After 5 years of hard work toward getting the airstrip constructed on the mission in Mozambique, we have now finally submitted all the documentation to Civil Aviation in Maputo (the capital city half a country away). This is the second time we have submitted the process; the first was 3 months back after which we were notified that instead of opening the airstrip, Civil Aviation now needed another document!
During the time it has taken us to build, those responsible decided that it was important to do an environmental study on projects in Mozambique. And our airstrip project fell into class B…thankfully since it would only cost $7,000 instead of $60,000 for the study! To cut to the chase, God opened doors and with the great negotiating skills of Joao, our Mozambican missionary, we were able to seal a deal to get the work done for $3,000. Well almost 2 months later, last week we received the final environmental license and now the process has been submitted in triplicate once again. Please pray with us that we have favor with those in authority and that we can finally open this important piece of infra-structure to speed our work to so many who need help.
Presently Andy (our Swiss-Canadian Pilot) is working hard on getting the hangar doors installed and he is making awesome progress. Thank you to all who are praying and supporting to make this happen.
While all this is happening, Lynn and I (Dwight) are back in Canada for the wedding of our son. Thankfully this does not require too many hard to get documents, but even so, Russell is desperately trying to get his thesis done for his Masters in Bio-Medical Engineering at the University of Alberta. A job is pending down in Minnesota and wedding plans are in full swing.
During this time it has been such a blessing to have had a chance to do some flying with good friends. Bob Guzak, who owns his own Cessna 182 (same basic aircraft as the missions), has made it available for me to use to get used to the instrument system here in Canada again and we have had the chance to do some flying. Bob and Marty Massey (another pilot friend) flew us up to Ft McMurray to spend a week with our daughter. While there we had the privilege to share with McMurray Gospel Assembly who are one of our main sponsoring churches. They so generously donated over $26,000 toward a new emergency and support vehicle for the work in Mozambique and we were all ecstatic and humbled by the generosity of God’s people!
Paperwork (Certification) is a requirement of life, and getting it is not often easy, but the journey we are on is as important as the destination and it is awesome to ride the highs and lows together!
If I could have believed this was really possible from the outset, I am sure the journey to achieving it would have been more enjoyable. The fallacy of great achievement is that the one who had the dream never doubted they could achieve that dream. I think this is probably why many times we give up on worth-while endeavor much too soon. Does fear of failure want to choke the life out of you at times? YES! Does doubt want to drown you in its dark and stormy waters? Yes! But faith, even though barely a flicker at times, feeds hope and love, and enables the courage to keep going. And that is what has enabled yet another miracle to be achieved here in central Mozambique.
Yesterday, inspectors from the ministry of Transport and Communications along with the director of the Provincial airport and Air Traffic control came and carried out what is anticipated as the final inspection of the runway. The pictures that follow are what they encountered. And by all verbal feedback (paperwork is still to follow), the SAM Ministries’ ASAM Mucombeze Airstrip is approved and will be open in due course! (Mucombeze is the location of the mission base)
We cannot adequately express our appreciation to so many supporters and colleagues who had the faith with us to believe this was possible. Royden and Ruth Lepp, along with the Lepp family who willingly took this project on in honor of Ed Lepp (a veteran and passionate aviator), were key in stimulating a major part of the financing for this project, and so many of you joined them.
Our team here in Mozambique worked extremely hard together to help achieve this mile-stone. Many short-termers, who helped and encouraged at times when the end to this project was simply not visible to the natural eye, also left their mark. Even though it is likely some left Mozambique wondering if this project would ever see completion, their contribution is valued and made a difference.
We also had the generous and invaluable donation of time and expertise from a local business man and engineer (and aviator) who has been a support to the mission for some time providing hangar space and now providing the survey and input during construction of the airstrip.
The materials for the hangar floor are presently being transported to the site (thanks to Charles, our foreman, and his team of cool dudes) and although there are many projects vying for attention, we hope to have the floor in within the next few months. An idea we are floating is to have a team of qualified people come and oversee the construction and installation of the hangar doors, so keep this in your prayers.
The Cessna 182 still comfortably resting in a Mercy Air hangar in South Africa (thanks to the grace and patience of these good people), now has it’s Mozambican registration and is awaiting inspection in early December, all going well.
It is clear that every effort to efficiently and effectively reach, teach and empower people is what this mission and all those involved are about! Thank you for being a part of this worthwhile effort.
A big celebration was held recently to commemorate the completion of the hangar walls and roof in Mozambique. SAM Ministries was blessed by the tremendous team effort by partnering organization, Mercy Air, the Harderwyk team from the U.S.A., and the Mozambican staff in putting up the hangar structure over the past few months.
Work remaining includes a concrete floor.
Barbara Wayner writes: “We are thanking the Lord for [good progress made on] the building which will serve the Lord and the people of southern Africa for many generations to come. We also celebrated protection from injury and from the sun. It was 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher most days, that’s one reason the guys and the team started working at 5:00 a.m.. Wow, that is early but it’s cooler too!
The hangar is a testimony of the Lord’s love and faithfulness through His people, both through those who have supported the work with their prayers, finances and expertise, and those who came to Mozambique to erect the building.
The day the hangar walls and roof were complete, the windows of heaven opened with rain. Rain represents the Lord’s blessings and in Africa we understand the blessing of the rain to a greater degree. The people have been praying for rain for their crops, they need more rain. Please pray with them that the Lord will bless them with more rain and they will know it is from Him, not from the rain god but from Jehovah Jireh, the Creator and sustainer of the universe!
Thank you Jesus for the privilege of knowing you and being set free by You!
Blessed to be a blessing!
A second work team from Harderwyk (church in Michigan, U.S.A.) arrived last week to join the first team’s efforts in making progress on hangar construction in Mozambique. It’s wonderful to see how quickly this structure is going up. It’s very rewarding considering the many man-hours and hard work that has gone into it–all in the intense heat of Mozambican summer at that!
Here, with the hangar roof now up, the siding is set in place.