Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Staying on Track

From our chief pilot, Rob:  "An amazing volunteer team of 5 men from the US lead by Paul, the Bongolo hospital maintenance man/missionary, came on Monday to replace the hangar door tracks and guides. The old doors were so bad it was difficult to open them with one person. What a difference now! Thank you Lavon, Mel, Jason, John, Ryan and Paul!!! Such a blessing and encouragement."

2°12'53"S 11°29'27"E

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bongolo Fire - Last Update

Last Update?!?

Who's to say that there won't be more to the story in the future (I'm sure there will be!), but for now, here are the amazing details as explained by Bongolo teammate, Eric Hofman in regards to the explosion of the hospital's transformer on Friday, January 17th:

"We wanted to share some great news with you.  About a month ago, we sent you the email shown below, telling about Bongolo Hospital’s urgent need for a new transformer.  Well, in the past month, God has provided in some amazing ways, answering all of our prayer requests.  A transformer was found, delivered, and installed , the back-up generator ran great in the interim, and God has moved in the hearts of many people to cover all of the costs!  We are all in awe of the works God has performed – He is truly capable of doing the impossible!  Thank you for the part you have played in this miracle from God."

Gabon Team Leader and Bongolo Medical Director, Dr. Keir Thelander adds: 

"At this point we are sure of about $95,000 that was given.
Additionally, I have heard

Thursday, February 13, 2014

January Update from the Flight Deck

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking…"

January 2014… some numbers and notes:

Flight hours:  13.0 (just out of maintenance)

Airports visited:  5

We finished our annual inspection this month.  It went a little longer than normal, and we missed a couple flights as a result.  Since last year's annual inspection was so intensive, we thought this years' would be a bit more streamlined.  However, with an aging airframe and other things that popped up, we had over 40 discrepancies to sort out and, yet again, another cylinder change.  A big thanks for Dan S. at the SIL Cameroon hangar for taking on the lion's share of the jobs.  Rob, our chief pilot who is running ALL operations (passenger scheduling, maintenance, flights, etc.), had his hands full with juggling it all!
Tchibanga airport

Med-Evac Flight:
A call came for a medical evacuation from the town of Tchibanga- a 30 minute flight Southwest, toward the coast.  After getting the sign-off from Dr. Keir, Rob launched to pick up the patient.  Here's Rob's description of the pick-up: "Tchibanga sits down in a valley at about 200’. Very nice area with big long runway. I looked at the runway on Google earth and

BOOK REVIEW: "Mission Pilot- The David Gates Story"

I'm doing a bit of research into the history of Mission Aviation in search of any instances of technical, aviation training offered by the international workers towards locals.  Along this journey, I get to find out about some pretty amazing stories.  Here's the latest book that I'm reading:

Mission Pilot; The David Gates Story- available for online reading or download: http://www.slideshare.net/Afryea/mission-pilot-english-whole-book

175 pages that you can easily read in one setting.

David Gates, an "M.K." (missionary kid) who grew up in Bolivia, shares some amazing, faith-filled experiences from his life living abroad as a pilot, teacher, physician, and visionary (author Eileen Lantry).

The first half of the book details the hi-jacking of his airplane and then imprisonment at the hands of local military in Southern Mexico.  Intertwined are flashbacks to his childhood, teens, college years and early years of international work.

Yep- I like airplanes, so you're going to have…

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Physiology is suspended at Bongolo" Part I and II

The following story was posted on the "Serving At Bongolo" blog 5 days ago (06 Feb), by visiting doctor, Jeff Lane.  It is an awesome story… but it's just "part one".  So, read the post (which is amazing, all by itself), and then strap in for "part two"!

PART I:  “Physiology is suspended at Bongolo Hospital….”

God showed up in miraculous ways again at Bongolo Hospital.  During a prior trip, one of the visiting physicians coined the phrase, “physiology is suspended at Bongolo Hospital.”  In other words, the normal physiologic processes and outcomes that we see every day in the United States do not occur on some of the patients at Bongolo.  Those that would normally have poor outcomes and even death are spared miraculously.

One such occurrence was a trauma that occurred on Wednesday.  In the local town (L├ębamba), two teenagers on a motorcycle were struck by a taxi and showed up in the ER.  One had a broken femur
and fractured bones around the right eye.  The other had a broken femur and tibia and a presumed head injury.  His level of consciousness was in and out, at times making sense, but most of the time was confused.  He was initially scheduled to undergo emergent repair of his leg fractures, but in the interim took a turn for the worse, approaching a comatose state.  We assumed he was bleeding inside his skull and rushed him to the operating room.  We did not have any imaging of his head (unavailable) and presumed the bleeding in his skull was on the same side of a head laceration (it could have been on the other side just as well).  After getting him off to sleep, the surgeon drilled a hole in his skull to evacuate the…

Hope House Update- Home for At-Risk Children

Today, Hope House director, Pastor Israel, reports some good news.

A large C&MA church in the capital city of Libreville, has given $2000 to assist Hope House's construction project.  Internationally, in the past 3 months, about $400 has come in as well.

