Friday, 30 September 2016

Quick update on our visa

Things are moving along at a faster pace now.  This week, amongst other things, we have been gathering paperwork for our visa to enter into Australia.  We managed to get it all together and send 70mb worth of information through cyberspace.  The application went into the relevant authority yesterday so we are praying that everything is there that they need and we have no surprises.

At the end of October Simon needs to sit an English proficiency test.  They won't take his one from his FAA license so needs to do another one.  Thankfully this test should be pretty easy unless he puts a "Scottish" slant on it :)

We are still in the process of packing up the house.  Most things that we need to get rid of are sold and so this has been a blessing.  We have also found a home for wee Sox which was a concern.  It won't be easy to say goodbye to her.  She has definitely become part of the family.

We will keep you updated as we hear more.  Thanks again for interceding on our behalf.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Thank you for praying!

Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us and are continuing to pray as we transition to Australia.  One of the biggest hurdles we have faced is having Simon's aviation medical approved by the Australian CAA.  Simon had all his checks done via a doctor in Nairobi who is certified by the Australian CAA but one of the tests wasn't in the right format.  There was a chance that if it wasn't accepted then Simon would need to fly to South Africa or Dubai to have the test re-done.  However, thanks to those on the ground in MAF Australia, prayer and God working it all out we now have the certificate in hand.  Now time to jump through the next hoop.

Just yesterday I was reading about a Pastor who was preparing a sermon about the parting of the Red Sea.  The Israelites made it to the Red Sea but could not see a way through out of danger from their enemy, the Egyptians.  However, God had a plan that only He could deliver.  God parted the Red Sea and the Israelites made it to safety.  Simon's medical felt like a Red Sea moment.  It was going to take God to make it work and He has and we give thanks to Him for it.

You will need to read it sideways as it keeps changing the format on me.....At least its not upside down :)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A special gift

Yesterday, Simon had a flight to Mweya, Queen Elizabeth National Park.  He was flying a group there from Switzerland who had been doing some ministry with a school a couple of hours outside of Kampala.  The group was led by a couple who are friends of Simon’s Uncle and Aunt back in Switzerland whom we had met on a previous trip.  It was fun to catch up with them and the rest of the team.

I was able to join them on the flight.   Simon and I spent a few hours at Mweya Lodge with the team before flying back in the afternoon to Kampala.  This trip was special to me since it was the first lodge we ever went to with guests 14+ years ago.  Many memories flooded back of all the people we had enjoyed fellowship with in that area. (You know who you are!) It was a true gift to make this short trip before, God willing, we head to Australia. 

The weather was amazing and we just enjoyed God’s creation as we looked out over the Kazinga Channel and watched elephants and buffalo enjoying the coolness of the water in the heat of the day.  It truly was a wonderful day and I am thankful to God for His kindness to have this experience one more time.  The photos don’t do the area justice but it gives you an idea.

On a side note we got to fly down in “Scotty”.  This caravan was bought with money raised by funds from the Church of Scotland’s Women’s Guild.  This might have been my last MAF flight in Uganda and what a way to end it in “Scotty”.

Our transport for the day "Scotty"

Got to fly with my best friend, what's not to like :)

Mweya Safari Lodge

The marina area where a leopard had been spotted that morning.

 Kazinga Channel where we saw elephants, buffalo and crocodile

Isn't Uganda beautiful?

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Quick Prayer Request

We would value your prayers as we continue the process of moving with MAF to Australia.  We are having some problems with the paperwork for Simon's medical not being in the right format despite everything going through an Australian approved Doctor in Nairobi.  This process is holding up everything else so we would appreciate prayers to know how to proceed and for the staff in MAF Australia who are doing their best to handle things from that end.

Food Drop in South Sudan

A couple of weeks ago Simon was due to fly up to South Sudan to do some food drops for an organisation called MedAir.  Food is scarce in some areas and the only safe way to get food in is via aircraft in some regions.  However, the flight had to be cancelled due to heavy rainfall which made the airstrip unusable until it had dried out (this can take three days).  The black cotton soil on some of the airstrips makes it very difficult to land and take off when it has rained.  It gets very sticky.

Thankfully, last week the flight was able to go ahead so Simon headed up to South Sudan on Wednesday and was able to do two food drops on the Thursday.  The airstrip was located one and a half hours north of Juba.  Below are photos of Simon and some of the MAF team in Juba loading the aircraft.  Simon said the temperature on the ground was around 50c.  Hot, Hot, Hot!!!

The situation in South Sudan is not good.  Two days before Simon got to Juba there was a robbery not far from the MAF compound where a policeman was shot and killed.  Difficult times for many.

Last week I was speaking to a friend whose family live in South Sudan.  He has two brothers and they have 12 children between them along with their elderly mother.  They could not sleep in their homes at night because of fear that they would be attacked.  They would sleep in the bush and return to their homes during the day.  On one particular day it was not safe to go to the market as the r*bel groups and the g*vernment soldiers were in the area.  I asked if his family would try and make it to the refugee camps just over the border into Uganda but he said one of them was already full and it wasn't safe at that point to start the journey to the other one.

Please pray for South Sudan as a country and for its people!!!!

Our MAF Uganda Caravan "Romeo Mike"

MAF Uganda and MAF South Sudan Team Work :)

Photos courtesy of Mark Simmonds