A New Airstrip Fulfills an Old Saint’s Dream

Brad in Pipal with Paulus, who first brought the gospel to his people.

Recently I had the distinct privilege of meeting one of the dearest saints ever. In the late 1970s Paulus made a long, arduous, mountain-jungle hike out of his village of Pipal to the village of Borme in the Eastern Highlands of Irian Jaya. He wanted to find out the truth about strange rumors he’d heard of someone named Jesus. Paulus believed the Truth, went to Bible school, and returned to his village with the Good News!

Paulus told us that for many years his one last wish was to see an airstrip built in his village so that his people would have access to education, medical help, and supplies. Recently I flew government inspectors to Pipal to approve their new runway, thus fulfilling Paulus’ dream. He was beaming the entire time, saying his remaining years are limited, but now he’s ready to go to heaven.

300 meters. 15% slope. Box canyon. Fog before 8:00 a.m. Wind after 9:00. A brand new airstrip: Pipal!

I’m the one receiving a blessing now: a gift of a special string bag from Paulus in appreciation for our part in helping open their new airstrip.

Good news: The Ketengban people, of which Pipal is a part, received the New Testament in their language in 1998. The Old Testament was recently completed and is being printed in Jakarta. A launch is planned for June 2014, and YAJASI will fly the books to several “hub” villages for distribution. Everywhere I go in Ketengban land—three places on that one day—people are excited and talking about it.


For more on Paulus and the process of opening this airstrip, see Choose Your Heroes Well.

Brad McFarlane

Brad is a missionary pilot with YAJASI, our partner in Papua, Indonesia. He and his wife, Susan, have served there since 1997.