Indonesia and Africa
The last few months we have been traveling a lot. (Nothing new!) We left our work in Mindanao the last week of January to attend a division wide supporting ministries /missions conference in Bali, Indonesia. It was a blessing to meet other missionaries and church leaders from around this Southern Asia-Pacific region. I also had a request through a friend to do the annual inspections on some airplanes in Africa. Although we were busy, I eventually agreed, as God seemed to lead, and the timing worked out. The planes belong to some conservation groups and they bought the airline ticket for me to fly over there and paid me a daily rate as well. So, after the trip to Indonesia, Wendy stayed at her parents house and I flew to Chad for a week and a half. When I arrived to the airport in Chad, it looked like I might be sent back on the next plane out, but at the last minute the guy that was supposed to meet me showed up with all the correct visa documents and they let me stay. Everything went fairly well and I spent a week and a half in Beré working on a Cessna 182. I spent the remaining time helping out with some other projects and fixing vehicles at the SDA hospital nearby. Palawan aircraft inspections and overhauls
When I got back to the Philippines we went straight down to Palawan to do the annual inspections on the Cessna 172 and R44 helicopter and to take the yearly check ride for the R44 rating.
The R44 has about 30 hours left until it hits the 2200 overhaul time at which you have to overhaul the entire airframe. The overhaul kit will cost about $150,000. Please join us in prayer asking God to provide for this overhaul kit so this helicopter can continue in service. We are also still praying for a helicopter for Luzon and for Mindanao.
Annual inspections on the helicopter and 172 were done in between emergency flights
Missionary pilots and nurses assist a burn victim out of the plane and into an ambulance
Helicopter emergency landing training
My cousin, Tod, who helped start this ministry 12 years ago, has since become a helicopter instructor, and he came for a couple weeks to help us learn some specialty auto-rotation landing techniques. This worked out great because there were three of us helicopter pilots in Palawan at the time. The George’s son-in-law, Michael, who’s here for a year with his family helping AFM and filling in for Daniel with flights, was the other pilot and he was thankful to be able to have the opportunity as well. It’s always good to be a bit more prepared and safer for potential emergencies.
Emergency landing training in the helicopter was done in between flights coming and going in the airplanes
Luzon pilots and Palanan land
We headed back to Luzon where we spent a few days in Manila and then went up to our base in Banuar for a week. Alex, a potential new American/Portuguese pilot met us in Manila and spent the week with us in Banuar. I was able to fly with him some and that gave him a glimpse of what it would be like if he works with us. We made a flight to Palanan to take the pastor back and looked at some property that the local people are asking us to buy for the purpose of starting a missionary training center and something like a lifestyle center. Please keep this in prayer as it is very much needed. Pray with us also for God’s guidance for a director for this north Luzon project. Ray and Phoebe had to leave a few weeks ago, which was 4 months earlier than expected, due to a family emergency. We have a big hole to fill now because of that. Besides a pilot and director, we really need some skilled guys that can help maintain things here, especially the vehicles and aircraft and equipment, and to oversee building projects. Thanks for your prayers.
Preparing for a flight to Palanan to get patients
The pastor in the Palanan district does a great job and has many church plants in this remote area
Visiting potential pilot, Alex, gets some experience with Dwayne on some flights to Palanan Mindanao airbase
By late March we flew back to Mindanao and immediately moved into the house we have been working on behind the hanger. It’s great to finally be able to unpack our things that we haven’t seen for the last couple years. Wendy is especially happy to have an indoor kitchen again. It’s great to have a home to go to where we can find our things, even if we’re rarely there. 😉
Our latest home base/airbase in Bukidnon, Mindanao
Inside our new little abode
Home sweet home!
Our houses are always filled with missionaries! This new one especially!
I spent the next two weeks finishing the insides of the house and working on some of the other ongoing projects. We are thankful for good help in Mindanao as progress continues even when we are not around. The hangar trusses for the roof are almost done and we praise God that things are progressing well in many aspects. This has been years in prayers and it’s great to see it finally happening!
