CARING FOR THE FORGOTTEN:
Murik Lakes Outreach
We lifted off from Wewak one early February morning with both floatplanes fully loaded carrying 10 Samaritan Aviation team members and several kgs of medical supplies. Landing on a small lake off of the Sepik River just 30 minutes later, we dropped off our team in the remote village of Mendam where they would launch a medical outreach to hundreds of needy people that traveled in from at least four villages. Once unloaded, both planes took off again and headed for Mabuk village to meet up with the YWAM medical ship which had been operating on the lower Sepik River for the past six weeks.
We picked up a group of medical professionals that included an ophthalmologist, a dentist, and a family doctor and then flew them out to join our medical staff, Medical Director Chris Cooke and Marlene Williamson, R.N. The Samaritan Aviation team carried out a vaccination clinic, shared audio Bibles in Tok Pisin, and assisted the YWAM medical team with translation, screenings, and registration. SA President Mark Palm and Pilot Forrest Williamson continued to transport several patients screened at the outreach to the YWAM medical ship for cataract surgery. Between both planes, we landed 13 times throughout the day!
Amazed by the overwhelming response, we learned that we were the first medical team to offer immunizations and dentistry in this area for over 10 years!
Highlights of the Day Included:
- 85 babies vaccinated, many for the first time
- 20 dental patients seen with more than 60 teeth pulled
- Over 100 patients seen by the family doctor
- 50 pairs of eyeglasses given out
- 6 blind patients receive sight after cataract surgery
- The Jesus Film and audio Bible in Tok Pisin streaming all day via Wi-Fi
We had never landed at this village before, so after identifying it from the air with the help of Melckaim, we landed on the lake and taxied up to the many canoes packed full of smiling faces who were awaiting our arrival. After a speech by the village leader and by SA President Mark Palm, our pilot candidate, Tracy Hamer, unloaded the much-needed medical supplies as the villagers crowded around to get a closer look at the Saman Balus (floatplane). We are excited to continue to open up new areas of operation and build relationships that will allow us to grow, resulting in even more lives saved through medicine delivery and emergency evacuations along the Sepik River.
Fuel For Life Update!
In 2017, are projecting to fly 375 hours. Each hour of flight burns $200 of aviation fuel. Purchasing fuel that allows us to continue providing life-saving services to the remote areas of PNG remains a top priority. Because of your generosity, we have already raised 23% of our estimated fuel costs for this year! To help us continue to fuel our floatplanes, click the button below: