What Happens When We’re Not There

What Happens When We’re Not There

At MAF, we know that when we provide access to remote areas those areas are helped, resourced and receive medical assistance. However, sometimes it is when access is withdrawn for a time – often for unavoidable reasons – that it brings home the reality of our absence.

Michael Duncalfe, Flight Operations Manager in PNG, has experienced first-hand what happens when we’re unable to fly to a location for a short time:

Michael Duncalfe, PNG Pilot, Flight Ops Manager'The necessity of MAF’s service was brought home to me very starkly recently. I flew to an airstrip, Sumwari – on the southern edge of the Sepik lowlands – that the Twin Otter doesn’t often go to, taking some bible college students home for the long Christmas break. The community leaders greeted us very warmly and pleaded that "the aircraft is sent back". Service to the community had stopped for a few months as the C208 Caravan was introduced into the Wewak programme and the difficult airstrip had to wait until the pilot gained sufficient experience to go there.

'They said that 12 people had died and the school and health centre closed because teachers and health workers wouldn’t stay when there was no way to travel. That 12 people had died came as a shock.'

Yapsie Airstrip

Thankfully, MAF can now resume flying into Sumwari. We pray that teachers and health workers will return to the area and that the school and health centre can reopen.