Isn’t this worshiping God?

Klaus and Jerry busted up our pilot meeting the other day. Two old guys with a long history in Papua. Jerry was a pilot, Klaus a missionary among the Fayu, one of the most remote and primitive people groups out here. They just walked in and gave us all a magical moment.

Jerry pokes his video camera in each of our faces and asks us about ourselves. He gets to the end and says,

You guys are the next generation.
Keep fighting the fight.

Klaus points at me and says, “I knew this guy when he was just a kid in Nepal.”

He gets teary. “His dad checked the first translation I ever did, the Gospel of Luke.”

I get teary.

They’ve just come from Nepal, where the small body of believers that Klaus knew when he left in 1976 has done what followers of Jesus always do when they are persecuted: they blossomed. Jerry tells us there are 100 congregations in that people group now.

A few days after Klaus and Jerry crashed our meeting, Brad flew them out to Fayu territory. The reception was enormous, deafening … total Fayu raucousness.

A week later, it’s Saturday evening, and my phone is ringing. Jerry is desperately ill; can we pull him out on Sunday? Fayu land is so far from our base in Sentani that we can’t round-trip it without refueling … but I don’t want to stop for fuel if Jerry is as bad as I’m told.

YAJASI makes a difference out here only because we’re a team. Tonight, the team comes through. Sony and Jason give up a chunk of their Saturday evening to install the extra fuel tanks under the Porter’s wings. In the dark.

It’s still dark the next morning when my beat-up Landcruiser and I head to the hangar. I’m the last one there. The team is already in high gear. Iput is finishing fueling the under-wing tanks. Bekah is on the radio, checking the weather at our destination; she’ll stay and flight-follow us all morning. Yafet and Eko are tying down the load and getting the stretcher for me. The team is gung ho, moving fast and really kicking it to get the airplane ready.

I thank the guys profusely for working on a Sunday morning. Quizzical, Yafet looks up from putting away extra cargo straps and asks, earnestly,

Isn’t this worshiping God?

These brothers of mine get it much more than I do at times.

An hour and forty-five minutes of seemingly endless rainforest puts me over the Fayu village of Dirouw. Moments after I land, Klaus is standing at my open cockpit door. His face is pale and strained. I can tell he’s been through a tough 24 hours.

“Nate, I am so glad to see you. I am so glad to see you. Yesterday, I thought I lost him. He was totally unresponsive.”

We get Jerry on the stretcher. The Fayu chief prays for him.

Four days later I saw Jerry again. This time he was 100% vertical.

Apparently God listens to Fayu chiefs.

Read more stories on Nate’s blog.

Nate Gordon

Nate Gordon and his wife, Sheri, have served with our aviation partner YAJASI in Papua, Indonesia, since 1997.