Medair staff in Juba sprang into action as soon as the plane with Nyandeang and her dazed husband on landed, lifting her by stretcher into an improvised ambulance. Dodging traffic and potholes, the vehicle safely and swiftly brought Nyandeang to the hospital. “By this time, this child who was half my age was raging with fever and starting to show a lot of distress,” explains Stella, a Medair worker. “I crouched beside Nyandeang on the floor, feeling helpless. She looked terrified. All I knew to do was place my hand on her shoulder and try and speak soothingly to her, knowing she could not understand me but hoping she would be comforted by my tone. And prayed. A lot.”

Nyandeang was taken into the delivery room, screaming. The baby had already died, but the body was delivered successfully. Mourning for her lost child, Nyandeang is now back in her village and making a slow recovery.

“We know that if Nyandeang had not been transported to Juba she would certainly have died too,” begins Stella. “The MAF team’s response and actions were fantastic,” she concludes. 

Story by Paul Beck

All images credit Medair

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As the door closed to MAF operations in nearby Ethiopia closed, God opened another door to set up a base in Tanzania’s new capital of Dodoma in late 1977. Sub-bases in six other locations around the country followed and at the peak of MAF’s operations, 11 aircraft were in use.

As the country’s infrastructure has improved, MAF flights in Tanzania today focus on bringing partners to the country’s south and to the Maasai communities in the north, through holistic medical safaris around Malambo. Much of that work remains rooted in the original vision of bringing the Gospel to the unreached. “From the beginning, we’ve served the Church in Tanzania and have been there during a time of tremendous growth in the number of believers,” said long-serving MAF staff member Max Gove.

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By Paul Beck

Every Village is behind a transformational ministry across South Sudan. The country’s minimal infrastructure remains a major obstacle though, making the organisation’s partnership with MAF vital. Two key members of Every Village staff explain more.

Blake Mankin – Every Village Advocacy Director

We’re incredibly grateful for the way MAF makes such profound impact in South Sudan possible. Each March, MAF enables us to bring key Every Village supporters to each of our focus areas in the country. This annual trip is designed to analyse our work, and team members provide an assessment on how we can improve in the future. MAF is helping facilitate this trip, allowing our ministry in South Sudan to grow in size and quality.

In addition, MAF flights allow us to visit our water well sites and survey new areas in need of access to clean water. One MAF flight enabled us to meet Garang, where we learned that before a well was in his village, many people had to walk miles to fetch unsafe water. Now, there’s a well right here pumping clean and safe water. MAF flights enable us to continue drilling, surveying, and maintaining water wells, so Garang’s story can be repeated all over the country.

Kerry Henderson – Every Village Country Director

We love MAF and we can sing their praises all day long!

We use MAF on average every two months out of the year. We have projects going on in three areas of South Sudan, involving water, radio and also outreach teams. Since we have so much going on we are always using MAF to get our people to these places. 

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Story by Paul Beck

Every Village exists to glorify God through the literal transformation of every village in South Sudan. This non-governmental organisation’s goal thus requires access to some very remote locations, which is why their partnership with MAF is both vital and strategic.

Training local believers in church-planting, reaching out through evangelistic broadcasts or showing God’s love through the provision of basics such as water, Every Village is engaged in a truly holistic ministry. Much of that work depends though upon bringing in skilled Christians from overseas, for short or extended periods of service. Particularly in the latter case, these mission workers need a place to stay and Every Village are actively building suitable accommodation for them.

Besides MAF’s logistical support, Pilot Simon Wunderli recently flew for ten hours to collect Andrew, an Every Village volunteer from America who had been overseeing the construction of three houses in Nasir and needed urgent medical attention. Nasir is a particularly challenging location to reach, requiring days of travel on the Nile and Sabot rivers. Road travel is rarely an option most times of the year because of the poor infrastructure or impassable floods during the rainy season. Knowing all that Every Village are involved in across one of the world’s neediest nations, Simon passed the test of endurance and brought the worker to a place where he could get professional medical help. 

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We departed for Goroka, a thirty minute flight. As usual I radioed for the ambulance, but also as usual it never arrived. John, our base manager, drove her to the hospital in the MAF bus.

A week later, I was scheduled to fly back to Simbari. I was quite surprised to see that among the group of passengers were the lady, her husband and their new baby! I hadn’t expected her to return so quickly, but the doctor had managed to turn the baby and she had given birth naturally. Initially I hadn’t recognised her because he looked so different; no longer in pain and smiling! I spoke to them for a while and then we departed for Simbari. On arrival, the reunion between the mother and her son was quite touching. It’s great when you see a direct positive result from a flight that you have done and makes the ordinary, well, extraordinary! 


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