Jason Russell is an independent Baptist missionary from California, serving as a church planter in PNG. In 2005 Jason and his family moved to (the very small) Wipim station on the mainland of the Western Province.

It’s fairly safe to say that most of us haven’t been in a place quite as remote as Wipim station – a town which receives power from 6pm to 10pm, supplied by a single generator. 

In Wipim you’ll find a small unpaved airstrip, a primary school (years three to eight), and a health centre. But what you won’t find are any shops or post offices. Getting supplies is not an easy thing to do.

Wipim is accessible via a dirt/mud track (road) in the dry season. All heavy equipment, building materials, gas bottles and such are brought up this “road” from the Oriomo River. By four-wheel-drive truck, the stretch from Wipim to Oriomo is travelled in two hours in the dry season. In the wet season, the journey may take all day and usually extends into the night hours due to the bad road conditions. 

During the heavy rains of March and April, the main bridge usually floods, and the road is impassable until the waters recede and the rains abate. There is no exact timing on this; it all depends on the weather conditions. At that time, people (including school children) are forced to walk the muddy road and swim across the flooded creeks in order to travel.

This gruelling ground travel is reality for a lot of these small stations dotted throughout PNG. MAF’s light aircraft have the ability to provide some relief for these communities and for missionaries like the Russells. In a letter written by Jason, he summed up well the just how important MAF in these situations. Check it out:

Mission Aviation Fellowship is the only means of air transport for Wipim as well as the other bush airstrips in our district. We rely on them heavily in the rainy season for getting food and other supplies to Wipim. We are able to raise chickens as our major protein source because MAF is able to bring in day-old chicks. MAF is also the only form of emergency medical evacuation available to our area. Without their help, many people would die needlessly.



How’s that for a commute? Missionary Jason Russell makes the long journey by “road” to get supplies

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/the-difference-maf-makes-in-wipim-121204

Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo — As violence once again shakes the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MAF pilots and planes are on standby to evacuate relief and mission workers who request assistance.

On Wednesday, Nov. 21, MAF families were evacuated from the town of Bunia, where MAF has a base, to Kampala in Uganda. MAF also carried two plane loads of staff from other agencies to safety in Uganda. Three MAF pilots remain in DRC with three aircraft.

This latest round of violence began earlier this week when the M23 rebel group attacked the eastern DRC town of Goma. It has since spread to other towns in the region.

MAF has ministered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for more than 50 years. The organization currently has nine planes serving from bases in Kinshasa, Bunia, and Lubumbashi.

We do ask for your prayers for this situation – for peace and stability in the region as well as safety for the remaining MAF pilots in the region.

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/maf-remains-on-standby-to-evacuate-relief-and-mission-workers-from-eastern-drc-121123

The following is an excerpt from a newsletter article written by Rev Canon Jenny Green, Director of Potter’s Village Ministries. Potter’s Village is a child crisis centre in Kisoro, Uganda. 

Potter's Village, Uganda

The start of a routine day, the children of Potter’s Village (PV) awake, they are dressed and given breakfast, all is well.

A lady arrives carrying a child, a frequent event in the course of a normal Potter’s Village day; but this lady was different, troubled, exhausted.  The child she carried, called Bright, was struggling to breath, his cry was weak, he was clearly frail and his mum had a letter of referral from the local hospital to the nearest regional hospital in Mbarara, a torturous 250 kilometres away. 

The letter told us that Bright had been under their care all his life but because of the lack of specialised equipment in Kisoro the local doctors had failed to diagnose or treat Bright. They had recommended referral many months previously, but the poor woman could not afford the cost of the bus fare. 

Now nine months old, Bright was anything but bright, he was looking exhausted by the fight for life. He was clearly suffering, and he had been so from birth. Plans were made for Bright and his mother to travel by road to the hospital on Monday, escorted by the PV senior nurse.  

