We are thrilled to announce that an aircraft has been provided for service at the new MAG mission base in the village of Rus Rus in La Moskitia, Honduras. Harvesters International Mission (HIM) voted at its September board meeting to formally partner with MAG in order to provide the aircraft for this field program which will work in direct support of the missionary hospital in Rus Rus, making medical care available to some 25,000 indigenous Miskito people according to recent estimates.
HIM is taking care of all the required modifications to the airplane to get it ready for the field. Heavy duty landing gear, wheels and brakes have already been installed. A cargo pod will be installed under the belly of the plane. Special (STOL) modifications will be made to the wings to allow for take-off and landing on short fields. An engine monitoring system will be installed and a grant is being sought in order to upgrade the navigational system. The work on the airplane should be complete by the end of 2009. Work to prepare the base to receive the plane may take a bit longer but is underway. Runway improvements, communications equipment, and fuel storage are issues being worked on. The construction of a dedicated hanger has been pledged by the Church of God World Missions department overseeing Latin America.
The Bible says that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine according to his power that is at work in us” and God has certainly been hard at work on this project! We never could have imagined the extraordinary array of partnerships that have culminated in the new base in Rus Rus becoming a reality.
Sean Donnelly and Dr. Goodman
MAG president, Sean Donnelly (left) and Harvesters International Mission president, Dr, Davis Goodman (right) in front of N307AC at the HIM hangar in Burlington, NC
Getting the airplane to the field is only half the battle—as the funding to support and operate the airplane must now be raised. The operating budget is $80,000 per year for all the expenses required to support about 400 flight hours annually. We’re asking folks to consider funding one hour of aircraft operation for $200, which roughly equates to one round trip medical flight and potentially one life saved.
The Wiles family is making preparations for the move to Rus Rus as well. Westley Wiles, the MAG pilot/mechanic on the field who will operate the new plane is asking for volunteer work teams to come down to Honduras to help make improvements to the house he and his family will live in as well as to help build some secure storage buildings. Please contact the MAG office if you, your organization, or church group would like to come down to help quite literally lay the ground work for bringing “help and hope” to an entire forgotten region of Honduras. You may also consider organizing a fundraising reception at your home or at a local airport. The new MAG Cessna 206 will make a promotional and awareness tour around the northeast in the spring of 2010 before heading south to begin its life saving work. Call to arrange for the 206 to visit your area!
The partnership between MAG and Harvesters will be broader than the field program in Rus Rus. Harvesters has tentatively pledged to supply another aircraft for MAG’s field program in the Peten region of Guatemala (see April 2009 MAG Field Report). MAG will also have a role in delivering advanced flight training to missionary flight students attending Harvester’s Missionary Aviation Institute (MAI).