Flight for CMA Longochuk 07Nov2014 (3)By Karyn Ball (November 2014)

Chris Ball recently flew a MAF plane full of influential cargo to Longochuk, South Sudan, for Christian Mission Aid (CMA). He landed in Longochuk without any problems – an airstrip which isn’t very visible from the air, and rough upon landing, the surface being uneven with lots of ruts in a swampy area.

CMA staff were thrilled to see Chris and the cargo, despite the fact that the community was dealing with some tense political stuff and CMA was considering an evacuation, yet again, for their staff.  John and Simon, two CMA nurse practitioners from Kenya, were the first to meet the plane. They unloaded the plane, box after box after box. While chatting, Chris discovered the boxes contained vaccines in powdered form.  The CMA staff add water to create the necessary vaccines when required. Other boxes contained loads of medication and other supplies for the clinic.

As Chris looked around he couldn’t see any vehicles in sight. It turned out there are literally no vehicles in this community. So the next question clearly was, “How close is the clinic?”

“Oh, just ten kilometers,” they grinned as they picked up the boxes and started carrying them on foot. John and Simon explained they had a new CMA clinic, but it was not functional.  They literally couldn’t treat any patients at the clinic because there were no medical supplies to treat the patients with.

Chris watched as a handful of committed CMA workers, and a bunch of community members, happily carried off 200 kilograms of supplies more than ten kilometers by foot to open their clinic. Without fanfare, or fancy opening ceremonies, it was a humbling sight.

Praise God for the invaluable vaccines, medications and clinic supplies, facilitating the opening of a new medical clinic in South Sudan.

story by Dr Günter Kittel 
(surgeon from Mission EineWelt working at the Etep Rural Hospital, PNG)

Outreach Clinic in Nankina

Our MAF flight is breath-taking – north along the coast, then across small villages on steep mountain slopes, past giant tumbling waterfalls, to Nankina airstrip at the top of a mountain crest.

I am told that never before has a doctor visited Nankina.

Hundreds of patients are waiting, as the aid post has long been abandoned. New people keep arriving from surrounding villages. A pastor hands us a letter with the names of 123 other patients in a village one-day’s march away, but after a few days we don’t have a single tablet left. We will have to return another time.

My wife Bindu was supposed to fly home with MAF for a workshop in Madang.

In the morning we hear the sound of a plane circling over Nankina but, after several landing attempts, the pilot has to turn back. 

Flying is still an enormous challenge in PNG. My wife now has to walk back to the coast with us.

Day 1

It takes 15 people to carry our luggage and equipment. We leave Nankina and head down a steep, slippery pathway. It’s hot and humid, and then the rain sets in. We wade through mud up to our knees and soon feel sore in every part of our body.

Our track follows a steep canyon, with raging river waters below. Grabbing for roots, our knees shake with the exhaustion of the constant struggle. Bridges are often only tree trunks.

Eventually, a steep path leads us into a small village of about eight diminutive houses. We ask for shelter for the night.

Day 2

We’re up early in the morning, as we have only covered one-third of our journey. We are told the path ahead is in poor condition. I cannot imagine conditions worse than the previous day!

The prediction by the guides was not exaggerated – the track is terrible! The continuing rain converts it into a slippery mire, not possible to walk on without walking poles.

Eventually the way becomes less steep. The scenery changes and we come to cocoa plantations. Now there is light at the end of the tunnel! The path broadens and is not wet any more. 

Suddenly, we arrive in the small modern town of Saidor, where we stay for the night.

Day 3

The next day, after a truck drive to the coastal village of Mur, we board a boat for the 3-hour voyage to Wasu marina. Luckily the sea is calm; often it is not the case and many boats have been lost. Upon arrival an ambulance transports us for the final part of our journey to Etep.

With the journey behind us, we reflect upon our new insights into the life of PNG.

Despite all the wear and tear, it was all worthwhile.

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/without-maf-141119

DSC06198_600we run a marathon – you pray a marathon!

Raising prayer support for MAF, the Conwell family, along with the kids from the school in Kompiam, are running 26 times up and down an 800-metre MAF airstrip throughout November.

That’s right, a full marathon!

The Conwell family lives at Kompiam Hospital in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea. They are involved with administration in the hospital and teaching at the hospital school.
Recently, they spent a week at Mangao, one of the hospital’s 10 remote aid posts and health centres that serve as the only health facilities for a large portion of Enga Province, meeting the health needs of between 50,000 – 60,000 people.
MAF conducts several flights each week from remote aid posts to the hospital. Patients include the critically ill, pregnant mothers, sick children, tribal and domestic injuries, TB, HIV, Malaria, and the list goes on.

Compared to the gruelling 3-4 day walk from Mangao to the hospital at Kompiam, MAF is the only option for these patients.

 It is only in conjunction with MAF that the Kompiam Hospital, and so many others just like it around the world, are able to function effectively and bring essential services and hope to people living in these very remote locations.

So the Conwell family have dedicated the month of November to an MAF Prayer Marathon.

 “What we are asking of you is only a small daily commitment during the month of November. It’s simple – we run a marathon – you pray a marathon.
“Please sponsor us through prayer for MAF on a daily basis as you follow our marathon progress.” – The Conwells

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/png-maf-marathon-141111

34956_Pig-attack-at-Blackwara(640)A broken leg, a suspected broken back… and help is several days walk away.


Nikos had been pig hunting many times before, but this time the pig turned on him and broke his leg!

Captain Irwin Hodder and first officer Richie Axon were en route to Tabubil when they received the call to divert to the remote airstrip at Blackwara in the mountains of PNG.

There is no medical centre or aid post at Blackwara, so the only way to get medical help for Nikos would have been for his tribesman to carry him on a stretcher for several days.

Thankfully MAF was called!

Once on the ground the pilots and staff who were on the plane quickly hooked up six seats to the side of the fuselage to make room for his bush-material stretcher.

With Nikos onboard, the Twin Otter continued on its way to Tabubil where there is a well-equipped hospital to provide Nikos with the treatment he needed.

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/wild-pig-attack-141028

IMG_0519 (3)This photo by David Francis of MAF’s West DRC program shows MAF’s aircraft being disinfected in Boende, where it delivers supplies and medical workers to combat Ebola. The airplane gets disinfected inside and out before it leaves Boende, and the passengers’ feet are disinfected when the plane lands and before it takes off.