Advisory Board Member Patrick Clowes is a licensed attorney and a Real Estate Broker. Patrick has served as a senior executive in several corporations and non-profits. He served as Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for Promise Keepers. He has a B.S. in Business Administration and a J.D. from the University Of Colorado School Of Law. He has taught college courses in Negotiations, Conflict Management, Business Ethics, and Business Law. His early career was in urban missions. “My experiences working with Samaritan Aviation in the US and in Papua New Guinea have been some of the most rewarding I’ve ever known.” Patrick has been a Board Member since 2010.
Jason is the CEO for Kendall Farms. Kendall Farms began in 1987 when Jason’s father David Kendall purchased the first 50 acres of what is now a 500 acre farm in hills outside of Fallbrook, CA. When David passed away in 2004, Jason along with other family members and friends poured passion and dedication into what David started and have grown this farm into an award winning company producing some of the most beautiful and exotic flowers in North America.
Jason and his family have been close friends with the Palm’s for years sharing like interests in aviation, surfing but especially the mission work Samaritan Aviation is doing in Papua New Guinea.
Jason is family man. He and his wife, Danielle, met at Point Loma Nazarene University, and they now have two children, a son and a daughter.
Mike Bantz is a civil engineer working as the Pacific Area Manager for CDM Constructors Inc., which is an engineering and construction company that designs and builds water and wastewater treatment plants throughout the world. Mike has been working in the construction industry for 20 years and his area performs over $100 Million in business per year. Mike was first inspired by the Samaritan Aviation dream in 2005 and has been involved with the ministry ever since. Most recently, he was able to visit Wewak in November 2013 to evaluate the suitability of land for building our compound. He was amazed at how powerfully God is working through Samaritan Aviation in Papua New Guinea. Mike lives in San Diego with his wife, Lynda, and three wonderful children. Mike and Lynda have been shaped by short-term missions work in their early years and feel very blessed to be a part of Samaritan Aviation now. Mike received a B.S. from the University of Colorado in 1994 and is a Professional Engineer.
Bruce Johnson has been serving with Samaritan Aviation as an Aviation Advisory Board Member since 2006. He has been a strategic voice and help for our organization providing flight training, aircraft equipment consultation and participating with his wife Bonnie in Samaritan’s program launch in Papua New Guinea. He and his wife Bonnie have spent many years engaged in mission and aviation ministries. Bruce has served aviation ministry participating in strategic program planning, aircraft acquisition, flight training and program fund raising. He has developed seaplane flight-training programs and trained pilots for African Inland Mission and Samaritan Purse in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, East Africa. In 2007 he served as member of the Strategic Planning Group for Evangelism and Mission Aviation, Amazon Basin, Brazil and has also served in missions in Mexico and Ecuador. Bruce was very involved in the early formation of Quest Aircraft Company and served on the board from (2003-04). Bruce is currently a team member with World Mission / Dolsys participating in efforts to set up seaplane operations servicing the church and Island people of Lake Victoria as well as providing aviation support to Vine Trust hospital ship operations in Tanzania.
Bruce has forty years of aviation experience flying experience in Alaska (1973-2013) with over 10,000 hours of seaplane flight time). His aviation background includes Commercial Instrument, Single Engine, Multi Engine Sea, Kenmore Air Harbor, Kurtzer Flying Service Seattle, Wa. His education includes AAS Sciences degree from Washington State. Bruce served two tours in the Navy and participated on the Apollo 10 and 11 recovery efforts in the South Pacific as well as Riverboat duty while in Vietnam. Bruce and Bonnie’s home Church is First Christian at Sandpoint, Idaho. He and Bonnie serve as Husband/Wife Mission Team Committee Members. Bruce was born in Seattle and married his lovely wife Bonnie and they have two children, Jessica and Megan.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Dr. Rick Merritt has southern wit and charm along with a dedicated drive for excellence. He has been married thirty-three years to his wife Judith Merritt. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Rick is the founder and president of Heart and Soul Family Counseling Services.
He served eight years in the military before resigning to civilian life and devoting himself to full time ministry in Yuma, AZ. It was there in Yuma that he got involved in mission work to Kenya, Africa, and has lead multiple mission teams to Kenya over the years. His pastorate experience began as the Associated Pastor in his mother’s church in 1990; which lead to his personal calling and ministry three years later and has been in the ministry ever since.
Rick is currently the lead pastor at 180 Faith Ministries in Vista, CA. reaching the Tri-City North County and San Diego area as well as having significant influence with the troops at Camp Pendleton and Miramar since 1996.
Dr. Merritt is currently partnering through his private practice Heart & Soul Family Counseling Services with the Chaplin’s Association at both Camp Pendleton and Miramar Bases to help service members, their marriages, and family heal after being ravaged by ten plus years of war. This partnership has allowed him to participate in their “Marriage Family & Parenting” Expos held at Camp Pendleton and Miramar for the last several years.
Educated with his Ph.D. in Pastoral Care and Clinical Counseling from Minnesota Graduate School of Theology; he is a certified MFT (Marriage Family Therapist), and belongs to the American Academy of Clinical Family Therapists Association, along with other certifications from Light University and the American Association of Christian Counselors in; Addiction & Recovery with the 12 step program form Celebrate Recovery; Premarital & Marital Coaching, Acute Stress Grief and Trauma Care, Crisis and First Responder Training, along with PTSD & Combat Stress Coaching. He has been on the ground floor working with the U.S. Veteran’s Department as a clinical psychologist in their pilot program “The Aspire Center” located in San Diego, CA. Dr. Merritt is heavily engaged with this initiative and also leads assessments for service members with PTSD and Readjustment challenges that helps them integrate back into civilian life.
