Musings from a Hospital Bed

It was the end of a long day of flying over the deep jungles of Ecuador. MAF pilot Chad Irwin was headed home toward Shell when an emergency call blared through the radio. A woman in a remote village was struggling in childbirth. She needed to get out of the jungle fast. But the village was far behind him, on the Peruvian border. He had just enough fuel and daylight left to make it. Chad turned the plane back into the heart of the jungle. As the sun dipped lower in the sky, Chad finally landed on a grass strip. He scanned the trees surrounding him—no one was there. He quickly spotted the head of a trail. With no time to lose he plunged into the forest, hoping to find the mother who needed his help so desperately…

A world away, I sit in a hospital bed in Nashville, TN. I lay my hand on my swollen belly and think about this woman, pregnant like me. But unlike me, she wasn’t able to drive to the nearest emergency room. She was stranded. Even though I’m in the midst of a very high-risk pregnancy, I have access to every resource available to help my unborn twins survive. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. My thoughts drift back into the Amazon…

Before long, the trail opened up to a tiny village where Chad found what he was searching for: an exhausted woman struggling in labor. She was carried back to the airstrip and onto the plane. In no time Chad set off once more toward Shell. Twilight settled by the time the woman was lifted from the plane and brought to the nearest hospital, just in time for her baby to be delivered safely via emergency C-section.

An MAF airplane at a remote airstrip in Ecuador. Photo by Mark and Kelly Hewes.

Like Chad, my husband, Erick, is an MAF pilot assigned to Ecuador. But we aren’t there quite yet. We are raising the financial support required first. As I write this my husband is sharing with a small group about how MAF carries hope to the ends of the earth in its back-country airplanes. I pray that someone in that small group will catch the vision and join our support team.

While Erick is out sharing about the mission of MAF, I have plenty of time to imagine my twin boys one day watching their dad fly home from the jungle, bringing one more expectant mother to safety. May we all be ready to share with the world the hope that we can all-too-easily take for granted.

 

 

 

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