Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Newsletter Online

Should you not be one of the many, many people that we spam with our newsletter, here is a link to our Easter update:  Click Here

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hope House - Construction Update

The Hope House home for at-risk children in Libreville continues to be a work in progress.  As funding comes in, the Director, Pastor Israel, is able to buy material and hire workers to continue on.  

The goal is to find a permanent home for the nearly 50 children- some are orphans, but all of them are from broken homes where the family is unable to care for them.  When he is able, Pastor Israel finds a family to take in a child.  The adoption process in Gabon is quite complex- I have not been able to understand it completely, but suffice it to say, that finding foster homes is the "norm".

The current construction is to expand their temporary rental home to fit all the children, who are living in separate homes at this time- girls and the younger boys in the home with Pastor Israel and his wife at the guest house at the C&MA Bible School campus, while the older boys care for themselves at the finished portion of the house in these pictures.  That's right- they have no supervision for the moment.  Pastor Israel checks in on them regularly.

This excellent video from the C&MA highlights their international ministries.  At the 2:16 mark in the video, you'll see some of the Hope House children waving with Pastor Israel and momma Nathalie in the back.

All Creatures of Our God and King from The Alliance on Vimeo.

Donated sewing machines are used to teach the young people skills for life as well as potential income.
A big thanks to Pastor Sangoye, our business agent in LBV, for snapping these pictures last week to show us the progress.

Please consider investing in these young ones!  CLICK HERE to find out how.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gabon Viper- My Very Special Easter Egg

So, Alace and I have a 1 kilometer run/walk path around the perimeter of the international high school next door.  However, after a bad wind and rain storm last week, we had to make a detour around this section due to downed branches and vines…

So, today after a 4K jaunt, I decided to grab a machete and have at it.  After starting in on the branches leaning over the path, I took a step back to clear debris and clear the high grass encroaching on the side of the trail.  There appeared to be some very cool leaves with a neat pattern to them then… it moved slightly and I realized I had been standing inches from a GABON VIPER!!!

They're not a long snake- maybe just 2 feet long, but what are long are their fangs!  They have the longest fangs of any other snake in the world and they pump more venom in their victim than any other!  Thankfully, they are very reluctant to strike… usually only when you step directly on one. 

I was just moments from stepping on this one when I had the thought that I really should clear the path a bit as I progress with the clearing overhead.  I'm thanking God that I didn't get bitten. The description of what happens, according to wikipedia, is not good… I'll leave it at that!

Friday, April 18, 2014

March 2014 Update from the Flight Deck

FLIGHT HOURS:  26.9 (almost 7 more flight hours than last month)


MAINTENANCE EVENTS:  50 hour inspection at Bongolo hangar (thanks Colin & Kelly!)


On approach to Libreville, over the estuary (0 degrees 14.31 N / 9 degrees 35.34 E).   
PS. Those aren't venetian blinds sailing towards the front window of the airplane- that's how our 3-bladed propellor, spinning at 2300 RPM, appears when taking photos of it in action.

What might happen if you take ground transport between Libreville and Bongolo Hospital?  A fender bender and over 15 hours of driving instead of a 1.7 hour flight aboard our Cessna 207.  Louis (a visitor) and Anatole (PAACS resident) were in this van accident on their way to Bongolo in March.  Thankfully, no one was injured.

Seder Meal

Thursday evening was a very special time with our "family" at our hostel home called "UBAC".  We celebrated the Seder or, Passover, meal.  We started participating in Seder meals, some years ago with the student ministry in York, PA where the church LIFE groups still host them.  We were so thankful for the resources (documents/readings) that they provided to facilitate the event.

The Seder plate- we took some liberties with a couple of the elements, since our resources were limited in our African context.

Our family, seated oldest to youngest from my right, counterclockwise.

We added some local "spice" to the Seder- Cameroonian piment was added to some horseradish sauce to help bring tears to our eyes (a key Seder event!) and we sang one of the songs in the official national language of Cameroon- French.
We HIGHLY recommend that you host a Seder meal.  It is very meaningful and very fun.  Our Seder meal was very true to most of the Jewish traditions, incorporating elements of the reality of Christ.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Bintou, our chief pilot, Rob's, wife has been accepted to the three year ophthalmology internship program at Bongolo!  We are so excited for Bintou!  Congratulations!

(L to R):  Dr. Wendy (Bongolo Eye Clinic director), Bintou, Rob, and Dr. Elisee (recent grad of internship program).

Dr. Jacques Ebehle experiencing a US grocery store!
(photo: Jeff Lane)

CLICK HERE to read some other news from Bongolo teammates who recently visited the US for some speaking engagements.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

February Update from the Flight Deck

We saw a nice increase in activity in February- 7 hours more flying time than January.  Total flight hours:  20.3

PASSENGERS:  Among our many passengers, we were able to transport the team from the US that facilitated the spiritual retreat for the Bongolo international mission workers.  Here they are (standing, middle, blue shirt and yellow shirt) with the team.

VIP PASSENGER:  The national church president, Pastor Victor  (center in photo), used the airplane's services to get to and from some meetings at Bongolo Hospital.  Rob, our chief pilot, said he had a great chat with Pastor Victor enroute.

CARGO: Among the many suitcases, medicines, groceries, and medical equipment transported in February, was this large box weighing over 300 pounds.  This is the automatic transfer switch that will work in concert with the new transformer to help keep power flowing.

EQUIPMENT: iPads have become a very handy tool in the cockpit.  We now have a nice "yoke mount" for our iPad mini (like the one pictured here).  We need your help to keep a good stock of tools and equipment for the program.  You can partner with us for this purpose by clicking  HERE to find out more about the our 2014 Projects.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Break Gabon Visit!

It was Spring Break for our program in Cameroon last week, so we hopped back down to Gabon for a great visit.  It doesn't look like any of our family will be back there for a year or more, so we were eager to take the opportunity.

Saturday- We had a great reception stepping off the airplane!
Here are some of our dear friends from Libreville,
who include Pastor JeanMarc and Jeanine Ynguemba,
to name a few.

Sunday- On our second day, Megan and Sam were baptized along with 2 others from a partner church.  It was perfect weather!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

From "Alleviating Poverty" to "Creating Prosperity"

An article on the "Q Ideas" website caught my attention recently, thanks to a friend.  It was entitled "The Shift from 'Alleviation Poverty' to Creating Prosperity'" by Michael Miller, Director of Poverty Cure.

I enjoyed Miller's call to Christ followers for thoughtful work among the poor or our world.  He challenged the reader to move beyond the knee-jerk responses to poverty and to dig deep and really investigate the responses that should be the markers of true charity.

What are some of our well-intentioned responses to the poor in our world?  Miller lists several- sending food, water, clothes; sponsoring children, building wells, starting schools and going on mission trips; wearing wristbands, signing petitions.

So how does true charity respond?  Miller says that a deeper look at root causes will reveal

Yaounde Life- Alace

Catching a ride in the SIL helicopter in Cameroon
Have you met my better half, Alace?  You really should.  If you have, you know she is all about relationships.  Surface conversations?  Nope… that won't suffice.  Deep, real, genuine, heart-to-heart connections is her "sweet spot".

So, you can imagine the "wilting" that happened in her spirit over that last couple of years, as, one by one…