Rick said this about his Advisory Board Member role with Samaritan Aviation, “The opportunity to serve on the Samaritan Aviation advisory board is a privilege and honor that culminates all of my mission efforts thus far. I’ve been informed of the efforts and ministry involvements of Samaritan Aviation through Bryan Yeager the COO, a friend of over twenty years. I look forward to being a part of God’s plans for the future of Samaritan Aviation and the opportunity to serve with such an excellent ministry.”
Tim was born in Wheaton, IL and as a boy moved to the Boston area, where his father accepted a professorship at a Christian college. Thus began Tim’s love of camping in the White Mountains, ice-skating on local ponds and rooting for Boston sports teams. In 1989, after a few stints of post-college employment in banking and sales, Tim packed his car and drove to San Diego where he could escape the cold winters and explore what he was sensing as a call into Christian service. Within a year came two events that would define his life: meeting his future bride (Diana) and enrolling into missionary training in Wisconsin (where, by some strange chance, Diana was also attending).
In 1995 Tim began full-time service with a cross-cultural church planting organization, his sights set on an unreached people group in Papua New Guinea. In June of 1996 he and his young family located among a remote tribal group in PNG called the Nakwi. For the next 15 years Tim was involved in pioneering this church planting initiative, translating Scriptures, developing curriculum, teaching literacy and pastoring the small Nakwi church toward maturity. For many of those years he also served on leadership teams and as a field consultant, providing support and oversight to other tribal church planting works in the area.
Since returning to the U.S. in 2010 Tim has continued his passion for serving the church. He is currently VP of Church Planting with ZimZam Global, an organization that equips leaders to plant churches by focusing on children and youth as a growth trigger. At his home church he serves on the missions committee as well as teaching 6th grade Sunday school. Tim, Diana and their three children (high-school and college-age) live in San Diego, CA. In his spare time Tim enjoys walks on the beach, coaching basketball, hiking in the mountains, and of course, cheering on his beloved Boston sports teams.
Rex is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in north county San Diego. After completing his undergraduate degree in Therapeutic and Community Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University in 1999, Rex married his wife of now 16 years, Michelle, and shortly after this was accepted to graduate school of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Rex went on to complete his Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2004 and has worked in several different capacities, including providing therapy to autistic children and their families, serving on a research team, gaining some experience in a private practice setting, and working primarily in a residential treatment facility with at-risk foster children and adolescents. Currently Rex serves as the clinical director for a private non-profit residential educational program for foster youth called San Pasqual Academy.
Rex and his wife met the Palms in the early 2000s and from the very early stages, he was able to learn about and participate in the Samaritan Aviation ministry. He was able to serve alongside Mark on several short medical missions trips into Baja, Mexico where he provided some practical support and Spanish translation to some of the medical professionals providing services to many of the migrant workers who had no access to basic medical care. For more than a decade, Rex and his wife and have supported the Samaritan Aviation ministry financially, emotionally, and through consistent prayer. In 2018, Rex became SA’s Ambassador for Southern California. They are currently planning for a trip to Papua New Guinea to see the ministry firsthand.
Dr. Pilly Mapira is the president of the Public Health Association of Papua New Guinea and a Public Health Physician and Lecturer at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG), School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). She has had over 12 years of public health research and development experience including intermittent clinical practices in Papua New Guinea and abroad. Her research work not only produced the first scientific data on subclinical iodine deficiency among school children in PNG, but also advocated for the establishment of the first International Micronutrient Laboratory at the SMHS, UPNG and the first National Micronutrient Survey conducted in 2005 by the SMHS, National Department of Health, UNICEF and Centres for Disease Control.
As a medical student, Dr. Mapira did her rural health programs in the Gulf Province where she had to travel by canoe up the river for health patrols.
“I saw how difficult and remote it was for the people to excess not only quality health care services but education and other essential services. Although I had a heart and passion for promoting primary health in rural areas, the topography, transport and communication barrier was a huge discouragement. But few years later in 2015, a documentary of Samaritan Aviation on the discovery channel, shocked me into tears. Tears rolled down my eyes as I saw this tiny sea plane and a group of American volunteers and families in the middle of nowhere saving lives and delivering medical supplies. I was not only moved by what I saw but truly challenged and ashamed as a Papua New Guinean. Since then, I told myself that if there is any way, and anything I can do to help Samaritan Aviation so that they can maintain their services or even extend to other parts of the country with such difficult topography, I would do whatever it takes. I am very happy and excited to be part of a team that can truly live up to its name.”
Philemon Wachara and Bryan Yeager met in Nairobi, Kenya in 1987. As a young man working his way through school, Philemon began working with Bryan as they were establishing a church in one of the largest slums in East Africa. A few years later, Philemon became the Senior Pastor of this church and helped it grow to over 3,000 members. This church has also helped start other churches in Kenya, Uganda as well as Tanzania. In 2002, he led the way in starting Grace Harvest Academy, an elementary school that has won numerous awards for the quality of education that it provides for children in the community. Bishop Philemon holds a Masters in Theology Religious Studies and Church Leadership.