One Last Prayer

Can dirt, grass and rocks transform people’s lives?

The Ketenban people of Papua’s Eastern Highlands can now read the Bible in their heart language, thanks to the fulfillment of a lifelong dream that a villager named Paulus had—a dream that JAARS and our partner YAJASI helped make possible.

One day, Paulus left his village of Pipal to hike over mountains to explore rumors he’d heard about someone named Jesus. After hearing the missionaries’ words, Paulus attended Bible school, then returned to his village with the Good News.

Airstrips like this one allow planes to land safely, bringing much-needed supplies and personnel to remote locations.

Paulus spent the rest of his life hiking across the Eastern Highlands, carrying God’s message of peace to warring people who had never heard it. But Paulus realized he couldn’t continue forever, given the challenges of the terrain and his age. He confided to Nate Gordon, a pilot with YAJASI, that he had one last prayer before he died: “that my home village, the most isolated of the area, would have an airstrip.”

Paulus had one last prayer: that one day there would be an airstrip in his remote village of Pipal in Papua, Indonesia.


With this prayer in mind, inhabitants of the community set out to build an airstrip. Twenty years later the villagers finished scratching a landing strip out of the mountainside.

YAJASI pilot Brad McFarlane flew the first aircraft into Pipal, loaded with boxes of translated Old Testaments. He shares his experience after landing: “A reception committee in full ceremonial dress met the aircraft. After a prayer of thanksgiving, pastors and elders from the seven churches in the valley received boxes filled with the words of their Creator.”

So yes, dirt, grass and rocks can open the way to transformation.

For more than 70 years, with your help, JAARS has trained aviators like Brad to assess and test new airstrips in remote locations so they can continue to deliver Bibles to people like Paulus.

Your gifts to our aviation solutions provides for vital aviation training, aircraft maintenance, and fleet renewal. Learn more here.