Sunday, March 20, 2016

New "Home Team"- Missionary Air Group

For those following our journey closely, you know that our primary aviation sponsor for our work, starting way back in 2007, was Air Calvary.  Without this courageous, pioneering team, under the leadership of Mr. Brock Barrett, our work in Africa would not have launched.

Left to R: Me,  Rev. Victor Ndoukou (president of Gabon
C&MA), and MAG CEO Sean Donnelly.
With the maturation and growth of the project, Air Calvary has passed the baton to Missionary Air
Group (MAG) from North Carolina.   MAG brings critical pieces to the table to assist our work in Gabon:  full-time fundraising and CEO, Mr. Sean Donnelly, a board of directors with robust experience in mission aviation, over a decade of experience in aero-medical operations in the mission context, and recruiting capabilities, to name a few.

MAG CEO, Sean, made it a priority to visit the Gabon program and start building relationships.  His first trip was in February and Alace and I were there to give him a tour and meet with friends.

We started with a meeting with the leadership of the C&MA in Gabon.  We heard these Godly leaders describe a growing strategy to reach the far corners of their country and the globe in word and deed.  They want to see their leaders trained to bless their communities in practical ways- health education and care being the primary approach.

In Guatemala and Honduras, MAG has operations that are like-minded.  A curriculum to train nationals in primary health care, with a component on aero-medical care, has already been produced.

After meeting a bunch more people in Libreville, it was time to travel south, where our aviation program, Aviation M├ędicale de Bongolo (AMB), is based.  Since our aircraft is currently down for an inspection and some avionics upgrades, we got to take the 9 hour drive.

We paid a visit to the equator sign, and stop off at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, among other things.

We also caught up with the OSPAC team conducting a mobile medical clinic!

At Bongolo Hospital, we met up with our AMB base manager, Rob P., and the rest of the team dedicating themselves to serve this remote region of the world with the love of Jesus.

Bongolo Hospital sees 40,000 patients a year- each one hears and sees the message of Jesus during their visit.  On average, 1000 per month make decisions to follow Christ.

Left to R:  Rob Peterson, Sean D., Rev. Serge Batobouko, Me.

It was so good to meet with the director of Bongolo Hospital, Pastor Serge Batobouko.  He continues to support aviation efforts to expand and enhance the work of the hospital.  Serge was happy to meet Sean and hear about MAG's plans to respond to the needs of the hospital and national church.

Sean has verified that Missionary Air Group is 110% behind AMB and will adopt the work fully, as it does with its bases in Central America.  

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