The Palm family arrived in Papua New Guinea in January of 2010.
Mark Palm, the President and co-founder of Samaritan Aviation, visited Papua New Guinea in 1994. While trekking through the jungle and seeing the desperate needs of the people, he felt that God was calling him to this country and devote his in serving the people of Papua New Guinea.
Kirsten Palm has earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree and a Masters Degree in Cross Cultural Education from Point Loma Nazarene University. She has her Secondary Teaching Degree in Health Sciences. Kirsten has been a part of short-term mission trips to Mexico, Portugal, Chili, and Papua New Guinea. Kirsten has been a part of Samaritan Aviation since 1998.
Their children Sierra, Drake and Nolan love helping out and being a part of the ministry. Sierra helps in the hospital ministry, and all three kids have helped in the delivery of medical supplies to remote villages up the Sepik River. They are a part of the community outreach and relationship building with the Papua New Guineans. As a family, the Palm’s make a great team. They work together to make the rescue flights, hospital ministry, hospitality with teams and meetings possible, and are working full time to build relationships with the people of Papua New Guinea.
Chris and Sarah Cooke, along with their four daughters Riley, McKenna, Amelia, and Lucy, arrived on May 26th, 2015.
Chris is a registered nurse and will fill an important role in overseeing the medical aspect of our ministry. Because of his background in trauma nursing, we will be able to offer training to the local nurses who fly along with us on emergency flights, as well as more advanced care for patients in life-threatening situations. We’re looking forward to the avenues this will open for further ministry in the local clinics, hospital and among the medical community. Chris and Sarah will both be a part of our hospital ministry as well!
The Cooke family shared that they are eager to begin this journey with Samaritan Aviation. As an RN, Chris is thrilled to be a part of sharing Christ’s love and saving lives through medicine. As a family, they are excited to use the various gifts and talents God has given them be His hands and feet to the people of Papua New Guinea.
Luke and Tracy Hamer arrived in Papua New Guinea on November 3rd, 2017.
Luke and Tracy Hamer are both experienced float pilots, mechanics, and aircraft engineers from Alaska. Both Luke and Tracy graduated from Liberty University; Tracy with a BS in Commercial Aeronautics and A&P Certificate, and Luke with a BS in Missions Aviation and A&P Certificate. We are grateful to have these two helping to pilot our floatplanes!
We first met Robert in 2015 while he was working as a contractor on our compound renovation. We were initially drawn to Robert because of his dependability, hard working nature, and great sense of humor. As one project finished and the next started we requested that he be on the crew of workers. During this time period we began a daily Bible study with the construction workers. Each day as we taught, it became more and more apparent that Robert was a believer who knew and loved the Word of God. After several more months continuing to disciple him and getting to know him and his family, Robert joined our national staff and is thriving in his training to become a leader in this important ministry.
Robert and his wife, Ludi, have been married for 11 years and have three children: Rodney (10), Guesti (9), and Maino (1). He brings with him 8 years of experience as a welder and carpenter, which is a huge asset as he also helps maintain our compound. While typically quite and reserved, Robert becomes passionately bold when sharing the gospel of Christ and caring for our patients in the hospital. He has been an excellent addition to our staff and we are excited to see him grow and develop as he serves in our hospital ministry.
Fred & Lydia Holcomb, and their five sons, Isaac, Josiah, Caleb, Gabriel, and Levi, are expected to arrive in Papua New Guinea later this year.
The Holcombs are the newest additions to the Samaritan Aviation family! They first came in contact with SA at Oshkosh Air Venture in 2015 and have stayed in contact ever since. Fred has worked with S.O.A.R. for the past 5 years as a mechanic and airport operations technician. Fred will fill a vital role as part of our aviation staff and will serve as our aircraft Mechanic, keeping our life-saving planes in the air!
Lydia has her BS in Elementary Education and is a stay-at-home mom for their children. Lydia has a huge heart for people and we know she is going to be a huge blessing to the people of PNG!
Bryan says, “I have been a fan of Samaritan Aviation since 2000. At the time I was introduced to this organization I was the senior pastor of a church in Montrose, Colorado. Over the years our congregation as well as my family supported and partnered with several projects Samaritan had taken on. It was also our churches pleasure to have had Samaritan Aviation’s President Mark Palm, on our staff for three years as one of our worship pastors. Mark and I have many fond memories working together. It is with this long term relationship with Mark and several of the board members as well as a strong belief in what Samaritan is about that I have accepted my new role with this organization. I look forward to being a part of the team as we move forward with the mission of bringing hope and a message to the people of Papua New Guinea.”
Bryan and his wife Mary have been involved in ministry since the late ‘70’s. They received their missionary experience when they went to Nairobi, Kenya in 1987 and began doing missions work in one of the largest slums in East Africa. Bryan has traveled in over thirty countries speaking in leadership conferences in many of them. In 1993 Bryan went on board with Promise Keepers and while he was with this organization he served as the National Director of Volunteers as well as the National Director of Events. In 1998 Bryan and his family accepted the Senior Pastor role of Grace Community in Montrose, Colorado. Samaritan feels blessed to have a person of Bryan’s experience, qualifications, passion, and expertise joining our team.
Danielle McGrath is an Arizona State University alumnus who has spent years investing in her local church’s student ministries. In 2016, Danielle and her husband, a student worship pastor for Central Christian Church, moved to Gilbert, Arizona and began to build their life and community there. Upon hearing about Samaritan Aviation’s vision and commitment to being the hands and feet of Christ to the population of Papua New Guinea, Danielle jumped at the chance to be a part of the organization. Working as an Office Administration Manager out of the Mesa office, she hopes to grow with the organization and help support the great work being done by Samaritan Aviation.
Chris Bridges volunteers and serves as our design consultant and graphic artist. Chris oversees the design of all of SA’s newsletters and print media. He also works full time as a Project Manager for Coal Creek Consulting in Arizona. Chris and his wife, McKensie have been married for two years and enjoy traveling and leading worship at their church.
Paul Forehand is a professional pilot, flight instructor, and former flight school owner. While visiting the Experimental Aircraft Associations AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI in July of 2015, Paul noticed an article written about Samaritan Aviation in the daily newspaper. He was prompted to make the trip over to the seaplane base to learn more about their mission and see their second airplane. After talking with Mark Palm about the services SA was providing, it became clear to Paul that a second plane was critical for the operation to be most effective. Paul returned to his church in North Carolina and shared what he had learned with two mens groups. Both agreed to help support SA with monthly donations. In February of 2016, Pauls church was starting a focus on missions, local and world-wide. Bryan Yeager was invited to come and speak. As a result, the church as a whole supports SA.
“Providing life saving services opens the door for the real work of sharing Gods love with the people of PNG”.
Paul and his wife of 30 years, Diana, live in Garner, NC. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
James Maxcy is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and a full-time video production director for a police training company in Arizona. He and his first grade sweetheart, Taylor, got married in 2015 and attend Redemption Gilbert. James’ family were missionaries in Africa for three generations and he began to develop a heart for unreached peoples after a family trip to Côte de’Ivoire to see where his mother was raised. After Brian presented to an aviation group James is involved with, he was hooked on SA’s mission and wanted to help us demonstrate God’s love to the people of Papua New Guinea.
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.