December 23, 2011 - Friday - 7:52am (US Eastern Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
I am so glad that the world takes a day and acknowledges that Jesus did indeed come into this world. We all know that Jesus' birthday is probably not December 25th, but it is good that there is a recognition that He did indeed come into this world. Thank the Lord!
Have you gotten your Christmas shopping done? OK, I'm still working on it. I'm supposed to go pick up a few things that I ordered today. I am famous for "last minute" shopping. Truly, not one of my gifts.
We just sent out 1124 Christmas Newsletters. Did you get yours? IF you did not, and would like to be put on our Air Mobile E-Mail list, simply drop me an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be put on the list.
I PROMISE YOU, you will not be inundated with a bunch of appeal e-mails from us. We simply don't have time to do it, plus it's kind of aggravating to be get those "appeals" continually. So....if you truly want to be on the list let us know. We generally send out a monthly report (if we have time).
In the meantime, you know that you can always come here to, Air Mobile Joe's Rambling Blog to get a DAILY update. It's kind of funny, my precious Cindy, who is a Psych Nurse, tells me that there is "medication for people like me". In other words, there has to be some obsessive side of me that is able to write a DAILY REPORT.
I believe I do it as a means of therapy or something. At any rate, I rather enjoy getting up every morning, no matter where we are and finding a "connection" and "whipping out" a quick report about our activities. I suppose it takes a "special" kind of person to do that. You see, even today, I'm kind of "baring my soul" with you.
There is another side to all of this. YOU! I truly believe that we are able to do many of the things that we do, because we have folks like you praying for us! That's a fact. Even, the flight that we made on December 16th demonstrates that. I have had several folks, including my daughter, Cherie, that were awakened out of a sound sleep and prayed for us at the very moment that the electrical system in Ti Burik was "melting down". Truly, our Lord does know how to deploy His troops, especially the ones that PRAY!
Prayer is so important. The fact is, we can't pray enough. Remember that scripture that says, "Pray without ceasing". In other words, we should pray about everything. That's a good thing to do. Things in our lives will go better if we pray about them.
As we go through this day, may we pray a bit more. We'll never go wrong doing that. It's time for me to get going to the airport and work on a certain "ailing" Little Donkey. God bless you and as always, THANK YOU for your prayer, love and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 22, 2011 - Thursday - 6:50am (US Eastern Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A SICK LITTLE DONKEY....IN INTENSIVE CARE
We spent yesterday getting all of the damaged electronic components identified and sent off for repair for our precious "Little Donkey". The "Bad News" is: there was a lot of damage. The "Good News" is: A lot of folks and companies are willing to help us get this sweet little airplane back in the air. THANK THE LORD for generous friends.
In this photo, you can see all of beautiful Avionics provided by Garmin have been removed and sent back to Garmin for immediate repair and return. I had a most encouraging conversation with the Garmin Representative, Dave, that first introduced Ti Burik (The Little Donkey) to the President of Garmin and thus the original donation. Dave assured me that Garmin will do all they can to get the components back to us ASAP. Thanks Dave and Garmin!
Paul, our mechanic, is going through every single system and circuit to both identify damage and weak points. By the time we go through all the systems, our "Little Donkey" will be better than ever. This is another example of "All things working together for the good".
As I replay the flight on Friday morning, I am so thankful that the "electrical melt-down" occurred with it did. We had just taken off. We had adequate time to make a rapid course reversal and safe descent and land at our home field. This provided a tremendous advantage on beginning the repair immediately. Even though we are approaching Christmas, all critical components are in good hands for quick repair and return.
I sincerely believe that AFTER this unfortunate event (the melt down), our aircraft will be BETTER. Now, this is where we need PRAYER & SUPPORT. As we go through the systems, please pray that we identify and repair all areas that need attention. Also, pray that the funds come in to pay for these repairs. Even though we are getting some of the work done under Warranty & Grace, we will still need funds to pay for certain parts and labor.
Please consider making this a "Late Christmas Project". So many depend upon this "Little Donkey" to carry the Good News of Jesus & Clean Water & critical personnel & medicine & diapers & baby formula & & & the list goes on and on. I can assure you, your gift be will be good seed in good soil. Do not hesitate to phone me if you'd like a report, update or just want to chat about what is going on. My cell phone is: 321-544-7757. As always, THANK YOU for your faithful love, prayer and support! God bless and MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Air Mobile Joe
PS - If you're moved to make a donation toward this critical project "Helping a Sick Little Donkey", you may use the "DONATE" button in the upper left hand of this blog. If you're local and would like to drop your gift off, simply give me a call and we can coordinate to meet. THANKS AGAIN for your consideration. Joe
December 21, 2011 - Wednesday - 8:15am (US Eastern Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A "LAID BACK" TRIP HOME - PAUL GETS SOME GOOD CESSNA 206 TIME
As is our usual style, we don't "broadcast" our travel times (for security reasons). So, our little Air Mobile Team of Water Mules, headed to the Port-Au-Prince International airport, bright and early yesterday morning and flew Jamie's beautiful Turbo 206 back to the U.S. We flew back at 12,500 feet and averaged 150 knots (had a slight quartering tail-wind the entire way home. Love flights like this!
