God will make a way

Submitted by Flying Mission Zambia Pilot Rick Rempel

Rick landingIt was a dark time at Macha. While we were in Botswana working on a Flying Mission Zambia plane, we heard of a car accident that killed four people from that rural village in Southern Province, where we serve. There were just two survivors, one child and an adult. Both were in critical condition. One of the people who died was Mrs. Kalambo, wife of the Macha Hospital Administrator.

Standing in the gap

Scott BleekerWhen our Projects Co-ordinator finally hung up his hat last year, it seemed that building work at Flying Mission Zambia would slow down. But God had other plans! An Australian building team turned up for 3 weeks, followed soon after by a team of 14 people from a supporting Church in Tucson, Arizona.  Scott Bleecker, the builder/pilot who had earlier poured the hangar floor with his son Dan, returned from The States to do more work. Instead of slowing down, we were pretty busy here at Chilongolo, Flying Mission Zambia base.

D R Congo on the radar

CongoFlying Mission Zambia recently flew its first ever cross-border flight into the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire). Pilot and FMZ manager, Bryan Wilson, transported Dr. David McAdam, resident surgeon from Chitokoloki, in NW Province of Zambia, along with Murray, a building and supplies coordinator, the 500 miles north of FMZ base to a village called  Mulongo. Two years ago when Dr. McAdam did this trip he was able to fly in, but then had to drive out. 

She's At It Again!

youth trainingThe last time I saw Flying Mission's Mercy Leshomo in action, she was teaching basic financial skills to a group of home-based care volunteers. Today she was at it again, only this time she was teaching these skills to a group of dynamic young adults. Each of these youth has received Lifeskills training from Flying Mission and is in turn now teaching his or her peers. Most of them have founded or are leading youth clubs, with the purpose of teaching and encouraging the youth in their communities to make good life choices. One participant mentioned why they are so passionate about learning everything they can to help their clubs grow and develop. “It's reported that 25% of those in our country who are HIV+ don't even know it. We are still in denial. We are telling ourselves that this is a problem only in the city, but it is a problem in our villages, too. It is important to be informed.

Hurry Up Next Year!

I don't like camping. Period. It's a lot of work, especially here in Botswana where it really does mean bringing almost everything but the kitchen sink. However, when our church went camping one weekend last year, I could tell from the reports afterwards that we had missed out on a really good time. So, when our church decided to go camping again this year, I told my husband, Mark, that I would give it a try. It helped that the location chosen was much closer this year -- in Mopane, only about 20 minutes from home. This meant that an escape was possible, should the conditions prove to be too trying for me or our daughter, KG.

Dipalata's new day

plansThings don't always go to plan in rural Africa. Last year, a Flying Mission Zambia contingent went to NW Province to complete an airfield for a remote Mission Maternity Clinic. The job proved to be a challenge for a number of reasons. By Christmas the rains had set in and the work had to be shelved until the end of the 'green season' - April or May. It was very disappointing for the medical mission personnel, who have waited patiently for some years for this provision. The FMZ workers, who badly wanted to hand over another working airstrip to their partners there, were somewhat frustrated.

Praying through the Storms

A story from Colin Brown, Maun pilot:

At home, tinkering with an electric motor, I am startled out of my concentration as my cell phone rings at my side, it is 3:45 pm. The clinic in Seronga, a village ninety miles away, needs a mercy flight to transport a severely injured woman to the hospital.

Behind the Scenes

Mark on phonePilots, paramedics, doctors and patients are probably the key players that come to mind when you think of an air ambulance flight. But on the ground, another key player, the Flight Coordinator, is orchestrating events to make the flight happen. During weekday hours, Bojelo Marari, fills the role of Flight Coordinator for FMS air ambulance flights. During non-office hours, Mark Spicer and the pilots on call take over.

At three o'clock Sunday afternoon, the Maun hospital called requesting an air ambulance flight. Roger Weaver and Ryan Cole flew to Maun with the paramedics and transferred a premature baby to Francistown. Shortly before ten o'clock Sunday night, Roger notified Mark, who was "flight-following", that they were back on the ground in Gaborone. They said good night, and Roger went home to bed. Mark went to bed, too. At 11:44, his phone rang.

In His Time: A Christmas Story

C&JSince my husband Colin and I arrived in Maun, our hearts desire has been to reflect the love of Christ to others around us. As our first Christmas here approached, we were yearning even more to truly share the meaning of Christ's love with others living in Maun. We began poking around in the Flying Mission storage containers for material resources for ministry, and came across just the blessing we were hoping for. One of the containers was full of boxes of baby clothes and toiletry supplies! We filled our vehicle with all the goodies we had found and returned to the FMS house to sort them with the help of our porter, Robert, and his wife Pusetso.

Cook Us 'Til We're Roasted!

Mercy teachingWhen I left my house this morning, I knew only that I was going to write a story about a Capacity Building workshop given by Flying Mission. My first question exposed my ignorance. "What is Capacity Building?" I asked Mercy Leshome, the workshop facilitator. "Capacity Building is helping an organisation, or even an individual, become self-supporting and income-producing with skills it already possess, and by teaching new skills", she said. In this case, Mercy was teaching Basic Tools for Managing Finances to volunteers from Home Based Care Groups and HIV/AIDS Support Groups.

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