Early in December of last year, you might remember that the need stood at $6000 to add 9 rooms onto the house where the older boys of Hope House now live in the ACAE neighborhood- Israel pronounces it "ah-kai-ee".

"Guest House" is where our family lived (Alace was director) for past 5 years.

Again, the crisis remains- their temporary home is meant to house about 15 adult visitors at the Bible College… Hope House has jammed about 40 children and Pastor Israel's family into the small apartment!  Additionally, the older boys live at the ACAE house unsupervised.

In total, they have 54 children registered in Hope House.  The new home will, in the end, have 15 rooms, and perhaps have a "normal" capacity for 40 to 45 children.  Pastor Israel told me this morning, he knows he'll need to place about a dozen children elsewhere.  We are praying for families in Gabon to open their homes.

Please continue to pray for provision for the remaining $3600 for material and labor costs to quickly get the facility built that will be the new home for Hope House.

Please consider a donation to their fund:

The C&MA has a giving mechanism to make sure your donation is receipted and the funds are handled properly.  The link is below.  When you get to the page, simply type in "Hope House" into the blank under "Give to Int'l Workers and Special Projects".


Thank you so much!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Maxing Out!

With every flight to and from Bongolo Hospital, we try to MAX OUT our hauling capacity with either cargo or people.  Here is one such example from this past December:

Rob, our chief pilot, noted…

"One of my more serious loading jobs. US embassy donated 2 palettes of medical supplies for Bongolo. Still a bit remaining to come but less than I expected. N207FD swallowed a lot! Pastor Serge, the hospital administrator, heard I was arriving with a serious load of stuff and came to help me. Amazing servant leadership!"

We can only truly "max out" our impact with your partnership.  Please consider sponsoring one of our projects this year by visiting our "Projects" page.  Thanks!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bongolo Fire Update - Funding

Here is really good news from Gabon team leader, Keir, regarding where we stand with the funding needed to pay for the costs resulting from the transformer explosion and fire:

"… the amount below (donations to C&MA) in addition to the $50,000 from CAMA, means that the Lord has provided to date [about] $95,000 for the replacement transformer. Reason to Rejoice.   -Keir" 

C&MA donations:   
January total = $43,372.
February 3 & 4 totals = $2,465


We're about half way to covering the costs from the fire!  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 

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.

Partnership Success! Project- Refueling Cart

Partnerships are KEY to the success for our work in Gabon.  As a small, one airplane program in Central Africa, it is ESSENTIAL to find others, around the globe, who will team up with us to make critical projects happen.  The refueling cart is one such item.

Our colleague, Chase Ketcham, has completed his work on the refueling cart and delivered it to ARK Transport, in Cleveland, where it will be loaded on our shipping container in about a month.  Here are some details that "Ketch" has provided for us:

 1). I leak checked the fuel cart with water, and purged the system as best I could afterward. All this was done without the water blocking filter installed. I would suggest running at least on gallon of gasoline thru the fuel cart before fueling the aircraft or installing the filter.

2). The entire fuel cart is extremely aft heavy when not attached to a fuel drum.  In fact, even with an EMPTY drum attached, the cart will fall backwards.  I would suggest building a 25 pound counter balance to hang on the drum once it is set up to fuel the aircraft, then, once the drum is emptied, the fuel cart won't topple over while the pilot is on top of the wing.  I think that a battery inside an enclosed battery box would make an excellent counter ballast for the unit.  

3).  Finally, since I had an abundance of the quick disconnects (too many were ordered), I installed a QD on the fuel nozzle, since there was no swivel available to keep the hose from kinking.  The QD worked perfectly as a swiveling mechanism.  It can easily be removed if it does not suit you. However, it seemed like a good security mechanism, since the fuel nozzle can quickly be removed in order to prevent unauthorized pumping.  Just a thought.

I hope this fuel cart satisfies you, and serves you well.   There is time to make any modifications necessary, however, I delivered it to the shipper, Ark, this morning.

It was a blessing, and PRIVELAGE, for me to be a part of this project.

I hope God blesses you thru the use of this fuel cart.

- Ketch

Are you interested in teaming up with us to make a similar project happen? Take a look at our PROJECTS page and consider joining the team.  Email us with your interest at AMBGabon@gmail.com.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Big Brother Watching Again!

Since our SPOT satellite tracker service has been "blacked out" for our region of the world, we dropped the service and have been looking for another.  As you can see, we found one!  Above is the track from the last 24 hours.

Using a iPad mini, similar to the one above, we have a data plan with a cell phone company and use the app "FollowMee".  Our primary tool to follow flights uses a modem over an HF radio beamed to our partners at SIL Aviation in Cameroon. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Bongolo Update- New Transformer Online!

As of Tuesday, January 28th, the new transformer at Bongolo Hospital has come on line!  Here are some updates from colleagues serving there:

Renee says: "On January 17th, the transformer that supplies electricity for the hospital and our homes, exploded and caught fire.  The hospital's new transformer is already installed and working!  We never imagined...