Dennis and Rose Bergstrazer have been with MAF for 32 years—the last 14 of which have been at the MAF base in Timika, Papua, Indonesia. Currently, they are the only MAF family there—and the only missionaries in town!
“When we first opened the base [in 2003], we were also the only Westerners, so we truly stood out. This made it easy to make friends and establish relationships,” said Rose. “There are now a few Westerners who rotate in for a few weeks at a time, but we are still the only ones who speak Indonesian, so we still stand out.”
Dennis flies a Cessna Caravan to 19 village airstrips to support an area that includes 490 churches with over 130,000 total members.
“Churches as well as local people from interior villages not only need to stay connected with Timika, but it is from Timika that they rely on MAF as a lifeline for food, clothing, and building supplies,” said Dennis. “Our MAF aircraft is often filled with building supplies to build new churches interior.”
Dennis’ passengers regularly include some of the 1,400 Papuan employees of a nearby mining company who need to travel to and from the mine and their villages—not to mention the medical emergency and general healthcare flights he makes to support the Timika region.
While Dennis maneuvers through the clouds, Rose manages “Rose’s Bed & Breakfast”—a guesthouse so named by the many missionaries who pass through there. She also invests in the lives of four Indonesian staff families, and enjoys fellowship with some of the wives at the mine. At Christmas, one of her favorite activities is going to the local hospital with the MAF Timika team to sing carols and give gifts to the patients.
The Bergstrazers are grateful for their team of ministry partners, most of whom have been with the couple from the beginning of their time with MAF. In fact, three supporting families have invested their time and money to visit them on the field, which is a huge encouragement to the couple.
“We wish all of our supporters had the opportunity to come for a visit to see firsthand the work they are supporting,” said Dennis.
Ministry partners make the work of MAF field staff possible. Because of their vital support, isolated people around the world can experience the love of Jesus. The Bergstrazers are hoping to grow their team of ministry partners. If you’d like the blessing of being involved in their work in Papua, visit maf.org/bergstrazer to learn more.
Story appeared in FlightWatch. Read the full issue here: