Missionary Pilot Nate Gordon has had the chance to fly all sorts of people, cargo, and even animals around the mountains of Papua, Indonesia. Recently he wrote about a small passenger he transported eight years ago:
Eight years ago I flew a man named Melky from our base on the coast across the high mountain ranges into the small village of Langda. Graying at the temples, this grandfatherly guy clutched a newborn baby boy to his chest. An unwanted child.
As pilots in Papua, we’re often privileged to enter into the critical scenes of the dramas happening around us. The vast majority of time, after playing our cameos, we exit stage left, move on to another play, and don’t get to see how the original story turns out. Occasionally there’s an exception. village of Langda. Graying at the temples, this grandfatherly guy clutched a newborn baby boy to his chest. An unwanted child.
A few months ago I was back in Langda. The fog was rolling in fast and I needed to unload my cargo and get out of there as quickly as practical. Two passengers wanted to come out to town with me, one of them a familiar face.
“I want you to meet someone,” Melky says to me.
“Do you remember?” he said. “In August 2005 you flew us in here. My wife and I have been raising him ever since.”
These are the people I choose as my heroes. Anonymous, little people, doing much harder things than I, sacrificing so much more … doing it cheerfully and taking the time to thank others who have played bit parts (supporting roles) in their dramas.
This story was originally posted on Nate’s blog, where he writes about the day-to-day work of a pilot supporting Bible translation: http://offthepath.wanderprone.com