoon at the hospital!  INCREDIBLE!  A response like this is incredibly fast for rural Africa… unheard of!  Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

The installation will start tomorrow.

The only details that I have is that the price tag on the transformer is 87 million central African francs which is roughly $178,000 US dollars.  No word on how that is being paid for.

I hope to have pictures as soon as they're available. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Fun at the Dorm House- Career Day!

Here are some pics of the students that live in the dorm house ("UBAC Hostel") that we direct.  It's "career day"- the first day of WACKY WEEK!  Can you guess the careers???

Sharis… business woman / music industry exec

Megan… l'artiste!
More pics...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

International Living = Grief?

The answer is "yes"… somedays… many days.  There are losses when you tear up your roots and move an ocean or two away from your loved ones.  You don't even realize the intensity of it until one day you find emotions welling up and, like the Grinch, we find ourselves "leaking".  Sometimes we can conceal the grief; sometimes it comes out in ugly ways… really ugly.  The good news… our grief need not lead us to despair.  Despair is grief devoid of hope (1 Thes. 4:13-18).  In Christ, we have hope as a thread through every emotion.

A friend of ours sent along a great article that I have since learned is from a blog that I have linked below.  The article gives great insight to living outside your home culture and the "challenges" that go with it.  The author is Jonathon Trotter, who lives with his family in Cambodia. 

Outlawed Grief, a Curse Disguised

Living abroad is an amazing adventure, but it comes with some baggage. And sometimes, the baggage fees are hidden, catching you by surprise, costing more than you planned.  You thought you had it all weighed out, you could handle this, squeeze right under the limit.
But then it got heavy.  Your new friends moved away, or your child’s new friend moved away.  Far away.  Like other continents away.   And your kid’s broken heart breaks yours.
Someone died and…

Bongolo Fire Update- 19 January

This from Bongolo Hospital's Medical Director and Team Leader for international workers, Dr. Keir T.:
Dr. Keir

Hey team,

I just arrived last night to see that burned up transformer.  Thanks to all of you who participated in helping get that situation under control.  I am sure there were nerves, but I trust you felt God’s hand of protection even in this terrible situation. 

[Pastor] Serge, [Bongolo Hospital Financial & Administrative Director], drove to Libreville today to meet with the [owner/boss] of the company that he knows and already gave an estimate on this kind of transformer in the past.  The [owner/boss] arrives from France tonight, they will meet tomorrow.  The hope is that some time in the next few days, to couple of weeks, the transformer can get here and installed.

Also, please note Paul’s previous email about energy conservation [to ease the load on the generator].

Bongolo Administrator, Pastor Serge

Pray for:
     - The flight of the chef to arrive in LBV tonight
     - Serge’s trip to LBV today
     - For a successful meeting tomorrow
     - That the cost will be less than anticipate which is around 80 million CFA ($160,000).
     - All the materials are available and the work start soon
     - That our costs of using the generator will be less than expected

Blessings to all.


Bongolo Fire Update- 18 Jan

International worker and director of maintenance at Bongolo, Paul, gives this update:

"Hey team-  Here is an update on the current events for the transformer.  I got back to Bongolo about 4 hours ago and looked at the transformer first hand.  It is a total loss.

How did this occur?  

Well it seems the electric company was having issues since about 3pm yesterday and the power went out.  About 7pm we were still using the generator to power the hospital.  It was at that time that the power company turned the electricity back on at a increased capacity and that increase blew up the transformer.  There was a person walking by at the time and heard the explosion.

The good thing about this is, it could have been much worse.  If we were not using the generator at that time we would have been hooked up directly to the power company and then the damage would have been through out the entire complex.  As it was, it was contained to the transformer.

What is going to take place now?  

The small building that the transformer was in is badly corrupted and needs to… 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

FIRE At Bongolo Hospital!

The transformer shack is the small, shiny
roofed structure on the far right.
Sadly, last evening at Bongolo Hospital (around 2pm EST), the electrical transformer burst into flames and was destroyed.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and the damage was contained to the cement block shack that was home to the transformer.

I talked with Renee, a colleague who was there when the news broke out.  Circuit breakers had been popping throughout the day in various residents and she was visiting Zach and Jen who live nearby, to see if they were having the same issue.  While chatting, Zach got a call from another teammate, Terry, alerting them to the fire.

