Extreme Makeover – Rus Rus Edition

In early May, MAG’s Director of Pastoral Ministries Carlos Paz led a team of five to Rus Rus, Honduras to complete some much-needed work on both the hospital and Guest House. The Guest House improvements will pave the way for current Rus Rus resident missionaries, Wes and Denise Wiles, to move in, making room for 2 new missionary construction teamcouples to join the field. Both the Moras (David and Hannah) and the Braxtons (Joel and Abrielle) are in preparation for field deployment and will be taking up residence in the Main House/Duplex currently occupied by the Wiles’.

Work on the Guest House consisted of tearing out an old suspended ceiling and tightly framing a new wooden ceiling which would keep out the most unwanted visitors: snakes, tarantulas and other jungle regulars. New plumbing was also installed, and a new porch was begun.

Future construction trips are planned to continue the work on the Guest House, with a team traveling down July 2015 to completely rewire the house. A further construction trip is tentatively planned for January 2016.

framingnew porch

Both the team and the residents of Rus Rus were blessed through the project. Team members attended the local church service, and contributed a special music presentation of “How Great Is Our God.” Paz was able to visit many of the soldiers, delivering Bibles and photo albums he had promised them on previous trips. The team also assisted with preparations for the annual mother’s day celebration and connected with the locals, children and adults alike, through games of baseball, soccer and volleyball throughout the week.

 

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2014 Year-End Ministry Summary

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MAG Year-End Ministry Summary 2014 – 4 pages

In This Issue:

  • President’s Note
  • Additional Medical Team Lands in Rus Rus
  • Making a Difference That Goes Beyond the Numbers
  • First Operational Flight for Guatemala Field Program
  • Progress Slow but Steady on Guatemala Air Ambulance
  • New Training Aircraft Arrives
  • Road to Mission Service Passes Through Burlington

MAG Pilot Westley Wiles prepares to take-off from Rus Rus to fly a trauma patient out to a larger hospital. The patient, a young pregnant woman, was pulled from a collapsed mine, then carried to Rus Rus for eight hours on a blanket. The flight saved the her life and that of her unborn child.

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2014 Mid-Year Ministry Report

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MAG Mid-Year Minstry Report June 2014 – 4 pages

In This Issue:

  • Delivering Help and Hope to the Honduran Frontier
  • Vacation Bible School Brings Gospel Hope to More than just Children
  • Mennonite Mission Assists MAG in Launching Guatemala Air Ambulance
  • Project Update – Honduras Truck
  • Project Update – Guatemala Aircraft

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2014 IHS Medical Brigade Has Eternal Impact

Think about it. What would it be like if you could only see a doctor or a dentist one day a year? And what if seeing that doctor or dentist required you and your family to walk three days round trip through the jungle carrying all the food for the trip? Then, after that walk, you arrive at the clinic to find several hundred people already camped out waiting in line ahead of you? And when you finally see the doctor or dentist, they don’t even speak your language? Now, imagine being intensely grateful for this care because you  know your child will live to his next birthday – and because you can remember when that may not have been the case. Hard to imagine?  Welcome to health care in the remote region of Honduras called La Mosquitia.

For the fourth year in a row, International Health Service (IHS) deployed a combined medical/dental team to our mission base in the village of Rus Rus, Honduras from February 17 to 26, 2014. Working in partnership with our medical, missionary aviation, and pastoral staff, the fourteen member IHS team was able to utilize our hospital facility to see more patients than in any previous year, seeing over 1500 indigenous people from 18 different villages in the vicinity of the Rio Coco.

Over the course of the seven day medical/dental clinic 1522 patients were seen in total. Of those, 165 eye clinic patients received 124 reading glasses and 123 pairs of sunglasses, 299 dental patients were treated with 367 extractions, and 1098 medical clinic patients were seen with 3737 prescriptions dispensed.

Our missionary pilot and Hospital Administrator, Westley Wiles, was busy flying supplies, medicine, medical professionals, and patients between our base, other mission sites, and larger more well-equipped hospitals. A number of emergency medical evac flight were conducted and credited with saving several lives including several infants. Sadly, not every outcome was positive. One patient died in the hospital in Puerto Lempira after our evac – a young mother. This is a grim reminder of the state of health and healthcare in this region which reinforces the very great need for our presence there.

Carlos Paz, MAG’s Director of Pastoral Ministries, and volunteer Dave Pulzetti, worked with local bi-lingual villagers to interpret Miskito to Spanish, Spanish to English, and then back again so patients could communicate effectively with the medical team. Geraldina, our indigenous Head Nurse and her assistant, Janeth, worked tirelessly to organize medical records and manage the patients that overflowed the clinic for seven straight days.

We were additionally blessed to have Dr. Pearl Marcy, a second generation missionary doctor in Honduras, join our staff for this medical event. Dr. Pearl traveled to Rus Rus from her medical clinic in the mountains outside the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa.

