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February 4th, 2010 by Terry Miller
By Chris Bertrand
Dr. Michael Budincich, a Pasadena chiropractor fondly known as “Dr. Bud” to patients and friends is busy preparing his two bush planes to shuttle medical personnel into remote Haiti. As soon as the weather clears enough for safe travel in these single engine craft, this gentle giant of a man and a Newport Beach pilot will begin a multi-leg hop with his two planes to a staging area in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There he’ll meet up with doctors and medical supplies destined for an area on the southern coast of Haiti.
Hope Force International, a Christian disaster relief organization founded by Jack and Cherie Minton after serving nineteen years on The Mercy Ship, is in particular need of Budincich’s bush planes and his rural piloting expertise. A Florida church has funded the fuel costs and will house the teams shuttling in and out of Haiti, but more funds can always be used.
They are headed to an area that’s received little to no assistance since the devastating earthquake, and will have to land on the 3500 foot grass runway the locals have prepared. Hope’s in-country contacts have already arranged all the necessary approvals and clearances to officially fly into and out of Haiti.
Dr. Bud is no stranger to the act of giving of his talents and time to those in great need. Budincich, an active Sierra Madre Rotarian, and his wife, Dr. Catherine Budincich, formed a 501(c)3 foundation, “Manos Con Alas Ministries” meaning “hands with wings” years ago. This outreach to the indigent south of our borders means Dr. Bud, family, friends and volunteers fly his planes down to Baja Mexico several times a year, bringing health care and simple home building to those who otherwise would go without.
“I have heard the small quiet voice of God calling me and my aircraft to Haiti via Ft Lauderdale to transport doctors and medical supplies to a remote Haitian mission hospital. I had planned a February medical mission trip to Baja that wasn’t coming together smoothly. It as if God wanted me available to save some lives in Haiti, so I’m leaving as soon as the weather will allow safe flying. I feel as if I was meant to do this all my life.”