When MAF Communications Officer Jill Vine first met Josephine in 2013 – at Bartholomew's Orphanage in Kajo Keji, South Sudan – she was crawling on the ground. Her legs and knees were caked in mud.
Jill listened intently as Josephine explained how a broken wheelchair had condemned her to this life. The only way she could keep her dream of an education alive was to crawl to school and back every day. Josephine hadn't yet given up.
Realising how easily MAF could change her situation, Jill knew she had to help. A few weeks and lots of phone calls later, MAF was able to fly Jill back to the orphanage. Her cargo? A brand new wheelchair, kindly donated by a disabled man who was deeply moved by Josephine's plight.
'I will never forget the look of joy on Josephine's face,' says Jill, 'when I helped her into the wheelchair for the first time. Her smile was absolutely radiant!'
Josephine's dream of an education had a chance of coming true.
And that's precisely what your gifts and prayers do — they empower MAF to keep people's dreams alive.
We hope and pray that, by making a gift today, you will help us do the same for many more people around the world like Josephine.
We'd love to tell you that Josephine's story ended happily when she climbed into her new wheelchair. Sadly, her life took another cruel turn. In January 2017, the brutal conflict that has swept across South Sudan reached her town.
In the chaos, Jill lost touch with Josephine. With the help of our many partner NGOs and humanitarian organisations, Jill searched for her but — with no idea where she was, who was with her, or what had happened — she wondered whether we'd find Josephine at all.
Weeks turned into months until news finally reached Jill. Josephine was alive and living in a vast refugee camp in Uganda! Jill was delighted — until she heard that Josephine's wheelchair had been left behind in the desperate rush to leave South Sudan.
Mercy and goodness
Josephine is a disabled, orphaned refugee — one of many throughout the developing world. A bleak future would face most people in her situation, even if they hadn't been deprived of their mobility.
Her life would have remained bleak had it not been for the kindness of that same donor. Once again, he came to Josephine's aid with a replacement wheelchair, knowing that MAF would make another special flight and deliver it to the refugee camp.
When MAF's plane landed, Jill caught a flash of God's inestimable mercy and goodness. Overwhelmed to see Josephine safe and sound, she was relieved and delighted just to be able to hug her again!
'I feel so blessed that I could be there when the MAF family's unfailing support enabled one of our aircraft to help Josephine for a second time,' Jill smiles, recalling that wonderful day. And I keep praying that we will continue our work around the world, bringing relief to isolated people in urgent need of the help only MAF can provide.'
Josephine still dreams of finishing secondary school — the passport to a brand new life for so many impoverished people.
Almost every day, our aircraft fly organisations into refugee settlements that help thousands in desperate need of food, medicine, counselling and — in Josephine's case — education.
Many of the world's poorest people are praying that their dreams will come true. So please — if you can — make a gift today and help to transform the future for thousands of men, women and children who have nothing but their dreams to cling on to right now.
Thank you so much for your gifts and prayers. Every day, they bring MAF planes into people's lives with the potential to make their dreams come true.