Each evening after clinic closed, Carlos and Dave worked with the local pastors to preach and teach and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the large groups of transient villagers camped at our base. Many villagers heard the Gospel for the first time, responding joyfully to the invitation to begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And right by their side, helping deliver a message of hope to those gathered, were some of the Honduran soldiers garrisoned in Rus Rus, who had received Christ just weeks before at our children’s Bible School event. Miracles were experienced, lives were touched, souls were saved, and foundations were strengthened for continued ministry that is not only changing the condition of a region medically, but more importantly, spiritually as well!

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East and West Churches Come Together for the Kids of Rus Rus

A team of six men and women traveled to MAG’s Honduras mission base January 30 through February 10, 2014 to hold a Vacation Bible School for children from the villages of Rus Rus and Mahbita. This was a very special team as, not only was it comprised of volunteers from both East and West coasts of the US, but it was also the first time a VBS program had been held for these children.  Led by Carlos Paz, MAG Director of Pastoral Ministries, volunteers Pastor Alan Inacio, Dave Pulzetti, and Mackenzie Jackson (West Church, Haverhill, MA) and Brett and Tammy White (Grace Baptist Church, Santa Maria, CA) also conducted a youth event and Bible study every afternoon.

From Brett & Tammy White: “We were thrilled with the turnout to our VBS over the course of the week, averaging between 45 and 50 children each day. We began with the very basic tenets of Christianity from Creation to Salvation with the hopes that we will be able to return with lessons and activities that will build on that foundation in the years to come. All the children were eager to learn, play and sing with us. The activities that we planned were well received and it was a joy to watch them throughout the week wearing or carrying items that they had made during craft times. It seems like the week came and went more quickly than time should be allowed to pass!”

From Carlos Paz: “The children truly loved it. The local school hasn’t held classes for these children for the past two years. Consequently, the children were fully engaged and got into the whole experience with all their hearts. As the week of VBS drew to a close, the children all enthusiastically responded to the gospel message and invitation. Without even being prompted, they screamed out the prayer to receive Jesus. That was a very touching moment for us as a team, and an eternity-changing event for each of the children.

“The youth event quickly became the “youth and 10 soldiers” event when I felt that we might also reach out to the young soldiers based in the village. After talking to their Sargent, it was apparent the soldiers were very interested in participating. So from Tuesday to Friday, the youth and the soldiers gathered together every afternoon to learn about God, study the Bible, and enjoy fellowship through singing and playing games.”

At the soldier’s request, Carlos continued to meet with them for bible study even as the VBS team returned to the United States. Carlos and Dave Pulzetti remained in Rus Rus to interpret for the International Health Services (IHS) medical brigade set for February 17-26 at the Rus Rus Hospital.

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2013 Year-End Ministry Summary

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MAG Year-End Ministry Summary 2013 – 4 pages

In This Issue:

  • Clean Water Having Sustained Impact in Rus Rus
  • IHS Medical & Dental Brigade Holds Annual Clinic
  • Multiple Infrastructure Projects Improve Base Operations
  • Airstrips Open as MAG Deploys to Guatemala

MAG aircraft are often the only way IN for medicine and supplies, and the only way OUT for critically ill or injured patients like this gunshot patient (below) being airlifted from the remote Miskito village of Wampusirpi.

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Team Gets New Generator, Grid, and Welder Online in Rus Rus

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October 2013 MAG Field Report – 2 pages

In addition to the electrical team, we also had a Honduran survey team, led by Kentucky architect Jim Burris, begin work on a topographical mapping and site survey. This is the first step in the development of a complete architectural and infrastructure Master Plan for the Rus Rus Hospital and Mission Base.

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2013 IHS Medical and Dental Team Arrives

"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these...you did for me." Matthew 25:40

The wonderful volunteers from International Health Service returned to MAG’s mission base in Rus Rus from February 18-26, 2013 to conduct a free medical and dental clinic. This is the third consecutive year that MAG has partnered with IHS to deliver critically needed care to the Miskito people of Eastern Honduras.  As usual, most people arrived on foot.  Some came on horseback, some on stretchers, some as whole families, some as entire villages, many walking for several days – just for the chance to see a doctor, to have a tooth pulled, or to have their eyes examined.
 
