Friday, April 23, 2021

Family Update Time!

 Ok, enough aviation talk... Here's a small update from the family side of life.  It has been said, "the last shall be first"... so, starting off with our youngest, Sam...

Sam with roommate Hayato

After almost a year after his graduation from San Diego State U, and many delays, Sam is finally starting his English-teaching job in Taiwan!  After quarantine, he met up with a friend who he met on his semester abroad in Korea (Hayato- in photo), and they rented an apartment together!

He is discovering his new home, in Taipei, and already has a new faith community he is connecting with.

...on to our lovely middle child, Megan...

Megan and John continue to love life in Chicago!  They just celebrated their 2nd Anniversary!  John works from home for a marketing company and Megan still does some nanny work, but her other job (master barista!) still has her on furlough, but she still gets her benefits!  That means, health insurance and an on-line university scholarship program with Arizona State!  She'll be finishing up her degree in social work in about a year!!!

A pre-pandemic pic from 2019

Megan and John are both small group leaders in their local faith community and are also parents to an adorable and feisty kitty, Xavi.

...On to the blessed first-born, Joe!

Joe and Laura are still chillin' in Chicago, also... just about a 5 minute walk from Megan and John's place, now that they moved to a new 3rd-floor apartment a few blocks over.  They both work full time with Moody Bible Institute, from home.  

Joe and Laura are also on volunteer staff at their church, working with Youth and Worship in music.  Their church has done such a great job of navigating things during the pandemic- using online tools to connect.  I highly recommend you check out their youtube page: click here.

Alace's favorite and largest role, here in the equatorial rain forest, is to be a great friend and, officially, a "member care coach/provider".  It comes very natural to her!  She's done years of learning, being a practitioner, on-line courses, and more.

Painting sesh with friend, Suzanne

Alace and friends organized a kids movie day for the families that live on our station

The morning running club called "Femme du Sport" (sporty women)

So, there you have it, a small update from the family side of life!

As always, we thank you for your prayers and support!  

We rely upon your teamwork to express God's Love.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021



Introducing... November-two-zero-seven-Bravo-Hotel!!!

If you're thinking, "looks a lot like that last aircraft", that's because "Bravo-Hotel" is also a 1982 Cessna 207.

Bravo-Hotel has spent almost all it's life flying in Africa in support of mission work. Aviation resources in the country were such that the mission no longer needed the aircraft and made us a VERY sweet deal on the purchase.  

8 Seats and relatively new interior.  The wings are about a foot and a half longer due to the additional tip-fuel tanks.  It's going to be a tight fit in the Bongolo hangar!

To provide an owner for our aircraft, a couple years back, we created the non-profit, "Things Above Project" (TAP).  It is incredible that the TAP board felt led to actually purchase this aircraft, sensing the need, prior to finding out that we would have to retire Foxtrot-Delta!

It has an intercom system for the passengers- an upgrade!

We'll be moving over some avionics and other items from our last aircraft.

As with all Cessna 207's, we've got the large double side doors. A mini-van with wings! We can have all 8 seats or take out seats and have space for two stretchers, side by side.

Here are some of the items we're taking off from "Foxtrot Delta" and putting on "Bravo Hotel"- avionics, an oil cooler modification, a replacement HF radio, and more.  A big thanks to the team of JAARS trained pilot/mechanics in Yaounde, Cameroon for assisting.  These will be sent to Nairobi, Kenya, where other colleagues are standing by for their arrival and the aircraft to begin the work.  Please pray for the many, many details to come together.

Again, we can't do this without a FULL CREW of supporters!
Please consider praying and investing.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021


I'm afraid to say that, yes, it is time for retirement...  

Retirement for an airplane, that is, not me!  (I can't believe you would think such a thing!)

Yes, there I am, very happy on what I didn't realize was one of my last flights in trusty, old, "Seven-Foxtrot-Delta"- our 1982 Cessna 207 with close to 19,000 flight hours logged.

This aircraft served much of its life in Alaska doing air taxi operations for Smythe Air, then was refurbished and literally flew across the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, to start serving the church in Gabon.  You're looking at one of only 4 aircraft to ever land at Bongolo Hospital's airport and one of only 2 aircraft to ever land at Bongolo's rest house called "Panga", by the ocean.  Below is one of the most beautiful shots from that landing...

Yes, there is an airstrip amidst all the tall grass.

So, I'm grieving the retirement of this special airplane.  There are so many stories of how this particular aircraft was selected for our first aircraft as well as how God provided many, many people to invest in finishing the refurbishment (with many great upgrades and modifications).

People, some sick, some healthy... some sitting, some on a stretcher... medications in boxes and coolers... medical materials and machines... Over the years, we've packed a lot of people and stuff into this aircraft and expedited them to their destinations, all in an effort of God's people to demonstrate HIS great love for them.  I've been honored to be at the controls for the time that we did, and to tell the story of God's children, all over the world, obediently working together to bless each passenger.

Why Retirement?  During a recent inspection, corrosion was discovered in new areas, below the paint- the nasty type called "exfoliation".  The structure was significantly affected such that this, and the other items needing attention, rose to a level making repair impractical- the time and effort, especially in remote Africa, would result in a "bandaid" and take an excessive amount of labor-hours.  I'm indebted to the team at SIL-Cameroon Aviation (many JAARS-trained pro's) for their teamwork in making this difficult decision.

Thank you for being part of the "heavy lifting" in our work.

As we retire "Seven-Foxtrot-Delta", I'll be introducing you to its replacement, "Seven-Bravo-Hotel"... our next aircraft!  (this is my teaser to stay tuned) We'll be transplanting many of the upgrades over to the new machine.  Soon, by God's grace, we'll be retrieving that aircraft from the other side of Africa and getting it into service.

Please consider helping us to continue this critical work!

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