Aviation is a vital part of our ministry in the central area of the DR Congo. The Law family has played a vital part in providing air assistance to this area over the past 60 years!Our father, Burleigh Law, was a mission pilot soon after independence, in the 1960’s, and lost his life on a rescue flight to evacuate 5 missionary couples from Wembo Nyama on August 4, 1964.
His sons, David and Paul, both took an interest in aviation and began serving the area again when David acquired an airplane in 1980. Their service as "bush" pilots has continued off and on until the present day. The airplane is an important life line to people living in the heart of the Congo. Roads are almost impassable due to the lack of repair or maintenance and emergency medical care is not available in most places.
The flights that we are called upon to make cover a wide range of types and needs. Many relate to church leadership, helping pastors and leaders get to meetings and visiting the churches under their oversight. In addition, there are always government authorities who need to travel throughout the area and we try to help them by facilitating their movement.
There is always the medical emergency part of our aviation program. We are often called upon to move doctors to isolated hospitals and clinics to provide medical care where there is none otherwise. I often encounter people who remind me of times in the distant past when our airplane saved their life or the life of a loved one. It is very fulfilling to have people express their appreciation for those lifesaving experiences.
The most unusual aspects of our aviation ministry involve helping move endangered species of animals to reserves that have been established for their preservation. This usually involves monkeys and apes including chimpanzees or bonobo. Finally, we are asked to help move cadavers from isolated places where people have died to their home villages where the family desires to bury them. In the African culture the burial site of an elder, father, mother or other family member is of utmost importance. It is not always possible to move deceased family members to a desired burial place, but if they are able to do so, the family will do all in their power to do so and in a land without morgues or the possibility of preserving a body it is necessary to move the bodies as quickly as possible and an airplane is often the only option.