Your distress, my miracle
By Tohru Inoue | Kenya in East Africa
A Cessna 206 plane. Representative photo by SIM South Sudan.
Difficulty, even tragedy, can overcome us at any time and in any number of ways. This week’s earthquakes in Turkey and Syria are a stark reminder of that. Sometimes our worst fears are avoided; often they are not. But this story of an air disaster miraculously averted helps us remember that, even in the darkest moments, God is working all things together for good.
On September 10, 2019, a single engine Cessna 206 plane being flown by an SIM mission worker developed an in-flight emergency. The engine cut out, forcing the pilot and co-pilot to glide down to safety in a remote area of the Pokot region in Northern Kenya.
After a few tense moments – and a textbook emergency landing - all on board made it out safely. But the plane was now stranded in the desert. Mobile phone coverage can be spotty in these sparsely populated northern regions but, thankfully, they found a signal and were able to call for help. A team was dispatched from the capital Nairobi to retrieve the crew and passengers. Another multi-agency team followed with a truck later to tow the plane home.
But the apparently lonely landing site was not so lifeless as the pilots first thought. While they waited for the recovery team, they were being watched. A man walking nearby had seen the plane glide down quietly from the sky. He met the pilots stepping out of the plane on their unscheduled visit.
Pastors nearby heard about the plane coming down from the heavens.
It stirred something. Maybe they thought it was God was speaking, dropping hints from above.
Two years later, for most who had heard of the near miss, the event had been erased from memory. But, up there in Pokot, a little church had sprouted not far from where the plane came to rest.
The pastor in the region saw God’s hand and planted a church among the 10,000 people of his own tribe living in an area thought to be insecure and uninhabited. The community invited them to start a church. The elders even said that there must have been a big God holding up the plane and protecting everyone.
Flying above the Pokot region today, if you look out of the window at the right time, you’ll see the small church-plant in Naduume, close to the open area where the plane landed.
A near miss for some; a miracle for others. It all depends on where you’re standing.
From where I’m standing, that’s pretty amazing.
•For all who are experiencing tragedy, that they might know and trust the Father’s goodness.
•For the continued growth of the church in Pokot and the spread of gospel hope throughout Northern Kenya.
•For safety and continued success in the essential work of aviation ministries to isolated areas.