Paul and his wife Jo have a beautiful sheep farm in Wales (Great Britain). Paul has had a strong desire to be a missionary pilot for as long as I have known him. We first flew to Haiti together in our mission Aero Commander 500 in 1996). Paul has made significant and clear strides toward achieving the goal of becoming a "Missonary Pilot". When he bought the sheep farm in Wales, he could visualize just how to put in a runway. He did. He went on to buy a classic missionary flight training aircraft, a Piper Cub J-4. He's been working very hard on honing his bush, missionary, flying skills.
However, there was one thing that Paul lacked. Cessna 206 flight time. Well, our Lord certainly arranged things well for Paul. You may recall, several days ago (Friday) we had a very challenging incident with our Little Donkey. Our entire electrical system "melted down" when Paul and I and Mark were enroute to Haiti. It was a "dicey" moment and we managed to land safely "in a black hole". Our Lord was certainly with us!
I called upon Jamie, who owns the Cessna 206 and "recruited" him for a critical mission. Within a few hours, Jamie and Paul were loading our vital supplies and we were off to Haiti. THANK GOD for willling volunteers! THANKS AGAIN JAMIE!!
Paul gained invaluable flight time and experience by flying Jamie's Cessna 206 both to and from Haiti. Paul and Jo will be heading back to Wales tomorrow. We'll miss them and we hope and pray that our Lord works things out for them to join us on this "glorious mission" of bringing the GOOD NEWS of JESUS around the world.
We had an excellent flight back and Paul did a superb job of giving Jamie and I a relaxing and "LAID BACK" flight home. I love it when our Lord takes things and "works them together for the good"!
Well, today, we face the daunting task of putting a "Sick Little Donkey" back together. Will be at the hangar working with Paul (the Mechanic) on solving the electrical problem and getting many components repaired and replaced. We truly need your prayer and support on this. We must get that precious Little Donkey back in the air. So many depend upon Ti Burik for clean water and hope!
I'll also be working on a Christmas Newsletter (I know it's a bit late, but we've been "burning the candle" at both ends as of late). As always, THANK YOU for your faithful and precious prayer, love and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 20, 2011 - Tuesday - 5:33am (Haiti Time) - Bon Repos, Haiti - Air Mobile Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A STEP CLOSER TOWARD GOOD COMMUNICATIONS - A QUEUE FULL OF RESCUERS
Yesterday morning, I delivered the final and full presentation for an all new Air Traffic Control Communication system to OFNAC Director General Flambert. We had a very encouraging meeting. My simple prayer is: "May the will of the Lord be done". I do know this, the current system is in desperate need of replacement. Please join together with us for this much needed change to be made quickly! THANKS!!
By the way, Captain Flambert is an excellent pilot and working together with him has been a real pleasure. We are encouraged by this new relationship.
While I was in town, Jamie and Paul were hard at work. Jamie was finishing refurbishing the 10th Rescuer. Folks, he and Paul helped so much on this mission. They both dug in deep and we uncovered some very good methods of keeping these remarkable machines in operation. Some of the units that were refurbished have been in operation in Haiti since 2005.
We maintain a "Queue" of refurbished units as shown in this photo. When a Rescuer Operator, such as the many clinics, schools, orphanages, etc. encounter a difficulty of any sort with their unit, they are instructed to bring the unit back to our Refurb Center here in Ruuska Village and we simply "swap it out" with a refurbished unit. This system has worked quite well to keep "Clean water flowing"! Here, Jamie has completed the 10th unit. This is a great number to have on hand. THANKS AGAIN, Jamie and Paul for sharing your knowledge and ingenuity with so many.
By the way, Paul was out hanging Christmas lights for Barb when this shot was taken. It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas...here in the Village.
We so appreciate all that Barbara (Rambo in the Blue Dress) does for so many. Over 1000 children in extreme risk have found homes in America and around the world as a result of Barbara's amazing heart and deep determination. We love and appreciate Barb and all she does!
We're up bright and early this morning. Have a full day. Time for that second cup of coffee. We'll see what our Lord has for us today. And...as always, THANK YOU for your faithful love, prayer and support! God Bless!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 19, 2011 - Monday - 6:48am (Haiti Time) - Bon Repos, Haiti - Air Mobile Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
RESURRECTING A LITTLE MOTORCYCLE - WORKING ON GETTING NEW ATC RADIOS - PRAY FOR THE PHILIPPINES
Our team had a laid back Sunday in Haiti. Jamie and Paul, with a little help from some of the Village Kids, managed to get a motorcycle up and running. The problem with the little bike is that the key was lost. Well, Jamie quickly found a way around that but the fact that it sat for nearly a year really "gunked" up the carburetor.
It was cool watching Paul and Jamie, first get it running and then methodically "tune" it. But then we had another problem. The key also fit the fuel tank. The makers of the motorcycle made the cap like "Fort Knox". So, we had to find a way to get fuel into the tank.
Here came so more Mac Gyver stuff (read yesterdays blog below about Mac Gyver). We used elevation and gravity and an ingenious series of hoses to "force" the fuel into the tank. Soon, we had the little bike purring "almost like a kitten". There is more than one way to "skin a cat". I suppose I have to be careful about what I say, because cats are frequently eaten here in Haiti.
I worked on getting ready for my presentation to the Civil Aviation Department regarding putting in all new Air Traffic Control Radios. This is such an important project, as it will increase Aircraft safety coming in and out of Port-Au-Prince for years to come.
Please join me in prayer, that as I meet with Director General Flambert and his team of Engineers, that we will flow in the direction that our Lord would have us to go.
