Riverfront Encouragement

With two bases in Kalimantan, Indonesia—on the island of Borneo—MAF has a key role in supporting Indonesian pastors. In east Kalimantan, the Church is well established. But in central Kalimantan there is still much work to be done, and the Church has been requesting MAF to open more regular routes deep in the jungle, with access by river. Here, floatplanes are an invaluable tool.

When MAF opens a route to a particular spot, the church can send a pastor to live there; MAF can fly in supplies on a regular basis. Without MAF and its encouraging visits, the pastors might not stay. These places are extremely remote, and often, Christian families face persecution.

Someone who looks forward to MAF’s weekly stops is Pastor Nyunting. For several years MAF has partnered with Nyunting in Tumbang Naan, seeing him through some tough times, including the murder of his sister-in-law when she attempted to stop a group on its way to kill Nyunting. And for over a year, MAF delivered what he needed to build a church and parsonage. “I couldn’t even count how many hundreds of kilos of supplies we hauled there: nails, pipe, cement, paint, chainsaw parts, gas and oil, plus several MAF work teams––a great reminder of unity in the Body,” said MAF pilot Jason Pratt.

Pastor Nyunting with MAF pilot Sean Cannon. Photo courtesy of Sean Cannon.

Pastor Nyunting with MAF pilot Sean Cannon. Photo courtesy of Sean Cannon.

According to Pastor Nyunting, without MAF, he couldn’t, and wouldn’t, serve where he is. The logistics of living and serving in the isolated village of Tumbang Naan are too complex without the reliable and safe air service that MAF provides. He added that MAF pilots are an encouragement to him and he knows that the team is praying for him.

The MAF teams in Kalimantan are very intentional about working with the Indonesian church and encouraging mission work. At the Palangkaraya floatplane base, for instance, it means communicating to the Church how best to utilize MAF’s flight services––organizing meetings with pastors to introduce them to MAF and letting them know we’re there to help their church planting efforts.

All in all, it’s MAF working in close partnership with churches, pastors, and missionaries to ensure that the Word continues to reach isolated villages along central Borneo’s rivers.

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