My Last MAF Adventure
As the sun rose in glimmering shades of gold and orange, my dad prepped the Kodiak for take-off. I strapped myself into the front passenger seat, the engine a powerful hum through the cockpit. We taxied down the runway and rose up into the clouds, bound for the hamlet of Mulia, located deep in mountainous Papua.
Flying in small airplanes has always been a part of my life — as the daughter of an MAF pilot, I’ve had many wonderful opportunities to fly into different remote villages and towns in Indonesia.
Soaring over verdant jungles, twisting rivers, and towering mountains never ceased to thrill me. With my dad at the helm of the airplane, the experience became all the more special. I often felt a deep peace while flying, with bright sunlight flooding the cockpit and the world thousands of feet below us.
Flying with MAF was never simply a fun experience for me, or just a way to view the astounding natural beauty of Indonesia — it was above all a reminder of the profound way God moves and uses even broken humans to make His name known to the ends of the earth.
Before I left my island home of Papua to return to America for college, I got to take one last flight into the highlands with just me and my dad. MAF airplanes in Papua are used to transport all sorts of unique cargo, from live pigs to motorcycles. On this particular flight with my dad, our cargo was especially precious. As dawn approached, the Kodiak was loaded up with cases of Bibles, in the tribal language of the Dani people group.
In the Western world, Bibles are easy to find, with a plethora of bookstores and online shopping available to us. Deep into interior Papua, however, Bibles are a scarce commodity — especially Bibles in one’s own unique language. I’m thankful that I got to witness the Word of God being brought into one of the most remote places on our planet. Maybe this flight wasn’t as seemingly essential or dramatic as, say, a medical evacuation flight, but it was every bit as important. Bringing spiritual nourishment — in this case, taking the form of Bibles in a Papuan tribe’s heart language — is just as vital as meeting physical needs.
As we landed in the village of Mulia, perched high up on a mountain ridge, I was so grateful for this one last opportunity to observe first-hand the impact MAF has had in both the physical and spiritual lives of thousands of isolated people.