Sunday, November 17, 2019

Flight Permits In Hand!
Maxi, a worker at civil aviation AND the son of one of our Bongolo Hospital pediatric nurses, Perine, was the one who handed the flight permits to me at the office of civil aviation, in the capital city of Libreville- how cool?!?  

oh... did I mention???  HE WAS BORN AT BONGOLO HOSPITAL!!!  

...and a few years back, I had an aviation booth at the local high school, next to Bongolo Hospital, during their career day... and he's pretty sure he was there for that!!!  ...does anyone know a Hollywood producer?!?  There's a lot of joy in this work- we are always interested to know what the interactions of the day will bring about.

So, on top of all those fun facts...  We now have permission to fly to any corner of the country for the the next calendar year!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for assisting us to build momentum in this project, as we start another season of service.  The next month has additional hurdles to overcome, and we continue to need your teamwork of prayers and support financially.  Thank you for considering this critical effort.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Refueling- A Journey
It took no less than 5 trips to airport offices, submission of about a dozen vehicle and personal ID documents, and a phone call of “encouragement” from an influential friend- all over the period of a week- and we were finally able to get our aircraft refueled this morning!
No Complaints, though!!!  (KEEP READING BELOW!)
Our long-time friend, Gustave, gave a helping hand.
Since this fuel had been sitting for some time, albeit in a sealed container, we did some double-filtering to verify its quality.
Looks like AvGas...
Smells like AvGas...
It IS AvGas!
I was pleased to find that the fuel is great quality!  We tipped off the tanks to get ready for our first flights next week.
(I found an old glass cookie jar we left at the guest house)

Although it took a long process to get the aircraft refueled, the pathway to success was paved with wonderful new friends!  Each person that I was able to interact was lovely and, in most cases, they heard the story of our aviation program, about all of you who make it possible, and then these folks became new advocates for its success!  How cool!

Thanks for your support!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Quick Update

We’d love to have your prayers as we serve as Alliance missionaries and team up with the Gabon national Alliance church to bless people and expand the Kingdom!

1. Praise the Lord for the progress we’ve made in getting the aviation service back in operation for the Bongolo Hospital and the national Alliance church efforts!  We arrived on October 31st and much has happened!  We moved into our new home at the Bongolo mission, and attended the annual prayer retreat of the int’l workers.

2. Praise the Lord for a successful aircraft inspection from the Gabonese Civil Aviation agency!  The inspection was yesterday (Tuesday, 12 Nov.) and it went very well.  There were a couple of minor followup details that the inspector said I could take care of via email, which I did later in the afternoon.  So, that process is all done!  Just the paperwork and payment to follow.
Bongolo Airfield- looking good!

3.  Pray for the process of getting the Bongolo Hospital Airstrip certified.  We’ll need to get an airport inspector down to the hospital’s airport to sign that off.  I’m hopeful that we can do that by the end of the week or early next week.  (CLICK HERE to see a VIDEO of the airstrip)

4.  Pray for security clearances to have easier access to our aircraft at the international airport.  I’m working with Clarisse, our business agent, to work out the arrangements of the fueling of the aircraft, which typically involves our pickup truck.  This full process to get a permanent security badge can take weeks, and we need to refuel in a day or two, so we need to get more immediate “temporary” badges, or some other solution.

5.  Pray for great relational connections to church leaders, aviation sector leaders, and other international workers, including dignitaries that we often rub shoulders with.  Today, for example, we are having lunch with some US embassy leaders.  We will be sharing with everyone that we are an extension of the Body of Christ- here, in Gabon, out of obedience to God’s calling, with the teamwork of the our sending US churches (YOU ALL!!!), to be a blessing and a reminder of God’s great love for each person, through HIS son JESUS!  

6.  PRAISE GOD that we’ve already had many opportunities to share about Jesus’ love to over a dozen airport officials in the past two weeks!

Thanks for your support and encouragement!   What a blessing!

Our new team!  Plus some visitors who you may recognize!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Arrived in Libreville!!!

A few pictures for now on the flight from Cameroon to Gabon... more of the story later.

Pre-flight Prayer with the SIL Cameroon crew

Loading Up!

A parting shot with my Instructor Pilot Extraordinaire- Brandon P.

My Favoritist Co-Pilot Ever!
A quick flight to the Int'l airport for formalities
leaving Cameroon.

We waited on the ramp, in the airplane, for about 3 hours,
until we got the text from Gabon that we had received
our permit to enter the country.  We had 15 minutes left
before we hit our "curfew" for takeoff.  Thank you Lord!

Here's the route on my iPad... a pretty straight-forward,
2 hour flight, but then... 

The weather started getting a bit rough... we had about 15 minutes of some "ups and downs", but nothing too challenging.  As you can see, "FOOL" (the identification for Libreville) was nice and clear!

Overnight, we had an "OK" secure parking location, but yesterday (Friday), we returned to secure the aircraft a bit better with 50 liter barrels of water under each wing and tail.  It was really cool to make new friends at the airport, collect several critical contacts, and tell them about how the worldwide family of God brought us and the airplane there to join the work of blessing people in Jesus' name.  Thanks for being part of this team!

Our lonely airplane!  Pray for civil aviation to do the inspection efficiently next week, so we're free to fly around the country.  Next step... get to Bongolo Hospital and reopen the airfield!

Beautiful Libreville!  Come and visit us sometime!