Date: November 1968
Magazine: Flight Magazine
The growing use of lightplanes for the relief of human misery by small medical missionary outposts in the deserts, jungles and mountain fastnesses of the world, far removed from modern civilization as most of us know it today, is a glorious beacon of light in a militaristic age more characterized by violence and brutality than by compassion and brotherly love.
We would point specifically to the work of a non-profit organization known as Wings of Hope, Inc., based in St. Louis, Missouri, that has just placed two float-equipped airplanes into the upper reaches of the Amazon River of South America. This organization is an outgrowth of the UMATT group that did similar yeoman service in raising funds and placing aircraft for medical mission support in the desert and jungle country of East Africa some years back.
A considerable amount of money for both UMATT and Wings of Hope came from the U.S. aviation community. In the Wings of Hope South American operation, substantial financial support has been evident from Canada.
Wings of Hope aircraft and services are not for hire, nor will they ever be. No government agency, no field service organization, no foreign missionary group can “call the shots” on its operation. The organization’s qualified field director programs the service according to priority needs in the local area. Thus, no deserving group is ever knowingly denied the desperately needed service where 20 minutes of flying time often replaces 8 or 9 hours by boat or powered canoe. It is an inter-faith airline serving the cause of international brotherhood, relieving human suffering, helping emerging peoples to a more hopeful future.
Here is one report from priest-pilot Father Guy Gervais: “Last Saturday I received a message from Masan on the Amazon in the deepest jungle that a woman was dying. The husband had walked days through the jungle to get the message out. In 20 minutes we were there – ordinarily a nine-hour trip by boat. We flew the patient to the Iquitos Hospital in time. The people opened their eyes when I answered to their question: ‘Will it be very expensive?’ I told them: ‘It is our pleasure to fly you gratis to help you today at this hour of sorrow. Say a prayer for our friends in the USA’.”
With death raining from the skies in war, these unsung heroes serving with little or no pay in the purest sort of humanitarian effort with little airplanes deserve all possible backing.
You can be a part of this rewarding effort, a bona fide “stockholder” in Wings of Hope, Inc., by sending in your donation, large or small to the organization, 2319 Hampton Avenue, St. Louis, Mo., 63139. The need for more airplanes and communications equipment is urgent. We’ll give an Oklahoma guarantee you’ll get value received at least ten times over, maybe more!