Dwayne building the kitchen cabinets after we moved in. A wonderful addition!
Trusses in the background being built for the hangar roof, by our skilled missionary volunteer, Jerry Luzon again
Another family from Australia that had visited our project in Palawan a year ago came back to help in Banuar (Bun-whar) (north Luzon) this time for a couple months. They are serious about long term missions. She’s a doctor and he’s a teacher. We came up and spent a week and a half with them before we had to go back to Manila to renew our visas. Unfortunately, they had to go back to Australia a few days after we left, due to an emergency as well! We’re hoping they can come back again at some point. We really need a steady director…and pilot here. We praise God for the faithful missionaries that are left here holding down the fort…and for the great jobs they are doing with the gardens, church and Bible work in this area. (There are 2 families and two single missionaries left here at the base)
We enjoyed a three day special season of united prayer with the team during our time in North Luzon
Visiting potential missionary helping Dwayne with the water system in the extreme summer heat!
One of the missionary families leading out during morning team prayer
Faithful single missionaries, leading the big VBS program
Garden in Luzon project, pray for the water system so this can be kept up! Water system and Cataract patients
After submitting our visa renewal application and doing our interview at immigration in Manila, we came back up to Banuar to work on the well and water system, and to fly some cataract patients out for surgery. A couple weeks ago I had flown some nurses from the Adventist Hospital in Santiago and our visiting doctor, to do eye screening in Palanan. Then last week I made 4 flights with 7 patients and a couple watchers to get their free surgeries done by a team from Australia. I’m in the process now of flying them all back. We’re thankful that the fuel cost was covered by the mayor of Palanan.
Drilling the well on the hill wider and deeper
Our original source of water from a spring is not sustaining the needs of the project anymore so we pray this new system will help.
Taxiing for takeoff
Loading passengers going to Palanan, Cataract patients came out on the return trip.
Cataract patients and various passengers and watchers waiting for flights and rides.
Loading return patients going back to Palanan
A very sick baby was flown out of Palanan to get better care
As we’ve mentioned before, Palanan is very difficult to reach without a mission plane and it’s getting even more difficult with various issues arising. We regularly fly patients as well as the pastor when he needs to travel in and out. Thanks for the prayers for a new pilot asap that can continue this work! (We have a couple potentials in the works that might be available in the next few months, but some need more experience.)
As we share with others what we have through flights and services, we truly experience what it means to be “more blessed” to give than to receive! We pray you will also experience this joy as you see what God is doing through your giving and prayers as well.
Thank you so much for your support for this ministry!
Dwayne and Wendy Harris
2nd Helicopter Possibilities
Daniel, our other helicopter pilot has been in communication with the owner of an Alouette helicopter which looks promising and would cost about the same as overhauling our current R44 helicopter. We are praying that God will open the doors for this if it would be the right machine for what we need. This would not be a replacement for the R44 but be in addition to it, and would allow one of the helicopters to be placed in one of the other airbases. As mentioned before, the R44 needs overhauling in the next few months, so this is time crucial. The purchase of the second helicopter would also help keep any lapse in flying from happening while the R44 is being overhauled. Thanks for the prayers! Read more about it here in Daniel’s latest Newsletter:
Missionaries and youth helpers worked hard to make a special program for the children
The missionaries did a 5 day VBS while we were here in Banuar with around 70 neighbor kids. Phoebe had organized and provided supplies for a lot of it before she left, and the missionaries spent several late nights printing, cutting, and preparing all the materials. The theme was “Little Missionaries’ Flight With God,” and the kids loved it! The youth (some baptized and some not yet) were the “stewardesses” and they were official volunteers helping with all the crafts and registration etc. It was great to see them involved! These youth have grown up coming to all the VBS programs and PAFCOE children’s evangelisms and Wednesday and Friday night church programs etc. for years. Some are now starting to get serious about taking a stand for God and their beliefs. We continue to pray for them and all the newly baptized members and interested neighbors of this area.
The missionary children loved the VBS too!
All children were separated into 3 age groups during story and activity time
Homemade soy milk and pancit noodles on graduation day