Captain’s Log-9 June 2012-Opening of Zobia Airstrip-Malaria Mania Continues

Zobia village gather around the airplane on the first landing for many years. There is great excitement and celebration.

I had flown over Zobia to see the progress of the work on the new airstrip on the last 2 trips I had taken to Dingila in the Caravan and it was coming along well.  But it looked short somehow and I attributed that to the tall trees on each end.  I just couldn’t get down to use the first 200 meters on the approach ends of the strip they were so high, and that made the rest go by very quickly indeed even though they said the length was 800 meters.  Now I had been informed that they had finally got some of the trees cut down and we scheduled the 206 to make the first landing there in probably 30 years.  We had been told that many people were dying for lack of malaria treatment and the whole community was out for the great celebration when the little plane landed.  People from the village had been working tirelessly to get the strip rehabilitated so the aircraft could come to bring the meds and medical teams that would help them.  The paths through the forest were not big enough to accommodate a car and motorcycles were the best they could do till now.  And Oh, they were happy.  I love seeing large groups of happy people.  It is really encouraging and entertaining.  The village chief was there in his suit and hands were shaken vigorously and smiles and cheers were abundant.

In Dingila there is so much stuff to go to Zobia that it is just not possible to get all in the little Cessna 206.

I had work to do so I walked the strip taking measurements, angles of trees to takeoff paths, slopes and marked places I would use as abort points to keep things as safe as possible.  Sadly, the measuring wheel revealed that the runway was only 700 meters and not the 800 we had been told had been carefully measured.  We really need that extra 100 meters. The Caravan will need more room because of how high the trees are.  The men who had worked so hard said they would work more.  The said they would have another 200 meters of trees cut by Monday.  That is a monumental task and I will be celebrating with them if they can do that.  We will still have to limit loads out of there, but at least we will be able to bring the needed supplies in.

It is quite a job picking the most critical items for the trip down to Zobia. Packed boxes are opened and the doctor chooses essential medicines and equipment.  After about 45 minutes they are loaded into the plane.

More supplies for the mission had been brought to Dingila in a bigger aircraft and when I got there they had about 3 Caravan loads at the airstrip hoping to take it down to Zobia.  There was just no way!  We spent a good 45 minutes going through packed boxes and picking out the critical items necessary for the first cargo flight in.  I looked like an African taxi after we got the bulky meds and other equipment loaded with all the little medicine boxes stuffed into every available nook and cranny.  I was still under weight, but it sure didn’t look like it.  I was content that there would be things here for a very good start at helping the people of Zobia with the terrible malaria problem that plagued them.

Unloading the plane in Zobia after the 25 minute flight from Dingila. People line the strip to get a look at the plane.

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7 Responses to Captain’s Log-9 June 2012-Opening of Zobia Airstrip-Malaria Mania Continues

  1. Carole Pearce says:

    You and Cher are so often in my thoughts and prayers.. Glenn contacted me today from Zambia, expressing how much he is praying and desiring above all things that you and Cher are strengthened and provided for in a supernatural way. I’ve encouraged him to try and contact you here on your wonderful blog. I hope he does. Seeing the greater works you are doing keeps Africa burning in our hearts but His cause and purpose He keeps us in the USA. Little is much when God is in it ~ we labor not in vain but for His glory alone. God bless you both in an extraordinary way and your team. Warmly, Carole

    • jcadd says:

      Hi Carole, Thanks for the encouraging words. I did get hold of Glenn for a bit the other day. Great to talk to my good friend again after so long. Guess we both live enough out of the way that it is hard to stay in contact. Thanks for your prayers, Jon

  2. Dave Edden says:

    Hey Jon,
    As always, it’s such a delight to read about the work you’re doing. We so loved touching base with you in Oregon last year and like you, we are fully back to work and doing what we can to extend God’s Kingdom. We miss you and Cher a ton and reckon it’s time for a quick visit to Zimbabwe… We pray for your safety and a huge blessing on you as you guys labour in a country most don’t want to go too. Loads of love to Cher.


    Dave & Chrissie

    • jcadd says:

      Hey Dave, It is always great to hear from you and remember that we have wonderful friends all over the world. We would love to come back to Zim even if only for a visit. That would be very medicinal. Blessings on you my friend, Jon

  3. Kathy Love says:

    What a great joy and happiness to know you are helping people that are not able to help themselves.. you are really making your life count and doing something worthwhile.. We live a very different lifestyle and it’s hard for us to believe and understand how someone can live out “in the forest” without roads for cars..We worry that when we retire that we live in close enough to town that if we get sick…we can get to the hospital in time…they just could get to the airstrip with motorcycles..and have no access to hospitals.. at least a few doctors have decided to do something about the situation and help them… AND then there is Jon with his amazing little plane that flies medicine to them…(and many other things Jon does for other people :-)…Keep up the good work Jon (and Cher),,We’re praying for you.. Kathy Love ,, Eagle Point, Oregon

    • jcadd says:

      Hey Kathy, You are way to kind. It is great to help but we are only a part of a lot of people helping out. As someone said though, “Just because you can’t do everything, don’t do nothing!” So we do what we can. Thanks for the encouragement. Jon

      • Kathy Love says:

        I imagine it feels like you aren’t making a dent sometimes.. we can’t really understand what you are dealing with..but I know that you are making a difference..You touch other people’s lives in ways you don’t even see sometimes.. Just as an example, I went to a funeral of a 9 yr old girl a few years ago,,the daughter of a friend that had been killed in an auto accident..They held her graveside service in a small graveyard out in the woods…. There were over 60 people there..some relatives,some just friends, and some were there for support of the parents…but you know Jon,,, even a 9 yr old touched people’s lives…That made me realize (even more) how other people are affected by what you do. YOU make a difference..(a BIG difference 🙂 My heart has gone out for those women and children that are adversely affected by the guerrilla warfare, also just seeing how the people there get along on so little..Thank you for all you do Jon and Cher , sincerely Kathy Love Eagle Point, Oregon

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