This year the MAG team working with HIS was a little larger than in past years.  MAG pilot and  Honduras Program Director Westley Wiles oversaw the clinic and flew patients to other IHS sites for special medical attention. Carlos Paz, Director of Pastoral Ministries, spent his days translating between patients and medical staff and spent evenings preaching and sharing God’s love with the transient families and groups populating MAG’s

Having walked for a day or more, whole families wait in line to receive medical and dental care from the visiting IHS team.

missionary compound. Denise Wiles handled the hospitality needs of the thirteen member IHS team and MAG staff. The Wiles’ daughter, Rachel, and two visiting missionary kids also assisted with translation efforts while Karen Dodson, MAG’s Medical Services Coordinator, observed clinic operations and assisted with hospital procedures. Geraldina Coleman, Rus Rus Hospital’s Head Nurse, translated, directed patient flow, and helped with triage. Our national staff as well as volunteers from the village, also helped to make this year’s IHS clinic a great success.
 
Over the course of the ten day clinic the IHS team saw:   1041 medical patients.  12 cases required Westley to fly them to other IHS team locations for specialized treatment or surgery.   287 dental patients.  This included the extraction of 235 teeth and  flouride treatments being given to 74 children.   156 eye patients.  75 sets of reading glasses and 119

A patient with a severely broken leg is carried to a waiting MAG aircraft to be flown to a larger hospital for emergency surgey.

pairs of sunglasses were dispensed.   3,538 prescriptions filled.   This included vitamins for those who came to the clinic and for family members unable to make the arduous journey.
 
This was also special as it was the first year that evening worship services were held, enabling Carlos to preach to all those who had travelled in to our village and were basically camping there waiting to receive care. Many people responded during these services by making commitments to follow Christ.  One was Eduardo, who had been a critical medical patient at last year’s IHS clinic in Rus Rus. Last year Eduardo’s physical life was saved, this year he gained eternal life!
 
One family from a remote village came to the clinic for help. It seems their village had just killed their local witchdoctor for not doing a proper job of preventing illness and disease among them. They’d cut off his head and buried it believing that would make them healthy. It hadn’t worked. Many in their village were still sick and dying. Consequently this family walked to the clinic believing their problems remained because the villagers hadn’t buried the witchdoctor’s head deep enough in the ground. From out of that utter darkness they travelled to the village of Rus Rus – a beacon of light for them – where  they received needed physical healing as well as spiritual truth – both in the Name of Jesus.  It was a successful clinic, indeed!
 
 
For a fabulously detailed account of the day by day adventures of the MAG crew in Rus Rus, check out Karen Dodson's blog. (Keith & Karen's Missionaries, Mutts, and Stuff) She even has a short highlight video of this years IHS brigade.
 
 
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MAG Volunteer Wins Emmy Award

Bobby Dobbs with his Emmy Award.

Bobby Dobbs, one of Missionary Air Group’s volunteers, recently received an Emmy Award from the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for one of his video productions in conjunction with the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television (UNC-TV). Emmys are awarded to recognize outstanding programming broadcast over commercial and public television stations across the country.
 
Bobby is a North Carolina native, a UNC grad, and a long-time Burlington resident who worked 30 years in the television industry before starting his own company in 2005 which provides a wide range of professional services for corporate, private, and non-profit clients from across the media spectrum.
 
A volunteer with MAG since February 2011, Bobby has shot, edited, and produced four videos for the mission as well as several “special purpose” pieces.  Shortly after being introduced to MAG through a friend, Bobby met Sean Donnelly, MAG’s President. “Sean’s passion is contagious. The ministry they do in Rus Rus (Honduras) is amazing. It’s great when God connects you to something that is helping people and sharing Christ’s love. MAG’s need for video was immediate, I was available, and God just made it happen.” Three weeks later, Bobby was at MAG’s jungle hospital in Honduras shooting video of International Health Services’ two week medical clinic. (Click here to watch that video) "Video is a powerful tool to tell stories. The more people that see how God is using MAG, the more people will support them.” 
 

Bobby (in left corner) shoots video of a hygiene education class for children in Rus Rus, Honduras.

Bobby’s local and international volunteer experiences with MAG have shown him the critical role volunteers play in helping MAG accomplish its mission of delivering help and hope by air. “MAG is such a small ministry they are in constant need of people who can volunteer to do a wide range of tasks. Everyone should have the experience of going to an underdeveloped country to see what it’s like to live every day in that situation.”
 
Bobby is married to Kaye, his wife of 38 years. They have two grown children, Taylor and Anna. The Dobbs attend Westover Church in Greensboro, NC.
 
Is the Lord leading YOU to help MAG deliver "help and hope" to the people of the Moskitia region of Honduras?  To discover how you too can volunteer your time and talents with Missionary Air Group, please submit the form on our CONTACT page.
 
 
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2012 Year-End Ministry Summary

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MAG Year-End Ministry Summary 2012 – 4 pages

In This Issue:

  • New Staff Arriving at MAG
  • New Aircraft Dedicated and Deployed to Honduras Program
  • Construction Teams Complete Building Projects
  • Clean Water for the People of Rus Rus
  • Lives are Transformed by the Gospel
  • International Health Service (IHS) Holds Annual Clinic

 

 

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