The KODIAK airplane touched down on the sodden runway outside the village of Apahapsili, Papua. MAF pilot Daniel Perez had landed in isolated villages like this one many times for medical emergencies—this was no different.
A young couple approached the plane anxiously, the mother clutching a tiny listless baby to her chest. Daniel got them settled safely in the plane; he could see desperate hope in the mother’s eyes. As he made his way to the cockpit and began to prepare for takeoff, he was surprised to see the side door open. The father jumped out and began helping his family out of the plane, explaining to Daniel the baby had died … it was too late. Helpless, he left the family as he had found them, but their hope had been replaced by grief. Daniel prayed their unimaginable grief would drown in God’s unimaginable love.
Medical flights like these can be painful, but most are joyful experiences of hope and health! Not long after the above flight took place, Daniel flew the KODIAK into the village of Silimo where he loaded a small boy of only 3 years old. He had an intestinal blockage and needed immediate medical attention. Daniel was able to fly the young boy and his family to a nearby hospital for life-saving treatment.
Later that day, Daniel loaded a young man suffering an infection … from arrow wounds! Arrow wounds may call to mind the Old West, but in Papua, they’re modern day problems; and their ensuing infections are life-threatening! The MAF flight saved the young man’s life, but neighboring villages still war with each other and, regardless of the weapons, war will always bring grief.
The KODIAK will continue to bring the Gospel and medical help to Papua, but there is still so much to do! Please continue to pray for the physical and spiritual transformation of these precious people, and for pilots like Daniel—messengers of hope.