Well, it's that time. The sun has risen and we're heading into another day. Another thing, please remember to pray for the Philippines. A late season storm struck the Southern Philippines on Friday. The death toll is over 430 and rising. Tens of thousands have been displaced. This part of the Philippines usually does not get such storms and especially one this late in the season. We are following this situation very closely.
As always, THANK YOU for your faithful prayer, love and support! God bless!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 18, 2011 - Sunday - 6:47am (Haiti Time) - Bon Repos, Haiti - Air Mobile Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
WATER MULES "ON THE MARCH" - REMEMBER MAC-GYVER?
Yesterday was spent "resurrecting" Air Mobile Rescuers. There are currently 316 Air Mobile Rescuers in operation throughout Haiti (nearly 800 in operation globally). Our goal: KEEP THE CLEAN WATER FLOWING!
Haiti has been the perfect "test bed" for developing means of "field repairing" the unit. By that I mean, "what would an operator do in Southern Sudan when supply routes are cut off and there is NO way to get spare parts in?" How could one keep the Rescuer in operation with "MacGyver" techniques? To the younger readers of this blog, MacGyver was a guy that could fix anything with a paper clip, duct tape and a Swiss Army Knife.
Now, I know that you may be getting tired of my old quote, "God knows how to deploy His troops", but I must say it again!
The combination of Paul, from Wales, and Jamie with the 206, could not have been any better for this "Old, Original Water Mule". We walked into our Air Mobile Rescuer depot with water purifiers, some of which have been in operation since 2004 in this country, in desperate need of repair. The amazing design of this unit allows one to just keep rebuilding it over and over and over again.
Yesterday, we reached "New Heights" in innovation! Paul has a sheep farm in Wales and like most farmers, has to depend upon creativity and ingenuity to keep things in operation. Jamie's family raises many, many different kinds of plants in an old and well established nursery. Both of these guys are simply amazing when it comes to figuring things out!
We "dug" deeper into the Rescuer yesterday and began coming up with remarkable techniques to "keep em running" when "new replacement parts" are not available. For you see, that is our situation for several of the major components on the Rescuer. We are getting very close to manufacturing certain replacement components, but we have not begun "punching them out yet". By the way, please remember us in prayer in this regard....we are very close!
However, a favorite scripture of mine comes to mind: "ALL THINGS work together for the good, to those that love God, those the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). This situation, of not being able to get certain replacement parts, is "driving us to be creative". Truly, "Necessity is the Mother of Invention". The bottom line is: We are keeping these units running after 7 years of operation!
Now, I must admit, it will be wonderful when we're producing all of the replacement parts in unlimited quantities, and this hour is soon approaching. But in the meantime, we're not only making do, but creating great ways to "field repair" Rescuers even in the most extreme circumstances with a few simple things found "at hand".
I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am at our latest discoveries. See, this is what it's like to be a "Water Mule". If you're reading this rambling blog and have some of those "MacGyver" talents, CONTACT ME! Air Mobile needs you!!
Well, the sun has risen. About to get that second cup of coffee and launch into this beautiful day that Lord has made. Really love and appreciate your faithful prayer, love and support!
Air Mobile Joe
PS - After reading yesterday's blog about the sudden and wonderful addition of Jamie to our team. I love it when the Lord works things out!! Joe
December 17, 2011 - Saturday - 7:08am (Haiti Time) - Bon Repos, Haiti - Air Mobile Base Camp - Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A SUDDEN CHANGE IN PLANS - LANDING IN A "BLACK HOLE" - A FAITHFUL FRIEND DROPS EVERYTHING....TO THE RESCUE
Yesterday was memorable...for sure! Our small team of Paul (from Wales) and Mark, the son of John, a long-time water mule, met at 3:20am, long before the sun rose, to load our Little Donkey to make another mission flight to Haiti. All went well. We had a good load, we were all fueled and we cranked up the engines right on time.
My departures for Haiti are typically IFR (Instrument Flight Rules). We would initially climb to 15,000' and eventually go to 19,000. As we rolled down the long runway at Space Center Executive, both engines ran beautifully and our Little Donkey jumped right into the dark, cool air. We were climbing through some clouds when Paul and I both noticed a small "wisp" of smoke. Suddenly everything changed! Our full attention was on the beautiful instrument panel. We knew something was wrong.
Within minutes, instrument after instrument failed...first the autopilot, then the lights began to flicker. I quickly reported that we were returning to our home field. System after system simply stopped working. We were now flying with a flashlight and one separate, battery powered GPS. We lost radios and could not advise Air Traffic Control of our plight and....we could not turn the airport lighting system on. For you see, a pilot can "click" his microphone and actually turn on the runway lights of an airport.
An unlit airport is difficult to identify. As our GPS told us we were approaching our field, I strained to recognize anything. Remember, it was pitch black. There, among many flashing lights was the rotating beacon and with just small bit of help from the cloud covered moon, I could just make out the runway. Our landing gear came down with no problem (the system is Hydraulic), but we could not lower the flaps.
A quick bank onto final and a smooth landing. Ahhhh, THANK YOU, JESUS! As we taxied our Little Donkey back to our hangar, the smell of burning wiring was very strong. What could have caused this? Immediately upon landing, I phoned Flight Service and advised we were down safe. Soon, we had the cowlings off and began our inspection. I called our mechanic, Paul and he started heading our way.
As we began to analyze the situation, it appears that our battery (less than 2 months old) had simply "shorted" out and caused an excessive amount of voltage to race through our system. We all prayed together and THANKED OUR LORD for getting us down safely. As Paul began to methodically work through the systems, I was on the phone. We had to get Haiti!
