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Doctors went into the village to help those who couldn't walk to the clinic.

Mending Bodies and Relationships

Kodiak Brings Much-needed Help

Can a medical team traveling to an out-of-the-way island of Asia Pacific make a difference for Christ?  Steffan Pyle, manager of NTM Aviation in Asia Pacific, certainly hoped so.  He’d committed sponsorship funds to fly a volunteer Christian medical team to conduct a bush clinic for the isolated Taliabo people.  Now to see what God would do …. 

As pilot Patrick “Pappy” Frey landed the Kodiak on the isolated island, he knew the drill.  He must immediately report to an official of the area – an exacting man with lots of misgivings with the church and the Taliabo believers.  He liked using his power to discourage people from listening to church teaching or even from helping to keep the airstrip in shape. 

“The airstrip doesn’t benefit you, only the church,” he’d say. 

Accustomed to the plane bringing “white men” to assist the church, this man was in for a surprise this time.  Pappy, the pilot, was the only white guy.  He brought with him a national team — two general practitioners, a dentist, a dermatologist, a pharmacy technician, and a respected national missionary.  The doctors came volunteering their time and supplies to care for everyone —  not just the church people.   

As Pappy checked in, one of the doctors noticed the official's son.  What was that all over his body?  Some strange rash. 

“Bring him to the clinic,” they urged.  But the father brushed off their offer of help.

After getting this official's approval, the team immediately got to work setting up a tidy four-room clinic using bamboo poles and tarps.  Word got around, and hundreds of people streamed in for this rare opportunity for medical help. 

During the very first day, who should show up at the clinic but the official and his son! – a huge step for them in this shame-based culture.   No questions asked, the doctors examined the boy and prescribed lotion for his condition, a very treatable skin irritation. 

What a breakthrough!  Will  this clinic be the catalyst for finally mending relationships between the Taliabo believers and their village leader?  Will this show the Taliabo people that they are loved and cared for even if they are not associated with the church?

Tags: Asia-Pacific region, Aviation, Kodiak Aircraft
POSTED ON Jan 07, 2016