They went home having been instructed to come back to PV on Sunday night ready for a very early start on Monday morning.  However, on Friday night Bright developed pneumonia and early Saturday morning he was back in Potter’s Village considerably worse. His mother was very anxious and clearly thought Bright was dying. 

Admitted to PV medical centre and on oxygen, Bright’s vital signs improved a little. He was seen by the local paediatrician who prescribed medication to help him through the immediate crisis. But Bright was still a very sick child and the journey to Mbarara over rough and dusty roads was out of the question; there was no way he would survive it. 

What to do?

How amazing that a single phone call can change despair to hope.  To hear a voice on the end of the phone making free, safe and fast transport a reality and not a dream brought joy to our hearts and rising hope to the heart of Bright’s mother.  We will never forget the day MAF were able to confirm that a plane would come to Kisoro and take our critically sick baby to a place where there was a better chance his life could be saved.

On Tuesday the PV pickup was loaded with a generator and oxygen concentrator, and Bright and his mum along with two paediatric nurses embarked on a journey to attempt to save Bright’s life as he was transported slowly to the airstrip.  How sweet to hear the sound of that little aeroplane approaching the airstrip. Bright remained on oxygen until the moment he was taken on board. 

The pilot of the aeroplane was Dallas, and he prayed for Bright and for all those travelling with him before they boarded.  Bright survived the 35 minute flight. It was very difficult without his oxygen but he was still breathing.  The flight was met by a paediatrician and an ambulance equipped with oxygen and Bright was stabilised before he was moved on to a much better equipped hospital. 

At the time of writing this, Bright is still admitted to the hospital. The doctors continue to investigate him and he may need major surgery, but they feel confident that he can be helped.  Imagine the difference it will make in Bright’s village if he comes home cured.  May the name of God be praised and may he richly bless all those who helped us to help Bright, especially MAF without whom Bright would be dead.

Please join us in praying for baby Bright, that he may continue to improve and indeed have a bright and healthy future.

It’s been called The 3 Minute Miracle. Every 3 minutes a MAF plane is taking off or landing providing this kind of help, hope and healing to the most remote communities of the world. To find out more, click here.



Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/a-baby-is-dying-please-can-you-help-us-121119

Report by MAF Arnhem Land

You cannot mistake the big red bus and trailer as it travels throughout the dusty outback of Arnhem Land. For the last few years this bus has carried the A.M.O.S (Australian Mission Outreach Support) team along with their camping and ministry gear for concerts during short-term visits to the communities of Arnhem Land.

A.M.O.S works with Indigenous Communities all over Australia. Recently they have travelled through Arnhem Land again with a team of five volunteers. Their approach has been to present the Gospel through ‘Country Gospel Concerts’. Over the last few years MAF staff have been pivotal in helping facilitate these visits with the local community people.

Recently the A.M.O.S team had set out to present a concert in the small Aboriginal homeland of Dhalinybuy. In Arnhem Land the majority of the roads are rough and challenging on both vehicles and passengers. Not long after leaving Nhulunbuy the team had stopped for a break and discovered that their draw bar was badly damaged. They realised that if they had traveled further they would have severely damaged the trailer with all their supplies and equipment!

Being out-of-town and not having many options, the team decided to send some of the team back with the bus to get the damaged section fixed. The Lord lead the team to the MAF hangar at Gove Airport where the MAF engineers quickly jumped to the challenge to weld the draw bar back in place. Within no time the bus and team members were on the way again and they were able to make it to Dhalinybuy to complete a concert and continue on safely with the rest of the trip.

A.M.O.S thanks the MAF staff who helped facilitate this short-term mission trip and for the engineers, especially Jono Edwards who quickly responded to the bus crisis. MAF’s helping hand enabled the team to continue their ministry travels without too much delay.

MAF’s practical help and partnership greatly supports the spread of the gospel message throughout East Arnhem Land.

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/maf-engineers-to-the-rescue-121029