At 7:25am, I phoned Jamie. Now, this guy is incredible. This is not the first time I've called Jamie with an urgent request. Several months ago, I had to make a flight into Haiti on a moments notice and Jamie and his wife, Amy, dropped everything and flew us to Haiti. Well, when I phoned Jamie, I asked him 2 things. First, was his airplane flying good and second, could he make an IMMEDIATE flight to Haiti. But....I told him NOT to answer question 2 until he spoke with Amy about it. He agreed. I quickly told him about our "black hole" landing and we hung up.
I stood on the ramp and simply prayed. About 3 -5 minutes later the phone rang. Jamie said he was packing his clothes and he wanted to know how long we'd be there. WOW! What could I say but...THANKS! Meanwhile, Paul, the mechanic, was digging down to find out what happened. We told Mark that he'd have to wait to become a water mule. He handled the whole incident with courage and faith. Nice young man. Paul from Wales unloaded our Little Donkey and put our vital cargo on the ramp as we awaited Jamie.
As soon as Jamie landed, we got him fueled and loaded. His beautiful Cessna Turbo 206 is a remarkable airplane. It's not as quite as fast as our Little Donkey, nor can it fly as far non-stop, but it sure can carry a load. We quickly had our full cargo load and a few more diapers loaded.
For as long as I've known Paul (from Wales), he has wanted to be a "Missionary Pilot". Now, this guy is DETERMINED, and the kind of person that when he makes up his mind to do something, HE DOES IT!
So, a number of years ago, Paul and Jo (his wife) bought a Sheep Farm in Wales. I remember visiting him a number of years ago and Paul told me where he was going to put his runway. He did it and built a hangar and even bought a beautiful classic Piper J-4 (very rare). Paul has been steadily honing his missionary flying skills. Well, Jamie graciously gave up the "left" seat of his 206 to Paul.
We made a short roll down the runway and climbed to 11,500 feet and headed to Exuma Island in the Bahamas. The distance is just under 400 nautical miles. We had a beautiful flight to this fuel oasis, right at the half way point to Haiti. Junior Strahan's son fueled us. His Dad, Junior has been fueling our mission aircraft for over 30 years. I've watched his son grow up. It's just like family. Junior also gives a very good price on fuel.
As the sun was setting, we descended down and made a low pass over Barb's Village to let them know we were here. Barb was already at the airport when we taxied up. The Port-Au-Prince traffic is like a nightmare. As the plane was being unloaded, I took some critical documents for the new Air Traffic Control Radios and brought them to the Director General of Civil Aviation. We had a great meeting. He had already heard about our "Black Hole" landing. Captain Flambert is a highly trained, very capable pilot, and we had a good time analyzing the flight and our actions. Pilots love to do that sort of thing.
After our good meeting, we "crawled" back to the village averaging about 3/4 mph. Quite a change from zipping through the "Bermuda Triange" at 160 mph. Now, this was a long day. Paul and Jamie hit the sack and Barb and I played Yahtzee until midnight. Just had to unwind. So glad we made it....with a little (a lot!) of help from a friend. THANK AGAIN, JAMIE & AMY!!
The sun's been up for a while. Jamie and Paul are already fixing things in the village and I'm wrapping up this winding, rambling blog. As always, THANK YOU for your faithful love, prayer and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
PS - I had phoned my daughter, Cherie, to ask her to relay the information to Barb in Haiti. She asked me, "What time did you take off?". I told her. She was silent for a moment. She said, "I knew it!" As our Little Donkey was climbing out this morning, we flew over her home. She awakened and began praying for me. She "knew" something was wrong. Again, here it comes, "God knows how to deploy His troops". When I say, I truly appreciate your prayer, love and support, I MEAN IT! Thanks again! Love you Cherie!! Dad
December 16, 2011 - Friday - 4:17am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Titusville, FL - Air Mobile Hangar -Report prepared by Air Mobile Joe
SOLAR EXPERT DEPLOYED! GETTING READY FOR THE NEXT MISSION
I first met Carl about 5 years ago. He spent many years at NASA and is a true genius. Carl is one of those guys that can fix anything. Little did I know when we first met that he spent years working in Solar development! I called Carl yesterday and explained to him what we were endeavoring to do with the solar panels that we recently acquired. Needless to say, Carl jumped right in.
I never cease to marvel at how our Lord sends and deploys His troops! Soon, I had a list of items to get and we met at the hangar yesterday afternoon and began the Solar set up for the Rescuer. We have portable, rollable solar panels, but some applications require a more permanent set up. This is what we're putting together. Soon, we had the beginning of a system that will include an inverter, battery and lighting system. It will be a very "economical" system that will provide enough power to run the Rescuer, charge cell phones and give Security lighting at night.
On our last trip into Haiti, we visited an orphanage run by a young man who works with Samaritan's Purse (Joel). We're currently raising the money for a Rescuer and Solar set up for him. Carl and I have a bit more "tweaking" and testing to do on the system, so it won't be going to Haiti for a bit. We hope to have it all worked out soon. This will be a tremendous blessing for many!
