Chat with a Cannibal

Pilots have the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Check out some folks Brad recently encountered while flying for YAJASI in Indonesia.

Starting a new day           Photo credit: Tim Harold

Crimson red streaks in the eastern sky announced the sun would join me shortly as I prepared the Pilatus Porter airplane for ministry work. The hot tropical air always feels like a wet blanket wrapped around me, and the sun really makes it steamy. I was looking forward to leveling off at cool altitudes, landing at mountain runways nestled in scenic green valleys, and serving the people we love.

An hour later I circled over the village of Borme to check out the runway and started the approach. The landing committal point passed and trees whizzed by the wingtips as the wheels rolled along. I added power to get to the top of the runway, turned around, and shut down—everything just like normal. I like to keep flying uneventful!

As the turbine engine slowly spooled down, I looked out my side window … and saw a cannibal coming my way! But good news today for me: he’s a former cannibal. Because of what Jesus has done in his life, I don’t have to worry about being on the menu today. He’s my old friend Pastor Elkanius, now a committed child of the King with the job of overseeing five church congregations. We chatted for a while and took a selfie, of course. Watch a short video of Elkanius’ cannibal testimony here.

Elkanius, Filipus, and me. Sinners redeemed!

I’ve encountered some other special friends in the course of carrying out the Lord’s work here in Indonesia.

I met these boys in Sikmo when we helped show the JESUS film there last month. It was well received.


More men from Sikmo where Andy and I took the JESUS film.


Timius, a former Kosarek war chief

Timius is an elder member of the clan that donated land in the 1970s to build the airstrip that supports air service to the Kosarek area. Prior to this, the clan used the land as sacred ground for tribal worship to appease spirits. Now this same ground serves a new purpose: It gives YAJASI and other aviation services access so Bible translators can fly to the area and share God’s true sacred words with the Kosarek people.

Brad McFarlane

Brad McFarlane

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