As we bounced back and forth through the waves and many rapids on the Biak River, I looked over at my dad who lay lifeless in the bottom of the boat. At times, it seemed like he was really struggling to even take a breath. We had no airstrip near us. Would we make the two day trip downriver to the nearest airstrip in time?
It was 1981, but it seems like yesterday. My dad and mom were pioneer church planters in the island nation of Indonesia. We, as a family, had arrived by boat (2 day trip) to the village of Beginci Laut, on the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), a few weeks prior. We did not have a house yet, so we lived in a very small, tribal, village hut. This hut had bamboo floors, bark walls, thatched roof, and of course no plumbing. The river was our running water.
We were not there very long, when my dad became very sick. We knew we needed to get him to medical help as soon as possible. We had no air-strip, so our only choice was to leave by boat. We lived on a river that had numerous rapids and twisted and wound its way through the western province of Kalimantan. We needed someone who knew the river and could handle the 25 horsepower outboard motor. God provided a village man who was very capable of navigating the river. A lot of miracles happened on that trip (I could write pages). On the morning of the third day, we were picked up by an MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) airplane, and flown to the Baptist hospital. My dad’s kidneys had shut down, but God spared his life! THANK YOU LORD, FOR THE MAF PLANE AND PILOT WHO FLEW MY DAD TO MEDICAL HELP!
Years later, I was back in Indonesia with my own family. This time we lived on the island of Ambon, the capital of the Maluku islands (the spice islands). Our second year there, our baby girl, Kortney, became very ill and was under her birth weight at 6 weeks old. Bart flew Kortney and I in the NTM Aviation plane to good medical help in Australia. THANK YOU LORD, FOR USING THE AIRPLANE ONCE AGAIN TO SAVE ANOTHER LIFE!!!
Dad and Kortney—2012
Today we are serving with UIM Aviation, whose focus is serving UIM, NTM, and other church-planters in Mexico and the Southwest US. The airplane is a tool we use to help save lives–not only physically, but spiritually.
Today, I sit here, thankful to God for airplanes. I am thankful for pilots who go through many years of training to be able to serve others by flying. I am thankful I still have my dad and daughter here on this earth. I am thankful for you, our family and friends, who have stood by us all these years!
THANK YOU LORD!
With a GRATEFUL Heart,
Kim for us all
Thank you Lord, for the airplane!
“ I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.” Phil. 1:3