We're at the hangar bright and early this morning prepping for our next mission (which will be very soon). Our Little Donkey is all back together and we had a successful test flight. Well, have to get to work. As always, THANK YOU for your prayer, love and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 15, 2011 - Thursday - 5:59am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
POWER FROM THE SUN - A LITTLE DONKEY GETTING READY TO FLY
Solar companies have been in the news lately (some pretty negative stories) but..... the fact is, solar panels DO work and we can get energy from the sun to power things. Our Air Mobile Rescuer only requires 54 watts. In this photo, Lee and I are holding the tri-fold solar panel that can generate up to 75 watts. That is enough energy to power the unit and bring clean water with a small buffer to spare. This will cover us when a cloud blocks the sun.
I'm looking forward to taking this unit to Haiti and testing it. We've got multiple locations that just don't have any electricity. When we tie these panels into a battery....Voila! POWER to take dirty, contaminated water and make it very pure with FREE energy provided by the sun!
From the Solar company, I headed to the Aircraft Engine company that repaired the 2 cylinders on a certain "Little Donkey". Don George did a great job, but anytime one repairs anything on an airplane it is rather pricey. Please pray a little extra money comes in to Air Mobile to cover the expenses of keeping the little donkey flying.
Have to scoot for a few minutes to drop Cindy at work. Will write more a bit later - OK, I'm back. It only took 24 minutes to take Cindy to the Juvenile Detention Center and get back to the blog. We talked a bit about the young people that she is caring for as the Nurse. The stories will break your heart. We're glad that our Lord has put Cindy in a position to demonstrate the love of God in an area of such pain and turmoil. A number of these young people will end up at the hospital where we are chaplains. Please remember to pray for Cindy as she stands on the "front line" of this battlefield.
After I bring our kids to school, it'll be back to the airport to continue the process of getting that precious Ti Burik back in the air. There is something wonderful about working on an aircraft and getting it back together. The thought of bringing in critical supplies and clean water and the Good News of Jesus certainly drives us forward. Please pray that we don't have any "glitches" as we prepare to "button her up" today.
Well, it's that time of the morning. As always, we THANK YOU so much for your prayer, love and support! God Bless!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 14, 2011 - Wednesday - 6:43am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
BUILDING A TEAM OF VOLUNTEERS - GETTING SOME SOLAR PANELS TO TEST
I received a call from Barbara Walker, same name different person (not Rambo in the Blue Dress in Haiti, Barbara). This Barbara Walker flew large aircraft for the U.S. Airforce and then went to work for United Airlines and worked her way up to Captain. Now, due to a medical situation, Barbara is not flying. Several months ago she met with Cindy and I and offered to volunteer with Air Mobile.
After the meeting, we agreed to pray about how we could work together. Well, Barbara called yesterday. You may recall how Bank of America had funded some high quality consulting for Air Mobile. One of the items that was brought forth was our need to better equip and organize our Volunteers.
We have already been talking to Lisa and Alfred, who are wonderful volunteers (see Monday's blog below for the Christmas Party) about helping us to better organize and manage our many volunteers. Now, we're beginning to put our heads and hearts together and look at the "Manual" that has been provided through the great consulting by Emily and Rollins College.
Why even yesterday, heard from Larry up in Illinois, who is about to retire from the medical field and has an airplane and wants to fly for Air Mobile. A couple of hours later, heard from Mike, an Aerospace Engineer in Kansas who wants to know more about what we do and how he can help. The list goes on and on. The truth is, we need help to help organize all of these wonderful folks who want to get involved with what we do.
Our mission is simple: Bring clean water to thirsty people and share the love of God! I must tell you, yesterday was a good day. Even though, there are times that I feel absolutely "overwhelmed" and "need a little (really, a lot!) of help from my friends".
We still have a long way to go in the "Volunteer organization department", but we are working on it. I would like to say, that if you want to help us in any way, and contact us, we'll do our best to help you to help us but....be patient with us, our Lord is definitely not through with us. However, there is good news. Help is on the way.
Speaking of volunteers - Several months ago, another volunteer, who works with a global defense contractor, contacted me and gave me information on a company that makes Solar Panels right here in Florida. Our cartridge company, CSA, began providing cartridges for them. During the course of our business, I visited this company. Wow, what an operation!
One thing led to another and now, my contact is making some highly specialized solar panels specifically designed for the Air Mobile Rescuer. This morning, I'll drive up to Lake Mary and pick them up. I can hardly wait to test the system. We'll do the actual "field testing" in Haiti.
Hope to have that precious "Little Donkey" back in air pretty soon. Getting that next load of supplies ready. Have another volunteer, Dennis (Premier Water Mule), putting some Rescuers together and getting vital parts for the units down in Haiti. See, where would we be without all these volunteers!? Well, this leads me to another quote that you've like heard many times (for those who follow this "rambling blog") - "GOD KNOWS HOW TO DEPLOY HIS TROOPS!"
It's time to head out the door. As always, THANK YOU for your precious love, prayer and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 13, 2011 - Tuesday - 7:04am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
PILOTS & FLIGHT PHYSICALS - STUDYING END TIMES
When a pilot reaches a certain age (such as yours truly), the said pilot, NEVER takes a flight physical lightly. Trust me, this is true. Well, yesterday, Air Mobile Joe went to his favorite Flight Surgeon for the Bi-Annual Flight Physical. Now, before I tell you how it went, I'll describe my actions yesterday morning.
The bottom line is: I feel good, actually quite good. Lost a little weight (as designed), been watching my diet (to some degree) and don't have any real complaints (Thank God!). So, I should not be worried about a flight physical. However, this examination can "make or break" a pilot. In other words, can something be uncovered that could cause the loss of the "license to fly"? Believe me when I say this: pilots take this sort of thing very seriously and I'm no exception.
