Our God’s Timing is Perfect!

Recently, Pilot Johnny Reeves personally encountered Isaiah 55:8-9. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Photo by Johnny Reeves

It had been a long day of flying in Southwest Papua New Guinea when I headed for Kiriwo, my third stop, to pick up a Bible translator. Upon my arrival he informed me of a nine-year-old girl who had been bitten by a poisonous Papuan black snake over 24 hours earlier. Unfortunately, my airplane was already full up with passengers, and I was close to the maximum weight allowed for Kiriwo’s runway. After learning that the girl was unresponsive and would likely die without a medevac, I formulated a plan. I could leave enough cargo behind to reduce the weight to the allowable limit and obtain approval to have another child sit on his father’s lap. That child’s seat was the extra seat I needed, so my plan would work.

With our newest passenger on board, I took off for Balimo; a small hospital there had some antivenin. They were notified of the situation while we were en route, and an ambulance was waiting when we arrived. It was getting late in the afternoon and I still had a full load of passengers to deliver to the Highlands that day, so I made an efficient turn-around and taxied back out again. When I lined up for takeoff I could see medical personnel on the side of the runway administering the antivenin before moving the girl.

I then headed for Kawito, an airstrip where I could get the fuel I needed to get back to home base and deliver my other passengers. I landed at Kawito as it was starting to rain, but after fueling in the rain, the weather cleared so we took off for Aiyura. On the way home I wondered if we would ever hear the outcome of the situation and if the girl would survive.

The following day the teenage children of our staff hosted a “hamburger night” and I ran into the translator from the prior day. He had received word that the anti venin was working; the girl was responsive again and slowly showing signs of improvement! Praise God.

Initially I had been somewhat frustrated with how the day’s schedule needed to be built because at my first stop I picked up a family with small kids. They had to endure an entire day of flying just to reach their destination, which is only a 40-minute flight if flown direct. This is often the case to help keep costs down. The day might have worked better for them if built in reverse. However, if that were the case we would have arrived to pick up the translator at Kiriwo before he had gotten word about the snake-bite victim, and we wouldn’t have been able to complete the medevac. God’s timing was perfect!

“From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy” (Psalm 61:2–3).


Johnny Reeves

Johnny Reeves

Johnny and Sarah are serving Bible translation efforts in Papua New Guinea. Johnny is a fixed-wing pilot and mechanic. Sarah is a teacher and full-time mom. Their three boys are Brody, Weston, and Jonas.