In the heart of the action
Pilot Ryan Unger flew a team from World Vision to Leer to discuss how they could coordinate/facilitate the distribution of food provided by the World Food Programme.
'We spent a couple hours in town and then I went back to the plane ahead of the team to prepare to take off.
The team took longer than expected to return and I had some time to interact with all the curious children.
After a few minutes I found myself 'playing' in the mud after discovering one of the few sinkholes on an otherwise very good runway.
It was probably the best entertainment the kids had had all month! It took about two hours to get us out.
We made it out of Leer just before it started to rain and to our base in Juba just before the airport closed!'
Our help and deliverer
This is a flight like no other; the final stage in a journey that began in 1980 to bring the Word of God to the Hupla people in their native language.
With over 250 languages, this is only the third complete translation of the Bible in Papua, Indonesia and it is a privilege for MAF to be able to help deliver the first 5,000 copies safely to their remote destination.
The passengers aboard the aircraft included Mathias, a local church leader, and Sue, a missionary with World Team whose life's work has been among the remote people group.
Sue comments that, although this is very exciting, in her mind it is 'just the beginning'.
Her hope and prayer is that God's Word would penetrate deeply into the hearts and minds of the Hupla people, transforming lives.
Land and deliver
"Fi dawa...fi dawa?" the man asked me. He was old but moving fast. He had burst through the palm trees at the side of the airstrip and came straight towards me, skipping the usual Nuer greeting. "Fi dawa?" Is there medicine? "Fi dawa" I replied in confirmation as he walked past.
A week earlier Ryan Unger had reopened this airstrip, deep in the heart of the Sudd, a vast swamp region in central South Sudan.
'MAF had not landed here in 5 years, and looking at the long grass and bushes seen during the first aerial inspection, no-one else had been here in a long while either. But the community wanted us to land and cleared it in good time, allowing me to make the 'first' landing a few days later.
As I walked the airstrip in Menime after my first landing, the crowd kept growing, but it wasn't just the regular curiosity. At different times, several groups of women came out of the bush to greet me. "Yiiiiiieh!" they yelled as they leapt from side-to-side. Some did this for a hundred meters until they finally reached me, breathless, to extend their hand in welcome and thanks.'
Will you help us to continue reaching the most isolated people in need?
The demand for MAF's services is huge across the developing world. Your prayers and gifts will transform lives.