Friday, March 16, 2018


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Picking up a Patient in Botswana

My first placement with MAF was  flying medevacs in Botswana. Since we were on 24-hour standby, it wasn’t uncommon to get a call at one in the morning to go and pick up a patient. One of the most difficult flights I had there started out this way.

During a flight to Maun, through a pitch-black sky, one of our primary flight instruments failed. We were almost to our destination, so we continued on and landed without incident, but once on the ground, we had some decisions to make: would we pick up the patient and risk carrying on with the flight through the night, or wait until sunrise when we had a clear horizon making the failed instrument not anywhere near as vital.

Our medics, being professionals, didn’t tell us the condition of the patient, as that information would have affected our judgement on putting the overall safety of the flight and everyone on board as top priority. The captain and I discussed the matter and decided it would be safest to wait until sunrise, only five or six hours away. It was a difficult decision to make, but I reminded myself that many times before we had gone to pick up a patient, had thought the timing was critical, but in reality,  they could have easily have waited a few more hours.

We told the medics our decision and they asked us if we were sure. We answered affirmatively. What they then told us made my heart sink. The patient had fallen off the roof of a house, had a serious neck and brain injury, and wasn’t expected to make it through the night if he stayed at the clinic in Maun. I immediately began to regret our decision, but it was too late.  This is exactly how decisions were supposed to be made in order to not compromise the safety of the flight. The solid reasoning did not help with the feeling in the pit of  my stomach. 

Those next few hours felt like an eternity as my mind raced about the decision I had just helped make. Had I just condemned this man to death? 

However, things were out of my control and at this point, as difficult as it was, I had to trust God. The captain and I had been through extensive training and had significant flying experience, and looking back now, I know we made the right decision that night. However, I needed to realize that some things are out of our hands and we need to put our trust in God.
Thankfully, this story does have a happy ending. Just before sunrise we rushed to the hospital to find the patient in a somewhat stable condition. We were able to fly him back to the capital city, Gaborone, where he was given the medical treatment that he desperately needed.

Working with LAMP, I don’t run into the “life or death” sort of situations anymore when it comes to flying. However, it can still be incredibly frustrating when we’re unable to fly or go where we want due to weather or mechanical issues. I can’t count the number of times that our plans have had to change because I had to ground us for one reason or another. It’s been a continued exercise in learning to trust that God has things in control that are out of my control.

Time and time again, when our plans are interrupted, it always seems that God had other plans in store. A few years ago, we had been stuck in Thompson for a number of days. The weather had been terrible and we couldn’t seem to get anything done.  Frustrated from waiting, we decided to drive to the one community we could drive to. Instead of a one-hour flight, it would be about a 5-hour drive over terrible gravel roads. 

Shortly after we left, we stopped for gas at the last gas station. While we were filling up, I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. I turned around to see a young man who asked me if we were heading to Norway House, and if he could catch a ride. We agreed and as we headed out, this young man began to open up to us about how he was struggling, how his brother had been convicted of murder five years ago that day, and how heavily this weighed on him.  We had the whole drive to speak and share with him the Gospel and love of Christ.

We wanted to go elsewhere that day, but instead we had to put our trust in God that He had things in control.

Trusting in God is not always easy, and I often find I want things to happen in my own time and the way I want them done. We are at another point where we find ourselves needing to trust God. After being married last year, our MAF ministry support needed to be increased to meet the requirement for a married couple. It seemed overwhelming, but so far, the Lord has been providing, as He always seems to do.

We are more than halfway there and only have $1000/month left to go! We want to thank everyone that has helped make our ministry possible; those that have been giving for years, and those that have just joined us in partnership recently. We could not do this work without you. We will continue to trust that God will provide so we can carry on doing His work in Northern Canada.

If you would like to partner with us in this ministry through financial support, hit the donate button up top.

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