Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Bush Pilot: Tanzania

Thought I would write a little bio, because I realized that a lot of you don't know how I came to be in Tanzania (me either but I have an idea at least) so here it is! :)

When I was seventeen years old I asked my mom if I could fly airplanes.  I thought I would be able to use aviation as a tool to help people in remote areas-- flying doctors, nurses, missionaries, medical supplies etc. into areas of the world that were unreached.  I desired a skill that would give me these opportunities to serve.  During the time I was exploring aviation, I was also researching universities to attend.  I ended up speaking with a friend who told me about Liberty University in Virginia, and she told me that they had a wonderful aviation program that had a mission focus.  I applied, was accepted, and decided to try it out.

Aviation was a challenge, but I needed that challenge.  I cried many tears, worked hard, failed, excelled,had every emotion you can imagine, and received my pilots license at the age of nineteen.  I learned a lot about myself in the few years I was at Liberty, and I learned that God's plan was much bigger than my own.  So, I decided to let it all go.  I decided that if the Lord wanted me to fly more in the future then He would provide the opportunities, money, and places to go.

In the Fall of 2012, I was asked by my boss at Wings of Hope in St. Louis, Missouri, if I would go as an interim-financial administrator to Arusha, Tanzania.  An organization, Flying Medical Service, needed someone for a few months to take over the admin work...so I said yes.  A few months after being in Tanzania, I told my boss that I'd like to try the flying out if there was ever an opportunity.  A few weeks later I was given the opportunity to do a few flights with my boss, and from there I started to build hours to eventually become a full-time pilot with FMS.

The Lord provided an opportunity to fly, He provided the money for me to get the ratings that I needed to fly, and He gave me the opportunity to help people in Tanzania.

The kind of flying we do in East Africa is intense bush flying.  We are able to fly into remote areas to provide medical care to the Maasai and Sanjo tribes of Tanzania.  The medical clinics happen three days each week with anywhere from two-five clinics per day.  As the pilot, I fly, unload/load the airplane, do vaccinations, and help the doctors in any way I can.  We also do emergency/med-evac flights throughout Tanzania and Kenya.

I am living out the plan the Lord has for me now, and I'm excited to see how amazing His plans will be in the future!

Thank you all for your prayer support.  It means so much.


xoxo Elsa

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