Papua New Guinea
Missionary Family/President/Pilot

Palm Family

More About Mark Palm

The Palm family arrived in Papua New Guinea in January of 2010.

Mark Palm, the President and co-founder of Samaritan Aviation, visited Papua New Guinea in 1994. While trekking through the jungle and seeing the desperate needs of the people, he felt that God was calling him to this country and devote his in serving the people of Papua New Guinea.

Kirsten Palm has earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree and a Masters Degree in Cross Cultural Education from Point Loma Nazarene University. She has her Secondary Teaching Degree in Health Sciences. Kirsten has been a part of short-term mission trips to Mexico, Portugal, Chili, and Papua New Guinea. Kirsten has been a part of Samaritan Aviation since 1998.

Their children Sierra, Drake and Nolan love helping out and being a part of the ministry. Sierra helps in the hospital ministry, and all three kids have helped in the delivery of medical supplies to remote villages up the Sepik River. They are a part of the community outreach and relationship building with the Papua New Guineans. As a family, the Palm’s make a great team. They work together to make the rescue flights, hospital ministry, hospitality with teams and meetings possible, and are working full time to build relationships with the people of Papua New Guinea.

Missionary Family/Papua New Guinea Medical Director

Cooke Family

Chris and Sarah Cooke, along with their four daughters Riley, McKenna, Amelia, and Lucy, arrived on May 26th, 2015. Their daughter, Charleigh Cooke, was officially adopted in 2017. Read her story here.

Chris is a registered nurse and fills an important role in overseeing the medical aspect of our ministry.  Because of his background in trauma nursing, we are able to offer training to the local nurses who fly along with us on emergency flights, as well as more advanced care for patients in life-threatening situations. Chris and Sarah are both a part of our hospital ministry as well!

As an RN, Chris is thrilled to be a part of sharing Christ’s love and saving lives through medicine. As a family, they love using the various gifts and talents God has given them to be His hands and feet to the people of Papua New Guinea.

Missionary Family/Pilots

Hamer Family

Luke and Tracy Hamer first arrived in Papua New Guinea on November 3rd, 2017.

Luke and Tracy Hamer are both experienced float pilots, mechanics, and aircraft engineers from Alaska. Both Luke and Tracy graduated from Liberty University; Tracy with a BS in Commercial Aeronautics and A&P Certificate, and Luke with a BS in Missions Aviation and A&P Certificate. In September 2018, Luke and Tracy celebrated the birth of their first daughter, Lorelai.

We are grateful to have these two helping to pilot our floatplanes!

Hangar Staff

Linus Surumba

Linus (pronounced LEE-nus) Surumba started working for Samaritan in 2013, making him our longest-serving Papua New Guinean employee. Linus and his wife, Tabita,  have two kids, Mark and Tracy (named after Mark Palm and Tracy Hamer). Linus works at the hangar in Wewak where he helps to weigh medicine, load and fuel the plane, and sometimes comes to the hospital to drop off our patients. Linus also helps keep the hangar organized, cuts the grass, and helps our Hospital Ministry Assistant Robert out with projects. Linus is always one to greet you with a smile and he enjoys playing the guitar.

Hospital Ministry Assistant

Robert Mapmangu

We first met Robert in 2015 while he was working as a contractor on our compound renovation. We were initially drawn to Robert because of his dependability, hard working nature, and great sense of humor. As one project finished and the next started we requested that he be on the crew of workers. During this time period we began a daily Bible study with the construction workers. Each day as we taught, it became more and more apparent that Robert was a believer who knew and loved the Word of God. After several more months continuing to disciple him and getting to know him and his family, Robert joined our national staff and is thriving in his training to become a leader in this important ministry.
Robert and his wife, Ludi, have been married for 11 years and have three children: Rodney (10), Guesti (9), and Maino (1). He brings with him 8 years of experience as a welder and carpenter, which is a huge asset as he also helps maintain our compound. While typically quite and reserved, Robert becomes passionately bold when sharing the gospel of Christ and caring for our patients in the hospital. He has been an excellent addition to our staff and we are excited to see him grow and develop as he serves in our hospital ministry.

Missionary Family/Pilot

Mosca Family

The Moscas arrived in Papua New Guinea in early 2019.

Nick Mosca is currently a professional pilot in St. Louis, Missouri. Lorraine was previously a high school math teacher with a Masters of Education. She now stays home with their three boys: Eddie, Zeke, and Titus, and daughter, Rosalyn. Since before Nick and Lorraine were married in 2011, they both felt a call to missions. Though they had served in Africa, Mexico, and Vietnam on a short term basis, the Moscas hadn’t felt called to full time overseas missions until hearing about Samaritan Aviation from Luke and Tracy Hamer in November 2017. Nick has been a corporate pilot/mechanic/manager in a flight department for 6 years and is also a flight instructor. Previously Nick was in the U.S. Army from 2003 until 2006, including a year in Iraq as an infantry team leader.