I got up early yesterday morning. One of the items looked at very closely is our vision. I have legal and approved "Corrected Vision" (I wear glasses). The test includes a Vision test without glasses and with glasses. I wanted my test "without glasses" to go well. So, beginning at 4:00am, I began reading whole articles "without glassses". Oh, it takes a bit longer and one must truly concentrate on each letter. There is a deep focus that needs to be done. I managed to get through several lengthy articles. My eyes hurt from all the extra work, but it was like a very in-depth "eye workout".
Did my usual blog, with and without my glasses. Then spent the morning lining up maintenance and supplies for our next mission. Cindy and I also spent high quality time with Paul and Jo (from Wales) studying what the Bible says about the "Second Coming of Jesus". Oh, what a good morning. The "Signs of the times" certainly point to the fact that "time is running out for this old world". Paul and I certainly can see how important "flying" is becoming as things become more unstable in this world.
Armed with that sense of urgency, I headed out the door to meet my Flight Surgeon (who, by the way is a Navy Pilot). While waiting, I read everything that I could to keep those "eye muscles" exercised. Then my name was called. The Nurse who handles the first part of the exam was quite nice. I got to the eye testing device and......did better than I did last exam 2 years ago. All those eye exercises paid off. I could read down to line 4 and some of line 5 WITHOUT my glasses. Now, WITH the glasses, I read line 7 with ease. I breathed a huge sigh.
By the time the Flight Surgeon came in, the rest of the exam was very easy. We had a good conversation about our recent flying "experiences". I invited him to join me on a future "Water Mule" mission. He sounded very interested and then....he signed my Flight Physical Certificate. Praise God, I'm good to go for another 2 years! To any young pilots reading this, this may not sound like a big deal, however, to the "seasoned" pilots reading this....you know exactly what I went through.
Speaking of flying, Paul (from Wales) and I will join Paul (the Master Mechanic) to continue the installation of those 2 repaired Cylinders on our Little Donkey this morning. Been in touch with Barb (Rambo in the Blue Dress) and she needs lots of supplies. The big Village Generator is hanging on by a thread (radiator stop-leak) is holding only....if she runs the generator just a few hours a day to keep the inverter batteries charged.
On our next mission to Haiti, we'll go into town and begin the process of negotiating either the repair or the replacement of the Village Generator. I want to thank some of you for helping with this project. A dear friend of our mission just lost their father. They have asked, that in lieu of flowers, to send a donation to Reach Out To Haiti (Barb's mission). These funds will go toward the generator. If anyone reading this wants to help, simply push on the donate button on this blog and designate the gift for Barb's Generator. Or, you may give me a call at: 321-544-7757.
Time to head to the airport. God bless and as always, THANK YOU for your love, prayer and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 12, 2011 - Monday - 6:29am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS PARTY!
14 years ago, this Christmas, the Hurston Family began a weekly service at a Psychiatric Hospital, located in Orlando, that caters to young people in "trouble". Peter was only 6 months old and we carried him into that first service in a removable car seat that I affectionately dubbed, "the bucket". Now Peter is over 6 feet tall, plays multiple musical instruments and loves the Lord.
Peter, along with Juliet, Angelica and now Ariana, have been part of this ministry for most of their lives. Our adult children, Cherie and Christian have been with us many times over this long and priceless road. We have stopped counting long ago, the number of decisions that have been made for Christ or the number of Bibles that we have handed out. We simply show up each week with love for these young people (and staff) and share the Good News found in Jesus. Our Lord does the rest.
Now, due to strict "Confidentiality Laws", we cannot photo any of the clients or any portion of our services. However, yesterday, I took a few shots of our great Air Mobile Team transforming the Hospital Cafeteria into a beautiful Christmas Party room.
Alfred, Lisa and Alfred Jr., FAITHFUL Volunteers to Air Mobile, along with Paul and Jo & Baby Holly from Wales and of course, the Hurston Family did the wonder transformation. As the children streamed into the cafeteria, that they had just eaten in less than an hour before, they could hardly believe it was the same room. This very act spoke volumes of the love that we have for these young people. The place was packed!
I must tell you, my Cindy, is not only the "Brains" behind this ministry, but the heart. Here in this photo, she is going over the "Order of Service". She had just assigned the corny Christmas "jokes" to Alfred, Lisa and Alfred Jr. Earlier, Juliet spent many hours laying out the music and wonderful Christmas videos that told the "True Meaning of Christmas". We all had our parts to play and my Cindy "Directed" the whole presentation. I am very proud of Cindy.
Alfred and Lisa also bought (and wrapped!) all of the 100 presents and so many other things for this grand party. Our little princess, Ariana and Lisa had a ball laying out all the goodies for the kids.
I can't even begin to tell you how thankful Cindy and I are for this precious "Open Door" to share the Love of God with those that are "locked up and hurting". Over the years, our own children have learned so much about ministry through this outreach. The Hospital Administration has been simply wonderful over these last 14 years to allow us this amazing opportunity. We are indeed blessed!
At the end of our service, Cindy gave a very simple, beautiful invitation for "whosover" wanted to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. Over 30 hands went up. The actual number is recorded in Heaven and we will leave that there. We are simply thankful to be used by Him!
