15 November 2004

Mercy Air Helicopter

Last week we sent a quick update cos we were all excited about our new helicopter arriving. Matthias, our heli pilot, has been busy since then hammering and banging in the hanger till late at night and the results can be seen in the following pictures:

And the proof of the pudding is in the flying.


Now that it is flying Matthias will fly down to ZUMAT to do some promotional work with the clinics. After that we need to do a big service on the engine and when that is completed next year we will start to use it for God's work here in southern Africa.

Please pray for this new avenue to Mercy Air's service, more especially that these first flights will be a blessing to the people served through the clinics and that the helicopter will be richly used by God to build his kingdom.

Thanks

Mercy Air team

03 October 2004

More mission trips

We have been away again on a couple of trips.

The first (large doctor team) trip to Moz was canceled at the last minute - well the night before anyway when the Mozambican National Health Director suddenly decided that they didn't need any medical help after all. This was however replaced by another three day trip at equally short notice.

The second trip was last week when we took another team in three planes to work at a hospital in Zambia, one hours drive north of Victoria Falls. Some of the group did medical work whilst others completed various construction and maintenance tasks. There were also a few pastors who attended to ministerial things. One of the pilots wives, Cathy, was able to come along and enjoyed working in the maternity unit as well as driving out to a couple of clinics. Here's a pic of her on baby weighing day. She also did almost 100 ante-natal checkups - sometimes on the floor or on a school desk - 2nd pic.


We were busy with practical things and one of the most satisfying jobs was building some swings for a church pre-school.

It is a long story of how we got it but we were able to fly this trip in Mercy Air's new Beech Baron.

Mercy Air team

02 June 2004

Somewhere different in Moz

Just over a week ago we picked a US church group up in Johannesburg and flew them to Manica in Mozambique where they helped local missionaries with a number of projects.

We had never been there before but found it to be a poor place, as is much of Mozambique, but the people were friendly, colourful and grateful for our involvement. A lot of the day was spent just living, collecting water and buying food from the market.


One day we cleared an area, dug the foundations and collected bricks for a pastor’s house.

On another we leveled an area for a new church building. This involved removing loads of old bricks and five minutes after we begun we were joined by the local women and children who were keen to help.

We had long tiring days usually starting at 7am and finishing most nights past 9pm by playing football and basketball with the local youth.

Mercy Air team

01 May 2004

Scary animals

Things remain busy at Mercy Air. During one period we spent three weeks ‘on the road’ with only one day at home.

We were initially away for a week in Mozambique taking a group of Dutch missionaries to visit their colleagues. A relatively straightforward trip apart from a battle getting in to Maputo to pick my passengers up due to the biggest downpour you've ever seen at the approach end of the runway.

At our destination strip the local kids were very curious as we were one of a handful of aircraft they see on the ground each year. They welcomed us by swarming the plane - a good reason to shut the engines down quickly!


After returning from that trip we had a day to sort ourselves out before we went down to Natal to help another mission flying organisation for a couple of weeks. Zululand Mission Air Transport (ZUMAT) primarily operate as a flying doctor and air ambulance service to local hospitals and have been operating in the area for over 25 years but are short of pilots just now. They have four aircraft all with short takeoff and landing capability, which is necessary to get in and out of their 300m (984ft) long strip on the side of a mountain. We flew most days sometimes in fairly marginal weather to places ranging from international airports to short dirt strips with game animals on.


One last pic of something we found in one of the hospitality guest rooms recently.
Anyone for a visit?!

Mercy Air team