Here is the report, as given to another teammate, Joanna:

"Something clearly went wrong with the transformer and the fire began, fueled by the oil filling the transformer itself.  Our hospital administrator, Serge, went quickly to the power company to have them shut off our power.  Others gathered and when Serge returned he joined the rest of the Bongolo team in figuring out what to do.  After opening the door to the building (it is a standalone building) the flames increased raising concern for the overhead wires.  Ultimately, a bucket brigade was formed of missionaries, pastors, hospital staff and residents in surgery.  They tossed sand on the fire and finally were able to put it out."


We are thankful for a backup generator, but it has been a challenge to keep running of late add to that the daily operating costs of $1000 (USD).  The hospital director, Pastor Serge, is working his network of contacts to line up a replacement transformer and a team from the national electric company to come evaluate the situation, as this was their transformer that they placed there just over a year ago.  

Through our western eyes, we would surmise that the financial burden of this all lies with the electric company or that an insurance policy might cover this.  Well, that is not the reality.  The costs will end up being that of the hospital's to bear.  Since the hospital is based around service to the poor, rural population of the region, you can imagine that there are not many excess funds ready to cover this.  Click on the following dates to read the latest news.  I'll try to update until a solution is in place or, at least, in process.


Bongolo needs help with this crisis.  Initial estimates are over $100,000 (USD).  Would you please consider helping respond?  If you can assist with a financial donation, please click the "DONATE" logo on the right column of this page (or here) to take you to the Christian & Missionary Alliance website.  Enter "Bongolo" into the search in the section marked "Give to International Worker or Special Projects" and select the first option that pops up ("Hospital Projects/Bongolo").  You will be receipted for your giving.

If you wish to give via US Postal service:

Make a check payable to C&MA write “Bongolo Hospital Special Projects" in the memo line.
Send to:
P.O. Box 35000
Colorado Springs, CO 80935-3500

Critical, life-giving, hope-inspiring, work happens at Bongolo Hospital, shining a light of God's love in a remote corner of the world.  Please help that work to carry on.  Thank you so much.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shameless Publicity

So, every now and then, it's good to update your family photo.  Lot's of folks do this annually when they send out their Christmas cards.  International workers try to get one done about every other year.  Since we're getting ready for furlough in the US in about 6 months, we've started to think about getting a new card off to the printers.  Here's a rough draft… what do you think?

… and the back.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Missionary Kid- Guest Post

Being the father of three missionary kids (aka. "3rd Culture Kids"), I'm always interested to hear what older MK's say as they reflect on their younger years.  Our children have had opportunities to interact with older MK's and have received great encouragement that they can turn out okay!  That's great news for parents, too, who wonder if they have stashed enough cash away for any counseling sessions with a shrink for their kids due to them being whisked around the world a bit as a young person!

Rachael is a colleague of mine from Gabon and has graciously agreed to share her thoughts about the topic, having been an MK from a very young age. Enjoy!

Was returning to your passport country different from or similar to leaving? Which was easier or harder? Why?

When I returned to America to go to college, I had mixed feelings.  Part of me was excited to meet new people and learn new things, and part of me was very sad to leave behind everyone and everything I loved in Africa. 

I came to America not knowing anyone there except for my great aunt Allie, my grandmother’s sister. I stayed with her for the summer before college started, helping her can vegetables, shopping at health food stores and farmers markets, and learning all the stories of my grandmother’s family.

For a week that summer I went to…

Monday, January 6, 2014

Prayers to Start 2014

As always, our family asks that you join us in the important work of prayer.  Please pray for…

… Hope House, home for at-risk children in Libreville, Gabon needs $6000 to finish construction of an addition to their home to help an urgent housing crisis for the children.  (Read more)
… Safe transport for the students of our dorm house as they return to school (Rain Forest Int'l School).
… Refreshment for our family as the new semester starts.
… The aviation partnership (with JAARS) development that includes a rewrite of our program operating manual (tedious work for Steve)
… Speedy annual inspection for the hospital airplane and another great year of service in 2014
… Plans for furlough in the US for next school year that include refreshing and refocusing

Thanking the Lord for…

… Megan has been accepted at Nyack College!
… 2013 was another solid year of aviation service for the Bongolo Hospital- nearly 200 hours of safe flight
… We're (Alace and I) mostly over a season of health issues (coughs, stomach virus, etc.), and happy to be exercising again.
… Our time in Cameroon has brought more "fun" back to the routine and time to reflect- just in time after a long season of "heavy lifting" getting the program up and running in Gabon.
… Steve is still able to keep involved in mission aviation through developing partnership
… Our fill-in pilot Rob who keeps airplane operating so well and is blessing Bongolo Hospital with some I.T. help