My e-mail accessibility and blog updates will probably be sporadic while I'm gone, so if you respond or write, please don't expect a quick reply. :-)
Here is an MAF update sent out this morning regarding the efforts in Nepal:
Subject: Communications: MAF Disaster Response in Nepal - Team go in to assist with logistical support - 2 May 2015
Date: May 2, 2015 at 10:31:51 AM GMT+3
MAF DISASTER RESPONSE IN NEPAL - TEAM GO IN TO ASSIST WITH LOGISTICAL SUPPORT – 2 MAY 2015
Following on from my last message, the Disaster Response Team on the ground in Nepal have now conducted their initial needs assessment on how MAF can be involved.
At this time we are not planning to send in any MAF aircraft but it has become clear that there is a real need for logistical support which MAF has the skills and experience to provide. It has therefore
been agreed that MAF will now join the relief effort in a logistical capacity in the first instance to work at Kathmandu airport to assist airport authorities and organisations like the World Food Programme and UNHAS
with ramp management and planning, cargo handling and helping smaller NGOs with warehousing logistics and co-ordination.
There also appears to be an increasingly urgent need for a co-ordinated light helicopter response. This would potentially be aimed at providing a passenger service for humanitarian relief workers
especially to get them out to the more isolated and higher altitude communities which so far many agencies have been unable to reach. The Disaster Response Team are assessing the possibility of setting up/co-ordinating a light helicopter response facility. Initial discussions have indicated it may be difficult to bring in external helicopters to Nepal but that it may be better to commission local helicopters to do this work. The team will continue to look at the options and feasibility of this and we will keep you updated. The team have already arranged their first set of flights for the UK government DFID (Department for International Development) to enable medics and an international search and rescue team to get out to a location which was only 20 nautical miles from Kathmandu and did not initially look that remote but the situation out there is absolutely desperate and it would take 3.5 hours of driving and 8 hours trek on foot.
Daniel Juzi will continue to lead the MAF team in Nepal along with Alan Robinson, and they will be joined in the next few days by Pilot Brent Palmer coming in from Nampa and Pilot Mike Bottrell and wife Jennifer from the Timor-Leste programme, all arriving on 3 May and Pilot Dave Forney arriving from the Uganda programme on 4 May. As many of you are aware, Dave assisted with the Philippines relief effort in 2013 and he is also a great photographer so we hope he will also be able to supply some imagery to reflect the work the team are doing. Other MAF staff are also being made available to join the effort over the coming weeks too and we will update you as that information is confirmed.
Please pray for the whole MAF team as they respond to the Lord’s call to this important work in Nepal. Pray for safe travels for the Bottrells, Brent Palmer and Dave Forney as they make their way to Nepal. Please pray for Daniel and Alan that the Lord will continue to give them wisdom, strength and energy to continue the important set up work they are doing. Pray that our whole team will be able to make a real difference with the logistical expertise and support we can offer agencies and authorities at the airport. Please continue to pray for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones – with over 6,000 people confirmed dead and thousands still missing or unaccounted for. Pray that God would reveal himself somehow to these people during this crisis. Let them feel the warmth of the Lord’s love at this time and know His peace.