Many have read about the aviation miracle in Indonesia where a Christian pilot saved 140 passengers lives. The story quickly went viral but it opens up many questions as to why God saves some and not others. How Can We Trust Him When Others are Harmed?
Ultimately God is sovereign and He is always whispering words of wisdom and knowledge to our spirit, but sadly we don’t always hear. But look what happens when we are in communion with Him, and act on that still, small voice within. There is perhaps no better example than this miracle in Indonesia….
Aviation Miracle in Indonesia
On September 28, 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Palu, Indonesia, taking hundreds of lives and wreaking considerable damage to the region. However, in the midst of this, one pilot testified to a miracle that saved his passengers’ lives when he heard God’s audible voice.
Speaking to a church congregation in the nation’s capital, Jakarta, Captain Ricosetta Mafella of Batik Air shared the events that led to him taking off three minutes earlier from Palu Airport than scheduled, thereby saving everyone on board.
The fateful day started off with Captain Mafella feeling uneasy, in fact, he felt so disturbed that he had been singing worship songs during the whole incoming flight to Palu from Ujung Pandang. His Muslim co-pilot even jestingly suggested he could make a CD of worship songs!
“Usually I only hum, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could,” Captain Mafella shared.
When they arrived in the skies above Palu, the captain heard a voice in his heart telling him to circle again before landing. The airport is surrounded by two mountain ranges and pilots have to be extra careful while landing. For this reason, he was reminded of Psalm 23:4 that says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Fortunately, they landed safely but then he had this feeling that they needed to speed up their stopover. So he let the crew take only a 20-minute break before they departed for Jakarta via Ujung Pandang again. He felt such an urgency inside that he even requested that the aircraft be permitted to leave three minutes ahead of schedule.
After the air traffic controller (Anthonius Gunawan Agung who sadly lost his life) granted him permission for an early take-off, they immediately set off. The captain told the church congregation that he had actually overridden the usual flight procedures and taken over the co-pilot’s role just to speed up their take-off.
He wondered why, but his hand kept on holding on to the lever. His co-pilot looked fearful when he brazenly did this as the plane’s body was strangely swaying left and right. Right then, unbeknownst to them, Palu below them had been hit by an earthquake.
Captain Mafella tried to communicate with the control tower several minutes later but received no response. To his shock, a startling phenomenon was happening below them as he looked down. The seawater beneath was forming a huge hole and the foundation of the seabed could be seen…
When the plane arrived at Ujung Pandang, Captain Mafella heard the news that a tsunami had hit Palu. Moreover, the official in the control tower who he had spoken to, had died shortly after he had guided them through their safe departure.
Our prayers go out to the families
Captain Mafella emphasized how crucial it is to be sensitive to the voice of God. According to his testimony, if he hadn’t taken off three minutes earlier, he would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind.
He concluded his testimony with a vital lesson. He says that whatever happens we must be calm and avoid panic so that we can clearly hear God’s instructions coming to us through the Holy Spirit.
In the midst of this miracle in Indonesia, we can learn a great lesson from the Captain’s testimony. Our prayers continue to go out to the families of all who were affected and who are still rebuilding their lives. We pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to comfort them in their grief and that God would provide for all who have lost their homes.
Source: The Elijah Challenge