The helicopter pilot looked concerned. He turned the helicopter and looked for an emergency landing place. The weather worsened. The storm blocked us at every angle. We tried two routes to reach Manokwari from Merdey. Impossible. Then we tried to turn back.
Another storm blocked us; the fuel was low; then we lost contact with the airport control towers. Scary. We landed in a village called Horna. Masterfully, the pilot landed the Helvida helicopter in an open spot next to a school.
We got out and the entire village ran together towards us. We had the Senior Leader of the denomination with us. Daniel introduced himself and then some people recognised me. I don't know how they knew me. This was like the book of Acts: Paul destined for Rome, landed on Malta. We looked at the people and turned the occasion instantly into an outreach. My co-worker Toar said, “The people are here, we have a preacher, an interpreter, let's preach”. So we went into action!
We preached salvation, lined up the sick, and sang with the children. Then there was an “open window” in the weather. We lifted off, waving at the people. For three hours we had been missing. The airport control tower asked, “Where is this helicopter? It should have landed long ago” and the other control tower confirmed that we had left long ago. The team prayed; we prayed. What a sense of relief when we landed, alive!
Some days later, the superintendent of that village spent nine hours in a truck on very, very rough roads to come and tell us how many people got healed in that unexpected emergency meeting, including his wife. Oh Lord, how amazing are your ways; how faithful your loving kindness, seeking and saving the lost!