On the island of Papua, Indonesia, wild jungles and tall mountains mark the landscape. For people who live in Papua’s remote villages, medical issues can quickly spell disaster.
Mission Aviation Fellowship flies into hard-to-reach areas of Papua with aid and Gospel hope.
According to MAF pilot Dennis Bergstrazer, “There are roads that are starting to be built, but still they are in very poor condition. Most of the airstrips that we go to have no roads at all.
“We’re sort of a lifeline to folks living interior as well as the church and the church workers — the pastors and evangelists and laypeople. That’s the way they get back and forth.”
Part of MAF’s work includes medical flights for remote people living in the island’s interior. Bergstrazer says they conduct several medical flights a month in Papua across their five bases.
Recently, Bergstrazer flew a sick four-year-old boy from a remote village to a hospital in Timika. The little boy had been sick for so long that his eyes and skin were yellow and his stomach was swollen.
“His father came with, but his father has never been to Timika nor does he speak Indonesian. He just speaks the local language…. So his uncle came with as well then because he had been to Timika before and he does speak Indonesian at least a little bit.”
Bergstrazer flew the trio to Timika. Then, he and his wife, Rose, drove them to the hospital in the ministry’s car.
Right away, the doctors ruled out malaria — a common disease transmitted by jungle mosquitos. Bergstrazer continued to check in on the family, and doctors discovered the little boy had serious liver problems.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh