For some time now, I have carried a vision in my heart that different organizations would work together to provide practical help and thus be a testimony of God’s love.
When we as pilots fly with teams in Madagascar, we often see people who need medical help, but whom we as Helimission cannot help directly. Besides Helimission, MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship), Nehemia and Hover-Aid are part of this project ”Medical Help Madagascar”. After several joint discussions, concrete steps were taken and conditions were created so that we could, as a unit, jointly provide efficient help in a practical way and thus be a testimony of God’s love.
Approximately once a month we as Helimission fly to the west of Madagascar and visit various villages to bring spiritual as well as medical help. A while ago, Dr. Justin, the doctor who accompanied me, introduced me to Nirina. She is 30 years old and was suffering from a large goiter on her neck, which had grown steadily over the last 10 years. She has two children, and because of her appearance, her husband had left her. Dr. Justin translated for Nirina as we asked her if she would be willing to come for surgery to the capital, Antananarivo, for one month. When we returned in July, Nirina agreed.
After initial inquiries, all the organizations involved agreed to help and this became our first “joint case”. In August, after all the necessary steps had been taken, I was able to bring Nirina with me to the capital, Antananarivo, on our next flight to the west. She knew she would be away from home for a month. Her only luggage was a backpack weighing about two kilos (4.4 pounds) with just the most essential clothing. She did not own any shoes at the time. Flying was also something unknown to Nirina. When we arrived in the capital, she saw a big city for the first time. I handed Nirina over to the person in charge from the Nehemiah organization for the next new experience: riding in a car for the first time in her life. I was proud of Nirina. Many Malagasy people are afraid of all sorts of things, but Nirina had the courage to come along alone with us and embark on this adventure.
Nehemiah and Hover Aid now worked hand in hand, and after a few medical checks Nirina’s goiter was successfully removed. During the recovery period, Nirina attended some church services in the capital. She wanted to get a Bible so she could learn more about God, but unfortunately, she is illiterate. Therefore, I obtained an audio Bible and gave it to her on the day of the return trip.
Nehemiah arranged for Nirina to get new clothes, and I was able to fly an outwardly changed person wearing new shoes, but also an inwardly changed Nirina back to her village. We landed near her home village, and there was a very joyful reunion with her children and with her mother. The villagers all wanted to examine Nirina’s “new” neck and greet her. What a joy it is to see that by working together, many organizations as one unit, we can make a difference in a person’s life. The cooperation worked excellently, and I am looking forward to further opportunities to help people in need in the future.