It was so good to land in that small, land-locked town of Wamena, deep in the mountains of Papua. After being away from my family for 10 days, I could hardly wait to fly back into the jungle to be re-united with them. As I stepped off the airplane, a grin spread across my face. As I saw our helicopter pilot, Brian Smith, quickly approach, my grin disappeared and it felt like my heart fell into my boots. I could tell that something was horribly wrong!
Brian bluntly explained that my wife, Kathy, had just called on our satellite phone. My two year old daughter was very sick. As she shared the symptoms with our pilot’s wife, both ladies, being nurses, felt that we needed to fall on our knees in prayer. My daughter needed medicine immediately. Brian told me that we needed to fly to Moi (our home in the tribe) that afternoon. I looked up at the weather and recognized that we would never make it in, apart from a miracle.
Within half an hour we lifted off the ground and headed for the high mountain pass that was engulfed in rolling, black thunder clouds. As Brian slowly approached the top of the mountain, and brought the helicopter to a hover, we searched through the clouds for a route to bring my little girl her much needed medicine. As I stared at the black wall of clouds, my heart cried out to our Lord. Right at that moment the radio crackled to life. It was my wife, asking if we were going to make it through, as Alyssa was not doing well!
Brian shook his head, and turned the helicopter around. I looked at him for an explanation, and he said we would need to find another route. I prayed again as we skimmed over the tree tops and headed for the river below. Due to the heavy rain fall, we carried on down the river just above the water, rapids and the boulders. We had to stay as low as possible, just to see!
We found the swamps, and flew over them until we came to another river valley that led to my praying wife and very sick daughter. We flew up the river canyon, which was filled with a raging, tropical flood. As Brian carefully turned the helicopter to nose our way up the mountain side, scarcely feet over the tree tops, we popped out over the ridge to find my front yard, where Brian skillfully set the helicopter down. We gave up a prayer of praise and gratitude for our Lord’s guidance, and ran for the house. As we handed off the medicine, I looked out the window — it was pitch black. Five minutes later and we would have been caught in the dark, with nowhere to land.
God graciously spared my daughter’s life that night.
In this issue of NTM@work, you will look at facing impossibilities — those times when you can look only to God. In seemingly impossible situations that you face, you can call out to God, take that small first step of faith and find Him mighty and able.