“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.” Isaiah 40:31
After a two year campaign that raised over $2.1M and involved United Methodists from across our global denomination, blessing events celebrating and commissioning the new Wings of the Morning Cessna Caravan airplane took place in the West Ohio Conference in May 2013. Learn more about these events here.
Wings of the Morning is an aviation ministry of The United Methodist Church in North Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in central Africa and is under the care and supervision of the General Board of Global Ministries.
This ministry is based in Lubumbashi, the second largest city in the DRC. With little or no transportation infrastructure such as paved roads or a railway system, the Wings of the Morning airplane is a lifeline to the 6 million people of the Katanga province, providing vital services, including:
• Carrying life giving pharmaceuticals and supplies to remote villages and towns
• Transporting critically ill patients to clinics and hospitals
• Providing transportation for pastors, missionaries and volunteers
• Delivering payroll and other supplies to villages, towns and churches
Beginning in June 2010, the West Ohio Conference began the Caravan Campaign to help Wings of the Morning purchase a much needed Cessna Grand Caravan refurbished airplane. In late 2012, the campaign raised about $2.1 million for the new plane and exceeded its original goal by a half-million dollars. Click here to read an article about the new plane, the fundraising efforts and the ministry of Wings of the Morning.
Friends of Wings of the Morning is an organization that provides sustainable support for the aviation ministry in the DRC. Aviation ministry is expensive to maintain and costs approximately $250,000 annually to operate Wings of the Morning. This cost includes fuel, salaries, insurance, maintenance, licenses and fees. With no resources available from the Congolese government, the goal for Friends of Wings of the Morning is to annually underwrite the total cost of these operating expenses so that the ministry may continue to operate, extending God’s love to all of Katanga.
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Gaston Ntambo, who pilots the Cessna Caravan, flies to over seventy grass airstrips located throughout North Katanga. He is also the son of Bishop Ntambo, the Bishop of the North Katanga Conference, which is partnered with the West Ohio Conference. Gaston and his wife, Jeanne, are certified missionaries of the UMC, and also care for their five children. Both tirelessly serve in Wings of the Morning to bring not only physical health, but also spiritual vitality to the farthest reaches of the Katanga province.