Seven flights, seven medevacs

Seven flights, seven medevacs

We have a new aircraft in Papua New Guinea - and it's already come to the rescue of several people in remote communities

The first week MAF Pilot Luke Newell flew the GA8 Airvan, he made seven medical emergency flights.

One afternoon, Luke finished flying early and was at home when he received a call requesting an urgent medevac. It was for a girl with a broken arm and a mother facing complications with her pregnancy. Both needed to reach hospital quickly.

Although it was wet and cloudy, the flight took less than an hour. By motorboat – the only other way to reach Obo – the journey would have taken two days.

Luke recalls, ‘When we arrived at Obo, the lady was ready to board the plane and the little girl was crying and in a lot of pain. Once safely seated with their guardians and a nurse, we left for Rumginae just before a thunderstorm rolled in.’

By 5.15pm, the plane landed at Rumginae and the nurses could take care of the patients.

Doctors operated on both patients and the baby was delivered successfully.

Although the young girl’s arm is healing well, the doctors agree that, if she’d remained in Obo for another day, she’d have had serious problems.

'There have been measles and whooping cough outbreaks in the Western Province in recent weeks.

‘We use the plane,’ Luke reports, ‘to fly medical teams and vaccinations to communities to help prevent and control the spread of these diseases. With many communities scattered over miles and miles of endless swamps and jungle, it’s impossible for people to get medical assistance without an MAF plane.’

Praise God that, thanks to our new plane and the people who pray and give to keep our aircraft in the air, isolated people receive medical treatment.

Luke is also grateful that, thanks to the Bibles he distributes, people are being spiritually transformed. When he took a box of Scriptures to Obo, he says, they sold out within minutes.

‘And this,’ he points out, ‘is an area that was known for violent headhunters just 40 years ago.’ Fortunately, MAF flights enabled missionaries to share the Gospel with these villagers – resulting in changed hearts and lives.