You are browsing the archive for 2012 June.

Replacement Plane

June 24, 2012 in News

We have continued to receive many emails asking if the plane that was involved in the crash on June 2 is reparable, will it be replaced or what plans we may have for the future.

We are proceeding slowly, but we do know that the plane was a real blessing to many and a great help to the Lord’s work here at Chitokoloki. Even since it is no longer available we have had to make long road trips, reschedule quite a number of flights and cancel medical flights. We have greatly  appreciated the help of Philip Grove and Don Amborski who have  made several flights for us in their planes even though they have a 2 1/2 hour flight from Chingola to Chitokoloki before they reach here for the scheduled flight.

The Cessna 206 that crashed is beyond repair, very few parts or components are even salvageable. The main item of any value is the engine and it is still in the Zambezi River and has not been located. Lord willing we would like to replace the plane with another similar one but we know this will take time, funds and the the input of individuals who are able to source another plane and then outfit it and arrange for it to be brought to Zambia, following which is a lengthy process for it to be registered here. If a suitable plane in country could be leased and a pilot available that would help in the interim.

In the mean time we continue to press on and trust the Lord for guidance, wisdom and to make sure that what is done is His will and not ours. Your prayers are appreciated.

Hospital Staff

June 15, 2012 in News

As has often been said any organization is only as good as the staff that are running it and we here at Chitokoloki are very thankful for good, dedicated and helpful Zambian staff.

Some have worked for the hospital for over 30 years and continue to serve the people of this area. Especially during the last couple weeks the staff have been very helpful and done extra work for which we are most grateful.

Farewell to Marina and Coral

June 13, 2012 in News

Yesterday morning Jay and Katrina’s two girls, Marina and Coral left Chitokoloki for the journey back to the USA. Barbara Erickson and Larry and Doreen Mansfield, the grandparents wer e accompanying them and they flew from Chitokoloki to Lusaka. Tanis Walker had left the day before by road with all the big cases and was meeting up with them in Lusaka. Upon arrival in Lusaka they were met by representatives of CHAZ who have been so kind, helpful and to whom we are greatly indebted, as they have been a tremendous help. CHAZ took them out for lunch, provided all the transport to and from the airport and Guest House and  took great care of them even presenting the grandparents with a Copper plate inscribed with their names and a message as a token of appreciation. The plane left at almost midnight for Amsterdam and then eventually they are travelling on to Spokane, Washington, where a memorial service will be held  on Sunday. The gils will be living in Washington with Jay’s sister and family.

We still have much to deal with here at Chitokoloki, through the past 10 days we have had to make sure that the many patients in hospital were not neglected and that all the daily challenges, routines and demands were dealt with. The Lord has given help, a special thanks to Gayle Wallace, Tanis Walker, Julie-Rachel Elwood, Emma Wilchers and Sarah Heikoop who had to deal with the hospital and also the care of the girls throughout the 10 days, they have done superb.

As soon as things settle here we will head back to Zambezi and spend time out in the river and try to recover the wing, door and engine which are the three parts still needing to be recovered, the engine being the most important one.

Many thanks to Christians world-wide who have upheld us in your prayers, it has meant a lot to us. We are daily receiving emails and accounts of how God is using this incident to His Glory. Emails conveying condolences and reminders of the prayers of the Lord’s people have come from all parts of the world and we know that when we reach heaven and know the answers that we don’t know now we will praise Him for His wonderous ways, in the meantime we keep pressing on…………….

Jay and Katrina’s Family arrived at Chitokoloki

June 8, 2012 in News

This afternoon June 8th  at 1:45 PM the family of Jay and Katrina arrived at Chitokoloki.

Barbara Erickson and Larry and Doreen Mansfield had been travelling for two days from the West coast of the USA and after some delays in Amsterdam they finally were re-united with their grandchildren, Marina and Coral.

Lord willing they plan t be here until next Tuesday June 12th when they will head to Lusaka and begin the trip back to the USA taking the girls with them.

Your prayers for this long trip and the adjustments that will be forthcoming will be appreciated.

Jay & Katrina – Many Thanks

June 8, 2012 in News, People

It never ceases to amaze us that at a time like we have experienced this past week, the great generosity, kindness and compassion of people who are willing to help out and do whatever they can. There are so many people we need to thank and probably a few that we will forget. So many were behind the scenes and were never seen, but we acknowledge that it took a large effort from a lot of people to get through and the tremendous support you gave us. If we do not mention you by name below please forgive us and know how much both Chitokoloki Mission, the missionaries at Chitokoloki and the families appreciate all that everyone has done.

We would like to first thank His Excellency the President of Zambia, Mr Michael Sata,  the Minister of North Western Province, Ms Josephin Limate and all the government officials of Zambia who expressed condolences and showed such compassion and kindness. We are greatly indebted and appreciate the tremendous support that we have received through the recovery efforts, the funeral and assistance for the family of the Ericksons. Thank-you

A big thank-you to the local government and everyone in Zambezi. Firstly, thank-you to the District Commissioner of Zambezi, Lawrence Kayumba for all of his help, along with all of his staff. Without your aid we would not have been able to accomplish what we did in the timelines that were required. Thank-you to the Zambezi Police for their professionalism and expediency in all matters. To all of the Pontoon Operators and many citizens for their willingness to help out and spend the time on the river that they did. Thank-You.

