Walt Driediger (FMS maintenance specialist) had smelled smoke at the airport before, so he didn’t think it was that unusual Monday afternoon, when he walked from the maintenance office into the hangar and smelled smoke. “It was God at work,” said Walt. “He prompted me to go outside and look.” What he saw was a grass fire approaching the hangar. He went back in the hangar and informed the other guys. “Hey, guys! Do you know there’s a fire out there?”
Having attended the dedication of our King Air 90 this year I was reminded of other dedications of FM planes I had had the privilege of attending. In 1983 I was present when we dedicated a Cessna 206 named “Lephoi la Pula” which means “The Dove of Blessing”. Dr Alfred Merriweather, our then Patron, did the dedicating.
Ask almost any Motswana and they will tell you that in the past, people with disabilities were regarded with suspicion and fear (the disability itself was looked at as a curse – literally), and that they were kept hidden away at cattle posts and distant villages. Fortunately, this attitude is changing. It is changing, thanks to people like Mma Seema, a teacher of disabled preschoolers at the Tshimologo Stimulation Centre (TSC) in Francistown.
I met Mma Seema last week at a Little Seeds (see Planting Little Seeds) preschool teacher training course sponsored by Flying Mission. When I greeted her, she was cordial but slow to smile. It wasn’t until I asked her about the children in her preschool that her face broke into a proud and beaming smile. I could tell that she wanted to tell me success stories about her children, but first I coaxed her to tell me about the Stimulation Centre itself.
It was 1930h and we were late. Not only was traffic heavy, it was downright slow – much like my day! Two simple tasks had consumed the spare time I’d hoped for. My husband spent his day lying on the cement hangar floor, removing a landing gear strut. Just 10 simple bolts, but this too took all day. As we parked the car and hurried in, the melody and words, "I worship You, Amighty God, there is none like You…" welcomed us and soothed our spirits. Participants at the Flying Mission (FM) Thursday Night Prayer Meeting are being skillfully led in worship of our Awesome God.
I live in the village of Kumakwane and one day I visited the family of Mr M because he was sick. I knew that the family would benefit from an egg each, so I brought them and explained why to the father whilst the children were standing there.
They were very happy and hopeful to have an egg each but the father turned to them and said, “Eggs are not good for you, they will make you sick.” However it seems they were perfectly good for he who was sick!
During the frosty, dark hours of a winter morning in the Kalahari Desert, a baby boy was born to a young San (Bushman) woman. The birth of a baby in Botswana is a welcome and celebrated event, a triumph for the mother. This mother’s joy, however, was mixed with worry and fear. Her tiny son, weighing only one kilogram, had arrived prematurely, 30 days before he was due.
Continue reading “Out Of The Blue”
A typical day for the pilots here at Flying Mission Zambia…
It’s …Wednesday… and the schedule in the Flying Mission Office reads: FLCG-ABFA-FLCH-ABFA-FLCH-ABFA. Rick Rempel is assigned to do the flight from Chilongolo (FLCG), Flying Mission’s base near Lusaka, to Macha (ABFA) which is home to the ‘Brethren in Christ’ Mission Hospital. Macha is located in the bush a 5 hour drive from Lusaka and is a regular destination for Flying Mission planes.
One of the Flying Mission Zambia (FMZ) ministries which is popular in the community is soccer. For some while now, a group of young guys has been practising here on our ‘rough and ready’ pitch at Chilongolo, the FMZ Mission base near to Lusaka. When Roger and Sally Green went home to UK one time, they were able to collect football boots, team jerseys and a number of balls for the lads and so it was that FM United Black Stars soccer team was born! Now they regularly play games against other local teams and are generally quite successful!
Located on the banks of a river, The Woodpecker is a popular venue for church and mission events in Gaborone. With green leafy trees lining the river, and buildings scattered through a garden-like setting, it offers an escape from the dust and concrete of the city. At least it used to. As I drove onto The Woodpecker property today, I was astonished and distressed by the lack of vegetation. Drought has taken a terrible toll, and the riverbanks are now barren.
Kgakgamatso (“KG”) was ejected from a vehicle when she was ten days old. All of the adults in the vehicle, including her birth mom, were killed in the accident, and KG spent the entire night lying on the ground until the accident was discovered some time the next morning. We brought her home from the hospital when she was two months old, and almost immediately we took her to South Africa for medical evaluations. The pediatric neurologist who examined KG gave a bleak prognosis. “You are looking at school for the blind and every kind of therapy known to man,” she said, “and even then, there is a good chance that she will never walk, talk, or see.”
The Botswana government kindly expedited KG’s adoption so that we could take her back to the United States and pursue “every kind of therapy known to man.” Continue reading “Two More Milestones Reached!”