Clinic in Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Daniel Perez.
Patients waiting inside the Kobakma clinic. Photo by Daniel Perez.
One of the things I love about serving with MAF is the very tangible impact we have in the lives of the people we serve. While a fair bit of our flying is “routine,” it is not uncommon for a flight to make a lifesaving difference. Recently MAF received reports of a quick-spreading illness that was particularly contagious among infants and young children. With three children dying in three days, it was apparent that this was serious. Paul and Pip Etherington, Pioneer missionaries, have served faithfully in this village for years but at the time of the outbreak were out in the city. Upon hearing the news they asked MAF to arrange an earlier flight so Pip, who is a nurse, could begin treating patients in the village. Mike Brown flew them in on Saturday and shortly after her arrival Pip was treating patients at her outdoor clinic. I fly to this village fairly regularly and often enjoy a short visit with Paul and Pip. Talking with them on the following Monday, Pip told me she had been treating over 30 patients a day and, praise the Lord, there had been no more deaths. However, there were still several very sick children and many more needing treatment. Since I would be coming back the next day, I asked if there was anything they needed. I was able to bring the requested antibiotic the following day, ensuring that Pip could continue giving the needed medicine.
Pip treating a patient. Photo by Daniel Perez.
It is often overwhelming to stop and think about how many deaths occur here because basic medical treatment is unreachable. It is also overwhelming to stop and think about how many thousands of lives have been saved because of the ministry God has allowed MAF to have here.