Thousands of MAF flights have enabled missionaries, translators and pastors to sow Gospel seeds in many communities that – as far as the rest of the world was concerned – didn’t exist.
But when the earth trembled and the land began to twist out of shape, our team was quick to assess from the air how best we could help those on the ground.
‘I just don’t know what God is doing. Has God abandoned us? Our houses are broken, our gardens are destroyed. We are just crying about all this and don’t understand.’
These were the desperate words of a man whose first, heart-rending question to MAF staff co-ordinating the delivery of relief supplies was, ‘Is God cursing us?’
MAF Ground Operations Training Co-ordinator Nawi Mabo was able to reply, ‘We are helping you in a physical way with our plane and cargo deliveries. But our planes are not sufficient – we need God’s help. We won’t leave you without some spiritual encouragement and want to pray with you before we depart. Is this all right?’
Following the crowd’s applause at his offer, Nawi prayed that God’s love would make the gardens grow again so people could eat.
‘But my words will never pass away’
The gifts made by thousands of MAF family members are so precious because you trust us to use your money when and where the need is greatest – which we did in PNG as soon as the earthquake hit.
Among the shocked and wounded victims of the earthquake was Nagei Waruka – the sole survivor of a group who had been buried by a landslide on their journey from Huya to the market at Komo.
Nagei lost her entire family that day.
Please pray for her.
Many were injured when an immense tremor struck in the middle of the night and they ran in terror as their houses collapsed around them.
Now – thanks to the response of the MAF family – help, hope and healing are within reach.
Your gifts power the aircraft that answer the cries of communities like these. Because of the many MAF programmes your gifts have established, we’re able to respond speedily when roads vanish under mudslides, homes are swallowed up and people lie injured and dying.
The Christian response
You’re probably wondering how relief supplies were obtained. After all, few people in PNG are wealthy, and many of their meagre food sources were destroyed.
MAF team member Siobhain Coles witnessed local churches’ response to the disaster. ‘They are giving out of what little they have to people more than 100 miles away from where they live. They want to share whatever they can.
‘It was humbling to see people who have very little themselves giving a few clothes, a few cabbages from their garden – whatever they could spare – to bless those who have even less than them.
‘It felt like watching the widow at the temple in Luke 21:1-4: “Truly, I tell you… this poor widow has put in more than all the others.”’
Blankets, money and five large bags of sweet potatoes from Komqui Primary School were among the gifts of love poured out by churches and communities.
The original idea of mobilising local villages came from Philip Brewster, an MAF supporter in New Zealand. His reaction to news of the earthquake was to contact us on social media, saying, ‘Think what it would do for rival villages to work together for their own people.’
This inspired the MAF Disaster Relief Team to make a special commitment to the people. If vital supplies were donated, our planes would immediately fly them to those in need.
Following our initial relief flights, MAF was invited to a town pastors’ meeting in an area unaffected by the earthquake, where Pastor Daniel Wek asked us how they could help. We were able to give them first-hand accounts of displaced men, women and children desperate for anything people could spare.
Excited by the possibility of spreading God’s love, the pastors then organised a fundraising campaign among their congregations and communities.
One of them explained how he was inspired to do more. ‘When we were praying for the people in the Hela Province and the Southern Highlands, we thought we should help in a practical way.
‘So we are facilitating the gathering of fresh sweet potatoes and greens from Mount Hagen and waiting for individuals to give whatever they can.’
Pastor Daniel added, ‘Natural disasters do happen and sadly this time it’s in our country. We [the local churches] never realised the importance of MAF’s existence until this incident happened. The churches will now build on what we’ve done today and foster a good partnership with MAF.’
You made it happen!
I’d like to end with the words of Philip Brewster – the supporter whose practical suggestion made all the difference when the life-threatening earthquake struck.
‘Yes, God gave me the idea of uniting the villages but you wonderful people made it happen! My prayers for PNG are that the churches will lead the way in showing love and empathy outside their own villages – especially to their old enemies – so God’s glory and grace will be known through His people. Thank you so much for doing God’s work in PNG.’
And the MAF family can continue to make miracles like this happen if our committed supporters keep praying that God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
What God has achieved through this programme which started in 1951 – and all the others we’ve established together since – has been miraculous.
Your gifts will always be used wherever the need for MAF’s aircraft is greatest.
God bless you for giving what you can towards building God’s Kingdom