March 2017 Quarterly SAMARITAN AVIATION


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!

Above: Kirsten Palm helps a patient returning from cataract surgery; Left: Mia Cooke assists the YWAM dentist; Right: Medical Director Chris Cooke and Marlene Williamson, R.N. give a vaccine to a young boy

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

New Distant Aid Post Serviced

In early February 2017, we were approached by Melckaim, the Community Health Worker in Sangriman village, asking if we could assist them with medicine delivery to his village. Sangriman village is located in a part of the Sepik River known as the “black water area.” This is a very remote place near the mountains, with miles of shallow lakes and winding small rivers that feed into the large Sepik River.

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.

Over 150 pounds of medical supplies delivered to Sangriman Village

Welcoming A New Board Member!

Samaritan Aviation is blessed to have Jeff Petersen joining our Board of Directors! Jeff is the President and Founder of Coal Creek Consulting, a firm that specializes in project management and infrastructure development for wireless telecommunication providers. In the eight years since he founded Coal Creek, he has grown the company to over twenty-five employees, and they have become the gold standard in Arizona for wireless services.

Jeff has been working closely with Samaritan Aviation since November 2015 when he visited our operations in Papua New Guinea. He has played a crucial role in vetting missionary applicants and raising support in the U.S. as part of our Advisory Board and now we are excited to have him step into this new role as we continue to grow and serve the people along the East Sepik River!

Media Intern for PNG

Catherine McGrath has 7 years of experience capturing everything from portraits to landscapes. Catherine graduated from Vanguard University in California and has traveled to Cambodia, Thailand, and Mexico. Having arrived in early March, she will spend 2 months in Papua New Guinea documenting the work we do through photography and videography.

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:

PO Box 492 Montrose, CO 81402 ---- Phone: (970) 249-4341

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