We lifted off from Wewak one early February morning with both floatplanes fully loaded carrying 10 Samaritan Aviation team members and several kg’s of medical supplies. Landing on a small lake off of the Sepik River just 30 minutes later, we dropped off our team in the remote village of Mendam where they would launch a medical outreach to hundreds of needy people that traveled in from at least four villages.
Once unloaded, both planes took off again and headed for Mabuk village to meet up with the YWAM medical ship which had been operating on the lower Sepik River for the past six weeks. We picked up a group of medical professionals that included an ophthalmologist, a dentist, and a family doctor and then flew them out to join our medical staff, Medical Director Chris Cooke and Marlene Williamson, R.N. The Samaritan Aviation team carried out a vaccination clinic, shared audio Bibles in Tok Pisin, and assisted the WAM medical team with translation, screenings, and registration. SA President Mark Palm and Pilot Forrest Williamson continued to transport several patients screened at the outreach to the WAM medical ship for cataract surgery.
Between both planes, we landed 13 times throughout the day!
Amazed by the overwhelming response, we learned that we were the first medical team to offer immunizations and dentistry in this area for over 10 years!