From Luke 17 – On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus crossed into the border of Samaria and Galilee. He entered a village and came upon ten men with leprosy. They asked for mercy and Jesus sent them away to be cleansed. As they were going, they realized they had been healed. One of the men rushed back to Jesus, thanking Him. Jesus sent him away saying that his faith both healed and saved him.
MAF pilot Kevin Lynne immediately noticed the sick man upon landing at the remote village of Koserek in Papua, Indonesia. The man’s abdomen was visibly bloated and he seemed to be in a great deal of pain. He was clearly in need of medical attention.
He told Lynne that he did not have any money for the flight and before Lynne could say anything, the man’s friends and family gathered around him and began pulling money out of their pockets to pay for his flight.
“I was really touched by their generosity,” said Lynne. “I would have taken him anyway because he was clearly in distress.”
Lynne steered the Cessna 206 up from the village airstrip, over the lush jungle mountains, and to the hospital in Wamena. Once there, the man was about to get out of the airplane when Lynne turned and refunded his money so that he would have what he needed to cover the medical fees.
“Sometimes these people spend everything they have just to get to Wamena and then they have nothing to actually pay for their care at the hospital.”
MAF pilots rarely learn the outcomes of the medevac patients they fly. They often find their own way back to their villages after recovery because their needs are not as pressing. This time, that was not the case.
“Two weeks later he came out to the airplane for the flight out,” said Lynne. “He just kept saying ‘Oh thank you.’ He was shaking my hand and saying, ‘I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you came.’ He said he felt great, and he looked normal once more.”
The man was determined to tell everyone he encountered how the Lord had provided for him through MAF so he could be cared for in Wamena. Much like the grateful leper, this man was not going to pass up the opportunity to praise God and share His love with others.
“I was just doing my job,” said Lynne. “I’m glad I got to be a witness to the village’s generosity, because they cared enough to help him. Now every time I fly into that village, he comes out to the airplane to thank me again. He is just continually grateful.”