Afterwards, we headed to a wonderful restaurant. Air Mobile traditionally pays for the meal for our Volunteers. Again, Alfred would not hear of it and insisted that he pay for this celebration meal. Wow, where would we be without volunteers who love the Lord so deeply? Again, Cindy and I are so thankful!
Well, it's that time of the morning. Time to get the kids going and get on with this day. We'll be working diligently on getting a certain "Little Donkey" back in the air to carry hope and help to those in deep need. As always, THANK YOU for your faithful love, support and prayer!
Air Mobile Joe
December 11, 2011 - Sunday - 8:13am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A BEAUTIFUL POND & A FISH NAMED JULIAN - A LITTLE DONKEY ALMOST READY TO FLY
Slowly, but surely, we have been meeting the folks that made our "EXTREME HOME". Yesterday, I had the privilege to meet Michael, the guy who put in the spectacular pond. I also found out some more details of the cold night that he worked in the icy water to produce the masterpiece that we all enjoy.
It was the coldest night of the year. As the water splashed out, it became ice crystals and after 20 straight hours of grueling work, Michael began to hallucinate thinking that the ice was broken glass. Wow, as we look at the pond now, we have a greater appreciation of the love and dedication that so many came forward with and blessed our family. THANK YOU MICHAEL!
The story does not end there. I found out that Michael took his own prized Koi (a spectacular Japanese fish) out of his own aquarium and gave it, along with other beautiful fish to the Hurston Family. We chuckled about how "fish are not supposed to have personalities". Well, this one surely does. As a matter of fact, our little Ariana named him "Julian" shortly after the "Make-Over".
I can stand on our balcony and quietly look over the rail at the pond and "Julian" will come to the surface and look me right in the eye. We all love Julian and we're even more thankful to Michael for giving us his prize fish. Just another "Extreme Story" on our Extreme Make-Over! Michael, along with 3000 other volunteers built our Family the most incredible home in 106 hours!! Complete with pet fish and all!
After Michael and I went over good "pond maintenance practices" and checked the PH and fixed a small leak, I headed to the airport to help Paul (our mechanic) with the Cylinder Installation. We are getting close. Frankly, I love working on the airplane and helping a master mechanic like Paul. Over the years, I've learned so much from men like Paul. It sure helps to understand how and why an aircraft flies should one develop a problem at 21,000 feet somewhere in the "Bermuda Triangle".
After working on our precious "Little Donkey", I dashed home just in time to throw the football with Peter a bit. We also taught the other Paul, our dear friend from Wales, how to throw an "American Football". Then, I picked up my dear Cindy from work. We then all went out for a nice meal at Beef O'Brady's (kind of like an Irish Pub). Overall, we had a beautiful, productive day. Thank the Lord!
Well, it's that time to get ready for Church and then to the Hospital, where we, as Chaplains, will throw our Annual CHRISTMAS Party. Yes, notice, I called it exactly what it is: A CHRISTMAS PARTY! We are celebrating the birth of our SAVIOR! Time to wrap our little "rambling blog" today and get ready for this beautiful day that our Lord has made! As always, thank you for your love, prayer and support!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 10, 2011 - Saturday - 7:03am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
A RESCUER HEADED TO UGANDA / ANOTHER RESCUER FOR HAITI TODAY
Drop by drop, clean water is flowing through the remarkable Air Mobile Rescuer all over the world. Yesterday, we overnighted a Rescuer to Reverend Ben from Uganda. Today, a new friend from Florida Institute of Technology, Roland will be picking up a Rescuer at our Village in Haiti. Thank the Lord!
Here is a photo of the unit that is headed to Uganda. Several weeks ago, I met Hal, a businessman from Daytona. He brought Reverend Ben from Uganda with him. I simply demonstrated the Rescuer. After they thought about it for a few weeks, I received a call from Hal. He was full of good questions. At the end of the conversation, he said, "OK, we'll do it". As a result of that encounter, clean water will be flowing into an orphanage in a very isolated place in Uganda.
A week and a half ago, I spoke at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) at the invitation of Winston Scott (Former Astronaut & Dean of the School of Aeronautics). There I met another Professor, Roland. We discussed how the Rescuer could be of benefit to an orphanage in Bon Repos, Haiti. Well......it just so happens that is where Ruuska Village and the Famous, Barbara (Rambo in the Blue Dress) and the Air Mobile Rescuer Refurbishment Center are located.
Of course, we could do something and we did! Today, Roland will be in Haiti and will travel to Barb's Village and pick up a Rescuer and get training from the "best Rescuer Trainer" on the planet. Yes, Barb does a better job than yours truly (better known as Air Mobile Joe).
So, in just a few hours, another Rescuer will be purifying very contaminated water and blessing another orphanage in Haiti. Folks, I LOVE MY JOB!
Our faithful mechanic, Paul, worked on those freshly repaired Cylinders and will be working on them today. Meanwhile, the other Paul, from Wales, and I will be heading up to the hangar to see if we can be of assistance. We hope to have a certain "Little Donkey" back in the air very soon.
My dear Cindy has already headed to work at the Juvenile Detention Center this morning. She'll be working with troubled teenagers. It's time to get on with this day (that our Lord has made). Let's see what HE does! Sure do appreciate you and your prayer, love and support!! God Bless!
Air Mobile Joe
December 9, 2011 - Friday - 6:35am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
2 BEAUTIFUL CYLINDERS (RESCUED) - VERY GOOD COUNSEL - OLD FRIENDS FROM WALES (GREAT BRITAIN)
Yesterday morning, retrieved our 2 cylinders from Don George. So glad Don was able to repair them. Again, this is such a blessing because of the good instrumentation that we have on-board our Little Donkey. Both the front and rear engine have instruments that tell you just what each cylinder is doing. So.....it's kind of like "early detection screening".
