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Just in Time

We hadn’t flown in almost a week. The entire country of Lesotho was hit with a powerful snow storm that left most of our airstrips covered in deep snow, making landing (with wheels anyway!) impossible. Except for Manamaneng. Pamela, one of the nurses there, wanted to get out of the mountains and home to Zimbabwe. She was willing to hire some workers to clear the airstrip of snow.

Lesotho, Africa, view of the Manamaneng airstrip from the MAF Cessna 206
View of the Manamaneng airstrip from the air.
In fact, she used her own money to do so. It took a few days to get it done, but when they finished, it was the only airstrip in the area open for normal operations.

The airstrip was wet and sloppy with mud. The airplane pulled a bit to one side as the main wheel touched down in a small puddle that sent the dark goop flying. Braking was surprisingly good, however, and the airplane was back on centerline and to a stop easily. There was quite a crowd awaiting my arrival.

The people in the village wanted to see the airplane land on the newly shoveled, muddy airstrip. All of the clinic staff came out to greet me as well. After a few minutes of visiting, we piled into our trusty 206 and headed back to Maseru.

MAF Pilot, Justin Honaker and the some of the Mamamaneng community, Lesotho, Africa
Justin and some of the crowd that gathered.
Not much had changed by the next day; the other airstrips were still closed due to snow. Then we got the call from Manamaneng––not one but two medical emergencies. I hopped in my readied airplane and made a direct course, knowing landing would be assured. Two mothers had just given birth. One baby was premature; the other was running a fever.

Often in our ministry we don’t really know how God uses us to impact His Kingdom. That day, however, I saw how God used Pamela’s determination to get out as a way for me to get in … so I could help two mothers who desperately needed a ready airstrip.

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