Indonesia (MNN) — Ministry efforts in Indonesia often require creative strategies to reach people flung across the nation’s 18,000-plus islands. But one part of Indonesia is marked with terrain so rough and people groups so remote, that Lonely Planet called it Indonesia’s “final frontier” — namely Papua, a region which makes up half of the massive New Guinea island.
That’s where Mission Aviation Fellowship comes in. MAF exists to help reach isolated people in remote regions with God’s love through aviation, whether it’s flying in humanitarian aid, supplies, or personnel to meet the needs in a community.
Recently in May and June, MAF staff flew over 3,000 Western Dani Bibles into Mulia, Papua to be distributed. Dave Ringenberg with MAF explains, “Mulia is located in a remote area of Papua, Indonesia. Once the Bibles they had on hand are gone, there’s no Bible bookstore to buy more. So the only way to restock is to put in an order and have the Bibles printed, shipped to MAF, and then delivered on flights to Mulia.”
He also adds, “Simultaneously, MAF flew in Awana trainers to help teach Awana leaders in the Mulia area. There are over 1,000 kids who participate in that program there. These trainers were a huge encouragement as they helped organize Bible lessons, Scripture memorization, and various games.”
MAF in Papua also partners with School of Hope, which aims to provide Gospel-centered curriculum to local children who otherwise might receive a substandard education, or none at all.
“So MAF helps transport teachers and kids to the various different villages in Papua,” shares Ringenberg. “Most of the people that we come in contact with say that the education these kids are receiving is so much better than in the past, mostly because of the dedicated teachers they have teaching these kids. They’re really going beyond the rote and the understanding. They’re getting into application…. MAF is privileged to work alongside the School of Hope to reach these kids and help them grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus.”
As God continues to bless MAF’s ministry and partnerships in Papua, Indonesia, MAF hopes the global Body of Christ can help spur them on in aviation outreach.
You see, the caravan amphibious aircraft they’re using in Papua is one of their oldest airplanes in the fleet with over 20,000 hours of flight time. While they’re working to maintain it, the aircraft really needs to be replaced.
“This caravan is crucial to the ministry of MAF because not only does it land on a runway, but it can land in water too — hence the name ‘amphib’. Therefore, we can use this aircraft to reach many different types of people groups, and that’s why it’s such a strategic aircraft for us to use here in Papua.”
The amphib aircraft is going to cost $2,900,000, and MAF has currently raised almost half of that amount.
“It’s quite an expensive aircraft, so we need quite a few donors to meet this need and this goal that we’re achieving…. We’d appreciate your prayers as we look to support and replace this aircraft for future use.”