27 June 2005

Moz, Lesotho, Zambia

We have been trying to find a spare half hour to write a quick update for ages and if we don't manage it now we can see it being at least another couple of weeks, otherwise you might all think we have fell off our side of the world.

What's been happening? Good question, and as it happens almost too much to write down in a few lines.

The flying has been hectic of late. Mercy Air has often had all it's planes out at the same time and we haven't had a staff meeting with all present for ages. We have visited 14 international airports in four countries in the last few weeks. Some of the highlights include:

Last week we did a flight for Dorcas Aid. They are a Dutch Christian Aid organisation who have many projects around the world. We spent a week flying a group of business people, who were either sponsors or potential sponsors and visited various projects in Mozambique, SA and Lesotho. We went to many places and saw much poverty but also the hope that is provided by an organisation who base their ethos on biblical principals. To be honest what we saw revived our faith in Aid Organisations and we were pleased to be a small part of bringing more hope to people who seemingly had none.

In Lesotho we visited many of Dorcas's projects including a World Food Programe food distribution centre.

Yesterday we were about to leave for church when we got a call from a missionary in Mozambique saying that their local pastor had been taken seriously ill with a burst appendix. He was at least 12 hours drive from a hospital where they could operate and it was critical that he got there the same day. Using one of our fast twin engine planes we were able to reach him in less that two hours and transport him to Maputo an hour and a half later. He would almost certainly of died had we not been able to provide a prompt response, although his condition is still serious and we would ask you to pray for him.

On another occasion we were fortunate enough to get a flight down the coast all the way to Cape Town with a small team.

Last week we took a mission team up to Northern Zambia and helped with the construction of an orphanage. A bonus here was flying over Victoria Falls on the way up and again on the way down.

Right now we are stuck at home. Today we was supposed to fly a team up to eastern Zimbabwe but the weather played it's joker and fogged us in the whole day. As we type, we are swapping stories with the passengers in our office who are now staying the night and planning a death 'o' clock start tomorrow morning.

For most of the last month we have had all four Mercy Air planes out in Moz at the same time. Our 'big' plane spent two weeks with a group from Medical Ministry International doing eye and dental work in a Muslim village in the very north of Moz. During their time they saw over 900 patients. At the same time out smallest aircraft was shuttling missionaries in and out of a town in mid Moz and also flew a mission trip to Zimbabwe.

We had a camera crew with us recently doing a small article for national TV, they were so impressed that they suggested a full on documentary sometime in the future.

We have also been very busy with guests and have had an almost constant stream of people visiting for periods ranging from just a night to a month.

Mercy Air team

15 June 2005

Moz Hub Conference

We just got back late last night at the end of ten days in N. Moz.

We took a plane load of people up to N. Moz for a missions conference. Just getting there involved 1400 miles and over seven hours of flying. One of the pilot's wives, Cathy, was part of a medical team we provided to help the missionaries up there.

The conference went very well with up to 60 missionaries attending at times. We saw some old friends and met plenty of new people who we might be able to work with in the future. It took us 7 1/2 hours by plane and can take up to five days for the missionaries to drive. Because of this, the Hub arranged for us to take a number of specialists up with us including a Dentist, Vet, Agricultural bloke, Doctor, Nurses (including Cathy), Hairdresser/beautician (for the ladies!), and a home Schooling adviser. The week also included a Language Acquisition Course to help new missionaries learn the various languages of the numerous 'un-reached people groups'.

Cathy taking someone's blood pressure.

The dentist doing a check up on a mission kid.

One of these landed on Paul's head the same night as he was walking through the compound where we stayed.

Not all fun and games. A Puff Adder Paul trod on one night. He was alive at the time but the application of a big stick soon sorted that out.


Mercy Air team