Thursday, July 16, 2015

Bongolo Airport Work

Annually, we work hard to have the Bongolo Airport
December 2009- Installing
the first wind sock... Iwo Jima
(aka. Lebamba airport) in good shape for the inspectors from the civil aviation department in the country we serve in.  Some times it is a challenge to know all the expectations and standards we need to comply to, but we're happy to report that, for the last 6 years, we've kept the airport certified and open as one of the few public airports in Gabon.  This is no small feat!

Here are some of the pictures from this years work to keep the airstrip in good shape.  A big thanks to the workers running the backhoe and Captain Rob for his oversight.  Enjoy!

In front of the hangar looking West.  Previously a ditch had been running along this side of the runway for at least a third of the length.  Civil aviation said that it was too deep.

At the East end of the runway looking off the end.

From the Western half of the runway, looking East, back toward the hangar.  You can just make out a sliver of the shiny hangar roof just left of the picture's center.  The main work was filling the ditches along both sides of the runway and then blending it all in with the runway.

Here is the intersection of the ramp taxiway and the runway.  Again, a ditch needed filled in here.  This mound of dirt will be leveled out.

The view from above.

Monday, July 13, 2015

On-Going Projects

Here are some on-going projects for your consideration- ways to invest in specific aspects of the effort.  Thank you for considering partnering with this important work in Expediting Health and Expanding Hope in Central Africa.


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:  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"


Friday, July 10, 2015

10 July Update

Here’s an update:

With all of our speaking engagements and associated travel over, we’re enjoying being “home” a bit more!

The countdown to our return to Africa has started- just 3 weeks to go! So, we’re putting together the final version of our “to-do” list and starting to knock them off. This week has included updating our typhoid and yellow fever shots- ouch! Then, to add insult to injury, the clinic called 2 days later to say that they’re worried our yellow fever shot had expired and we’d need to come back! The good news- they’re gonna reimburse us for the first shots and not charge us for the new ones!

The most difficult part of returning to central Africa is not being with our two oldest children, Joe and Megan, for about 10 months or so. We’re doing all we can to make sure they have what they need prior to leaving. Please pray for a significant item that has come up- Megan’s financial aid package got cut in half and we’re dialoguing with her school to figure out why. She loves Nyack College and is doing well- we want her to return, so we are hoping for a solution.

We’re looking forward to time with Steve’s family this weekend at his niece’s wedding in D.C.

Alace got done with her first week of class and did great on her first assignments!

Thank you for your prayers for the flights in Gabon. After a few weeks of constant flying, this week has slowed down a bit, giving Rob, our chief pilot, time to breathe!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Steve and Alace

Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Fourth!!! Update for the Week

Our trip to Houston went great and we’re finally done with the over 50 presentations we’ve had during our home assignment.  

Megan returned from her short term mission trip to Macedonia with the other 5 women from our home church (York Alliance Church).  They had great stories about connections with the 3 national churches and international workers based there.

Sam and Joe wrapped up their York area (PA) outreach with our home church.  The event went well, although they had to change some block parties to inside the gym due to weather.

Alace has started her online classes with Liberty Univ. towards her degree in counseling.  It will be a long journey as we’ll only be able to sign up for courses as funds allow.  Classes on the web take some getting used to, and Alace is struggling a bit to get going, but has plenty of reading to do.

Aviation Médicale de Bongolo (AMB):

FUEL!  The wire transfer of funds to the seller of the unexpected 40 drums of fuel that showed up on our doorstep in Gabon has gone through!  We are so grateful for the provision of the finances to make this great deal happen.  As we said before, it was too good to pass up!  Now we are making plans for the in-country transport of the drums to the hangar at Bongolo airport.  This gives us a fuel stock lasting into the second half of 2016.

PROPELLER!  A second wonderful provision to report is the full sponsorship of our “Adopt-A-Prop” fund-raiser.  Now, we’ll be able to get a new prop on the next container bound to Gabon (Sept.) and have it installed and spinning away by Thanksgiving.  The new prop will be more efficient and give us all-around better performance.  The existing prop will be disassembled and make its way back to the US, piece by piece, to be reconditioned and ready for future use.

FLIGHTS:  Rob, our chief pilot, has been flying more days than not, lately.  Many visitors and patients have been coming and going to Bongolo.  Thanks to your support and prayers, the tool of aviation is maximizing Kingdom impact of a team passionate about demonstrating the love and compassion of our God and making disciples of Jesus.  Please pray for good weather and endurance for Rob and the team.

STRIKE:  In the news I read that some national doctors are on strike and only caring for critical patients.  I haven’t heard from our team how this is effecting Bongolo but, in the past, strikes like this have sent an overwhelming amount of patients to Bongolo, pushing the staff and resources there to the limit.  Please pray for a resolution soon.  
This update is a bit longer since some of you are getting it for the first time and for the fact that much is happening!  Future ones will be shorter.

Thank you for your prayers!

Steve and Alace

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Prayer for the week

Another C&MA pastor, Skye Jethani, shares a prayer per week, as an attachment to his daily devotions. I'm really finding them helpful.  Below is this weeks prayer.  For more info on Skye's "With God" devotions, click here.

from Johann Habermann (1516 - 1590)
Almighty and merciful God, 
you are the strength of the weak, the refreshment of the weary, the comfort of the sad, the help of the tempted, the life of the dying, the God of patience and of all consolation;
you know full well the inner weakness of our nature, how we tremble and quiver before pain, and cannot bear the cross without your divine help and support.
Help me, then, O eternal and pitying God, help me to possess the soul of patience, to maintain unshaken hope in you, to keep the childlike trust which feels a Father’s heart hidden beneath the cross;
so shall I be strengthened with power according to your glorious might, in all patience and long-suffering;
I shall be enabled to endure pain and temptation, and, in the very depth of my suffering, to praise you with a joyful heart.