26 February 2010

Flown the Nest

Flown the nest is a phrase usually leveled at a teenager who have 'finally' left home.

We'll, our 51 year old left home last week when John and Holger flew our Beech 18 out of the farm for the last time, and on to its new home in Namibia.

We haven't delved back in the log books far enough to work out exactly how many hours it flew over the 18 years it was with us, or equated that to how many times round the world it has flown. It would be difficult to count the number of passengers who flew in it, and nigh impossible to know how many people have been affected by the ministries of those passengers.

It might have just been a plane, a collection of mechanical parts (some of which we have got to know very well!), but as a tool in Gods work it has been invaluable.

We will miss flying it - although we won't miss operating it, but we will certainly miss its growl on take off and it's sheer presence in the hanger. We will retain the memories of the places it has taken us of course but for now though, we look to the future and what God has in line as its replacement.

Mercy Air team

25 February 2010

Harderwyk

Last week we flew a team from Harderwyk Church in the US, up to Chimoio in Moz, and as there were eight passengers, we did the flight jointly with ZUMAT, who used their recently acquired Piper Seneca.

We camped at the SAM Ministries mission site where Mercy Air are also building a remote base.

There were many things to do. The ladies spent a few days painting an orphanage whilst the boys put a roof on one of the Mercy Air buildings...

...as well as on a clinic, which had been built two years ago but had been waiting since then for its roof.

Even as they were working, people came to inquire when the clinic would be open - the need is so great there.

The team visited one of the local SAM workers who looks after the cattle and sheep for the mission. His name is Domingo and he lives a very simple life with his family and wife of 30 years, a few kilometers walk away.

He shared some maize he had grown and explained that when his stomach was empty he considered that he was poor, but when his stomach was full, he was rich.

As we left, he gave us a bunch of bananas and carried them back across the river for us.

SAM Ministries had built a school a few years back and still provide food for the students. We visited and helped out a little one lunch time.

They seemed pretty chuffed to see us.

At the mission, each morning starts at 06:30 with breakfast, and then devotions at 07:00.

In the evening the generator goes off at 21:00 which coincides nicely with the need to go to bed.
As it was hot and sweaty 24 hrs a day, and often rained heavily at night, some opted to sleep in a mosquito net tent in an open kitchen.

Lots of interesting creepy crawlies to keep us on our toes. This guy pitched up one evening whilst we were eating. He is a little smaller than your hand.

The team had bought some 'Talking Bibles' in Portugese - basically an MP3 player with the Bible on it. They presented some of these to a Pastor who regularly travels many 100 km at a time visiting churches that have been planted in the Zambezi region.
Before leaving on the Sunday we went to a local church. Some of the kids were fascinated by our presence finding any little hole in the wall to look through.

For the flight home we had a spare seat and were able to bring Bero back to South Africa where he had been offered free surgery. Bero had been badly burned as a child and had very restricted use of his arms and hands. Here we are getting out of the plane back at Mercy Air.

We take another team up to the same place at the end of March.

Thanks

Mercy Air team

12 February 2010

A Mission within a Mission

Next week we take a US team up to Chimoio, Moz, where they will work at an orphanage and help with the construction of the Mercy Air/SAM ministries base. We will be camping for the week!


There is a Mozambican guy named Bero who works up there, who was badly burned as a child during the war. The burn damage is great but with corrective surgery he can be set free physically like never before. A surgeon in SA has agreed to do the surgery for free, and this is scheduled for three days after we return from Moz.


As we are taking two aircraft and the team are leaving quite a bit of stuff up there, we have room on the return flight for him. This will save him about three days travel, a whole bunch of inconvenience, and money. He will also be able to stay with us at Mercy Air for part of his recovery period.

You can read some more about Bero's story on Lynn Lagore's blog at:
http://lynnlagore.blogspot.com/2009/11/wow-factor.html

Mercy Air team

Morning Cobra Anyone?

We opened the office door the other morning to catch a glimpse of a medium sized snake slithering along the floor and under a desk. We didn't know exactly what kind it was, but we knew a man who would and so gave him a ring.

He arrived 30 mins later armed with a stick, a cardboard box and a lot of knowledge of how to handle these things.

We rediscovered it in amongst some files and it didn't take him long to coax it out. Turns out it was a Snouted Cobra and quite a bad boy if you get bitten by one. He said he knew of one person who had died 20 mins after having been bitten by one.


We weren't quick enough to get a photo of it, but this is what they look like when they're outside - where they're supposed to be.

Anyway, he was taken away to be released somewhere less threatening, where he could continue his search for frogs and mice.

Mercy Air team