To the ZAF divers and DCA along with their support and command staff, thank-you for timely arrival and immediate support and wisdom in recovering the bodies and the parts of the aircraft. A tremendous job was done and we count it a privilege to have had your support.

A special thanks to the guys at Stefanutti Stocks, for being on the scene so fast and being willing to help out throughout the day. Craig Bowles, Trevor Greyling, Tony Stephenson, Steven Myburgh and Benny Summers, thank you for your time and the use of your boat as part of the search for the bodies.

 To Mrs Karen Sichinga and all staff at CHAZ for their extreme kindness, contributions and for travelling to Chitokoloki, we greatly appreciate all that you have done including the assistance rendered to the family on their arrival in Lusaka.

Jay & Katrina – Update on the Girls

June 7, 2012 in News, People

A lot of people have been asking about the girls. In order to protect their privacy and shelter them from what is going on we have not said a lot.

The girls are just great, happy as normal kids and have all these wonderful “aunties”  that they know so well and are so comfortable with. They get rides on the ATV bikes and are well cared for and playing happily and have not reacted bad in any way whatsoever. They are too young to understand and no need for them to know the details at this time, they just know that daddy and mummy are in a “happy place” and Marina wanted to know if there were nice sunsets there.

Krista Besselman wrote an email to us and included a poem that she wrote especially for Marina, copied below.

Where the Sun Never Sets

Darling, no, there are not any sunsets

Where your Mommy and Daddy have gone.

You’ve been told that they’ve gone to a good place;

You don’t know yet that they have passed on.


Dear, your Mommy and Daddy have left us

For the place of their unending rest,

Where the Lamb is the light of the city—

With no sun there, the sun never sets.


Here the sun sets and gives way to darkness.

We can mourn at the loss of its light

Or rejoice in the bright hope of heaven—

No more death, no more curse, no more night.


Dear, your Mommy and Daddy have left us

For their place of eternal reward.

By the light of the gospel they lived by

Someday you, too, can be with the Lord.


O the treasure and joy found in heaven!

On that day you will have no regrets

That the Lamb is the light of that city

And His glorious light never sets.

Condolences and reminders of praying Christians are still coming in from far and wide, every continent, and we are praying that the Lord would use this incident to Glorify His Name and perhaps He will use this, what we call a tragedy, as He did many years ago, the “tragedy” of Jim Elliot and the others in Ecuador whose lives were given for the Lord and yet that incident has touched many for so long after it occurred and motivated many to go to foreign lands to serve the Lord. We are amazed at the comments from non-believers who have written.

We know that the Lord knew long before the plane took off from Chit on Saturday what was to occur and He does have a purpose, we don’t know what it is but we must be content to accept His will and cling to His promises for strength to press on, just one day at a time.

Jay Erickson – Doing What He Loved

June 6, 2012 in News, People

Last night this picture was found of Jay in the hangar at Chitokoloki in front of the plane that he flew. You can tell by his smile that he was at home here and loved what he did. Thought that I would post this as we remember them both.

Jay & Katrina – Funeral

June 6, 2012 in News

Here is a short video clip of the funeral proceedings here at Chitokoloki for the Ericksons. As per their wishes they were buried in Zambia in the same fashion and way as the local people.

Jay & Katrina – Funeral from Chitokoloki on Vimeo.

Jay & Katrina – Thoughts

June 5, 2012 in News, People

Today was the funeral for Jay and Katrina Erickson here at Chitokoloki. It was a hard day in a lot of ways, yet sitting here at the end of the day and reflecting on it, everything still seems surreal. I personally knew Jay less than others here. I worked along side him a number of times on projects and I am struck by some very specific memories that I think define the type of person he was.

Once when working on the internet here at Chitokoloki, Jay and I were trying to work through some problems and not having a lot of success. In the middle of the morning Jay disappeared and was nowhere to be found. When I asked where he was I was told that he went for “Tea” with his wife. Turns out every morning at 10am, he would stop what he was doing, go back to the house and make sure that his wife, left with their two young kids, was ok and to show intrest in her day. She was left alone at home in a foreign land with their two young kids. At the time I did not think much of it, but now that they have both passed, it makes one think. The internet at chitokoloki now works, the issues were sorted, that is of no consequence, however the time we spend with our families, we never know how much of that we will have. God only is in control of how long we have. What should be important, each and every day, what do I value, a few minutes with my wife, or just getting the next job done. The work and things we fill our days with will always be there, but the people in our lives may  not.

Today as we went through some of the computers on the mission we found these two pictures. They show and bring out the personality of the couple and what they brought to the lives of every life they touched. Jay full of energy and ready for anything, and the two of them happy to be  serving God and doing something with their lives.

This picture shows Jay (on Plane) with a team of doctors and hospital staff on a medical trip to Chavuma.

The second picture is the last picture taken of the couple. They had just finished lunch and where on the way to the airstrip and the car was full. Jay jumped on top, and Katrina on back.


Pictures From June 4th

June 4, 2012 in News

The plane under the water before being hoisted.

Dive team getting ready to go in the water.

Plane being hoisted and towed.

Plane hauled on to the ramp from the pontoon.

Plane being loaded on the truck.

Truck on its way home.