Also, we have such good maintenance support. We "caught" a problem before it became a serious problem and repaired it quite economically and safely, thus rescuing those cylinders from the "scrap heap". I love it!
We'll continue the installation process today. After delivering the cylinders to the hangar, I dashed back to our home base to meet with Emily of Rollins. Now, some of you may recall, one of the many "Extreme Blessings" that the Hurston Family received included very quality and in-depth consulting for Air Mobile Ministries.
For the last 6 month, Emily has brought incredibly good counsel to this ministry. Rollins College is one of the highest quality Business Colleges in Florida and Tax-Exempt Organizations are their specialty. Surely, our Lord gave us the best! This last session concluded the consulting. Oh, I must tell you, this Blessing was funded by Bank of America. THANK YOU Bank of America, Rollins and Emily!!
At the end of final session, Emily presented an Operational Handbook that is chocked full of nuggets of good counsel and excellent strategies. As the Bible says, "In the multitude of Counsel, there is wisdom". Again, we are so blessed. Air Mobile has been given a great gift. We are so thankful!!
At the end of our session, it was time for me to head to Orlando International and pick up some very dear friends from Wales, Paul & Jo and their newest baby, little Holly. I first met this wonderful couple about 18 years ago. I ended up bringing Paul and his sweet daughter to Haiti and our lives were forever connected in Christ. We have visited this precious family in Wales and have stayed in close touch.
Paul is an avid aviator. He actually built a runway & hangar on his sheep farm in Wales. He also has a beautifully restored Piper J-4 (a true classic). He'll be doing a bit of additional flight training while here. I may even get him down to Haiti. Meanwhile, Jo & Holly will simply enjoy Florida and staying at the Hurston's Extreme Home. We're looking forward to our days together.
Time to get those cylinders on that Little Donkey. As always, I so appreciate your faithful love, prayer and support! God Bless!!
Air Mobile Joe
December 8, 2011 - Thursday - 6:44am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
STEADY PREPARATIONS - GOOD MONITORING
Yesterday, visited the facility repairing our rear engine cylinders. So appreciate Don George and the quality of his work. Some time ago, I mentioned that we had installed a 6 cylinder EGT (Exhaust Gas Temp) / CHT (Cylinder Head Temp) monitoring system on our Little Donkey. In essence, we "caught" a problem before it became a costly (or serious) problem. We're so thankful that we have been able to repair and not replace these cylinders.
We should be re-installing the cylinders today and get that Little Donkey back into the air. I always feel a bit "unprepared" when maintenance has Ti Burik "grounded". That feeling will soon pass. However....I would like to mention that we have a number of friends who own aircraft and we know, if the need arises, we can usually launch a plane or two in very quick fashion. Again, thank God for good friends!
Received a call from Martha yesterday. Several months ago, she had called and offered to help in any way. Well, during her call yesterday, she mentioned that she had some beautiful, new clothes that she wanted to donate to Haiti. The timing was perfect. In just a few hours after her call, she and her husband, Carl, and their grandson, Nicholas, met me at the hangar. She had clothes that will make some Haitian women and girls certainly smile. She also had new shoes. Well, their grandson, Nicholas, was fascinated by "Ti Burik". He shows signs of possibly becoming a pilot someday. He truly enjoyed sitting in the cockpit of our Little Donkey.
Cindy has already headed out the door to work (she is working with young people in trouble). Again, we are so blessed that our Lord put her into this position. A number of the young people that go through the Juvenile Detention Center (where Cindy is the nurse), end up at the hospital where we are chaplains. Surely, our Lord knows how to deploy His troops!
Time for me to get the kids up and to school. Will be "hanging" those Cylinders back on the Ti Burik today. Thank the Lord for this beautiful (but chilly - down to 42 this morning here in sunny Florida) day. This is the "day that the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be glad in it"! As always, THANK YOU for your love, prayer and support!
Air Mobile Joe
December 7, 2011 - Wednesday - 6:43am (Eastern U.S. Time) - Cocoa, FL - Air Mobile "Home" Camp - prepared by Air Mobile Joe
REMEMBER: PEARL HARBOR
70 Years ago, today, the world was shaken by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The number of Veterans who were there is shrinking every day. May we simply take a moment and remember the event that led the U.S. into a war that took so many lives.
My father, Roger Hurston, was in World War II and fought in both Europe and the Pacific. It took a terrible toll upon him and our whole family. However.....many years later, I had the wonderful privilege to introduce my father to Jesus, as his personal Savior. Our Lord can take even the most terrible situations and turn them for good. In this photograph, my father (the man in the middle), is on-board a ship headed from Europe to the Pacific. My father is now with Jesus.
We're making good progress on getting our Little Donkey back in the air. The cylinders should be repaired today. Please remember to pray about Barb getting the main generator repaired (or replaced) in the village. This is so important for so many reasons. If you would like to help with this vital project, give me a call and I'll tell you how you can help. My cell is: 321-544-7757.
It's time to head out and face the day's challenges and seize the opportunities. May our Lord use us for His glory today. Oh yes, and please take a moment and remember to pray for all of our troops worldwide. As always, THANK YOU for your prayer, love and support! God Bless!!
Air Mobile Joe