The mutual joy of evangelists from the highlands of Papua and the lowland villagers they serve.

Story by Daniel Bristol, an MAF pilot/mechanic serving with his family in Papua, Indonesia.

The Mamberamo is a large river that flows into the lowlands of Papua and makes its way to the Pacific Ocean. The Dani are a people group from the highlands, but they have been so moved by the gospel that many have uprooted from their villages to take the gospel to those living in the lowlands of the Mamberamo.

A few months ago, I transported eight Dani women—three of them with babies in tow—from the mountain village of Mulia down to the Mamberamo village of Faowi. These eight evangelists had traveled there to conduct a week-long revival.

The passengers and a couple of pastors after the revival in Faowi. Photo by Daniel Bristol.

A week later, I returned to pick them up. As the women neared the plane before departure, I asked if anyone would be willing to say a prayer of praise for their time in Faowi. The women immediately knelt or sat on the tarmac. But they weren’t the only ones—everyone near the plane followed suit.

As I watched, a pastor walked through the crowd of people on the ground and began to praise the Lord in their language. It was incredible to witness the honor and reverence this people group have so openly for the Lord.

Offering a prayer of praise before leaving Faowi. Photo by Daniel Bristol.

When we returned to Mulia, an additional group of eight women and a child was waiting to go to another Mamberamo village called Derapos. They were on the same mission of revival as the previous women.

This new group boarded the plane, and I flew them to Derapos. Upon our arrival, we were met enthusiastically by most of the village. They had dressed for the occasion and were singing and shouting joyfully because of the evangelism team that had come to help them. The women were then paraded to the city, where they were encircled by villagers singing and waving palm branches.

Welcoming committee in Derapos. Photo by Daniel Bristol.

What a joy it is to observe the Christian culture of a people group so different from ours! The people of Papua live a much less privileged life than we do, yet their praises rise so beautifully to the Lord. How wonderful it will be to join with them on that day when all of God’s people gather around His throne and sing praises to Him!

MAF is honored to partner with people of different cultures who share our passion for reaching others with the good news of Jesus Christ. If you are interested in helping make stories like this happen, you will have a special opportunity on November 30—GivingTuesday. More information coming soon!


  • Darrell Watson says:

    This is a very inspiring and encouraging email to receive and view those who are serving the Lord by telling their fellow human beings about Him and His love for them!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!

  • What a privilege to see and read how God is working in His fields that are ripe for harvest. The workers and the work are His.

    Thank you for sharing these precious and encouraging pictures.

    Praise God for the Good News and those who share it!

  • Ann Searing says:

    I just love getting and reading these reports and of course the prayer connection each week. MAF if near and dear to my heart and I pray for the ministry and its many components daily. What a wonderful sight that worship celebration will be in heaven when people from all nations and tribes are praising the One who made it all possible.

  • Jim Fox. says:

    Great work by MAF… and praise for the local women who have reached out to tell the story of GOD-JESUS- and the Holy Spirit.

  • I rejoice in the work of MAF. The stories of changed and lives committed to sharing the message of Hope is an encouragement to me and our ministry. Thank you for going and sharing the message of hope in Jesus.

  • Linda Simson says:

    Thank you Lord Jesus for the Dani people group in the highlands of Papua, whom you have moved by the power of your Holy Spirit to present the gospel to those living in the lowlands of the Mamberamo. We praise you for the souls that were saved, the seeds of faith that were planted, and pray for these evangelists to have continued health and strength for all of those whom you have called to do Your will there in Papua. May you indeed be glorified and honored and receive all the praise for those who have responded to the Gospel message and have the hope of Heaven.

  • Rosanna says:

    It gave me goose bumps to read this story. Praise to God for His salvation

  • Phyllis Beiter says:

    My husband Don and I served with MAF in Papua in the 1960s, and our last 2 years there he flew the float plane MPL. A couple of times he flew the float plane in the Mamberamo serving and supplying the first missionary to that area, before they were able to create an airstrip. – It is so wonderful to hear now about what the Lord has done and is doing among the people down there in all these years! And The Lord is using the Dani mountain people who we flew among in the wheel plane previously, too! Praise God!

    • Charles Schultz says:

      Praise the Lord!!
      It is so uplifting to hear of these people going out to their own people and telling the LOVE of Christ.

  • Haris Macris says:

    This article really caught my attention, because I grew up as an MK in the Lakes Plains region, fed by the Mamberamo river. (We used to fly to boarding school on MAF aircraft.) My parents, Costas and Alky Macris, had a great burden for the people of the Lakes Plains and my father used to bring down Dani evangelists and teachers to staff many of the outposts Dad had built by carving out airstrips in the jungle. These Danis are true missionary heros, many dying from malaria in that steamy harsh climate or losing family members for the sake of the gospel—great is their reward! I believe Don Beiter flew floatplane flights for Dad and Mike Papa Lima often flew to our station.

  • Eulene Witham says:

    Appreciated your report so much. I supported a missionary pilot and family in Sentani for several years. I have volunteered with Wycliffe Associates in Ukarumpa as well. Have been so blessed by these experiences.

  • Carla Teitt says:

    I love stories like these!!!

  • Jim & Grace Smyth says:

    A great account, … – to God be the glory! And we pray for finances and safety so that this great ministry may spread and prosper.

  • Faith J Lee says:

    Indeed brother Daniel! It is such great news to see what MAF is doing for God. I thank God for each one of you n yes, I can’t wait to meet Father, Lord n all His Saints n on that great reunion day in heaven! Hallrlujah.

  • Dianne Matthews says:

    I was one of the first 2 white women missionaries the people in the village of Fawi had ever seen. My co-worker and I settled into the village in 1976 in the early states of a Bible translation program of the Iau language. I was able to reduce the language to writing in 1977-1978. Today the work has been carried on by others. In those early days of our mission’s presence in Irian Jaya, MAF were a huge part. It is a great blessing to see MAF’s continuing involvement in the Gospel spreading through Iau-land.

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