The Moscas are excited to use their gifts to serve and share the hope of Jesus Christ!

Director of Staff Development and Missional Engagement

Tim Askew

*To support the Nakui Bible translation project, choose “Bible Translation” in the Select Fund dropdown menu.

In 1996 Tim and his wife Diana, along with their family, moved to PNG and into the Nakui tribe, an unreached people group located deep in the interior jungle. For the next fifteen years they were involved in translating Scriptures, teaching literacy, developing Bible lesson curriculum, and pastoring the small Nakui church toward maturity. For many of those years, he also served on leadership teams and as a field consultant, providing support and oversight to other tribal church planting works. Since returning to the U.S. in 2010, they have been involved in training international leaders in Africa and India to see churches planted by focusing on children and youth as a growth trigger.

Tim’s role with Samaritan Aviation as Director of Staff Development and Missional Engagement leverages his years of ministry experience. His role involves preparing and supporting Samaritan Aviation missionaries for overseas service as well as implementing transformational, Gospel-driven initiatives and programs in PNG. Tim also uses his time to continue the ongoing Nakui Bible translation project. Tim and Diana have three children (high-school and college-age) and are based out of San Diego, CA.

Missionary Family/Director of Aviation Maintenance

Hovenden Family

Australian family Robert and Katie Hovenden, along with their four children, are working towards joining the Samaritan Aviation team in Papua New Guinea in 2021. Rob is a licenced aircraft maintenance technician who is currently employed at the School of Missionary Aviation Technology (SMAT) in Michigan, where they’ve served for the past five years.


Prior to that, Rob and Katie were with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Australia for over ten years, and they are looking forward to using their skills and experience to bring hope to the people of Papua New Guinea.

United States
Chief Operations Officer - Mesa, AZ

Bryan Yeager

Bryan says, “I have been a fan of Samaritan Aviation since 2000. At the time I was introduced to this organization, I was the lead pastor of a church in Colorado. Over the years our congregation, as well as my family, supported and partnered with several projects Samaritan Aviation had taken on. It was also our church’s pleasure to have Mark Palm on our staff for three years as one of our worship pastors. Mark and I have many fond memories working together. It is because of this long-term relationship with Mark and several of the board members, as well as a strong belief in what Samaritan Aviation is about, that I chose to take on my current role as the COO.


Bryan and his wife, Mary, have been involved in ministry since the late ‘70’s. They began their ministry by starting a new church in Southern New Mexico and eventually received their missionary experience when they went to Nairobi, Kenya in 1987. While there, they did mission work in one of the largest slums in East Africa. The Yeagers also spent time pastoring a church in Singapore. Bryan has traveled in over thirty countries and has spoken at leadership conferences in many of them. In 1993, Bryan began serving with Promise Keepers as the National Director of Volunteers and the National Director of Events. From this experience, Bryan has authored several books covering the topics of volunteer management for churches, large events, and project management for nonprofits. In 1998, Bryan was the lead pastor for twelve years for a church in Colorado before moving to Mesa, Arizona and joining Samaritan Aviation in 2013.


Samaritan Aviation feels blessed to have a person of Bryan’s experience, qualifications, passion, and expertise on the team.

Office Administration Manager - Mesa, AZ

Danielle McGrath

Danielle McGrath is an Arizona State University alumnus who has spent years investing in her local church’s student ministries. In 2016, Danielle and her husband, a student worship pastor for Central Christian Church, moved to Gilbert, Arizona and began to build their life and community there. Upon hearing about Samaritan Aviation’s vision and commitment to being the hands and feet of Christ to the population of Papua New Guinea, Danielle jumped at the chance to be a part of the organization. Working as an Office Administration Manager out of the Mesa office, she hopes to grow with the organization and help support the great work being done by Samaritan Aviation.

Missionary Project Manager

James Maxcy

James Maxcy was a volunteer with Samaritan Aviation before coming on full time as a Missionary Project Manager. He and his first grade sweetheart, Taylor, got married in 2015 and attend Redemption church in Gilbert, Arizona. James’ family were missionaries in Africa for three generations and he began to develop a heart for unreached peoples after a family trip to Côte de’Ivoire to see where his mother was raised. James became hooked on Samaritan’s mission from the moment he heard about it and is excited to take the journey into full time ministry. James will be splitting his time between Papua New Guinea and the United States working on various projects as needs arise.

Development Associate

Amber Nez

Amber grew up in Arizona and is a student at Arizona State University, majoring in Medical Studies. She also has a heart for volunteering at Central Christian Church in the student ministry, on the production team, and as part of the worship team. Amber handles donation tracking, donor development and communications.