On 8 July, a Friday evening in Nairobi, Kenya, MAF’s South African relief pilot Mark Liprini began reading the news of trouble in Juba, South Sudan. The newest country in the world had exploded once again with a night of heavy gunfire and bloodshed in the capital Juba.
“The next morning I had a MAF Kenya charter flight scheduled,” Mark remembers. “As I was reading my devotions, completely unrelated to what I was reading, a scripture from Esther chapter four came to mind where Mordicai is talking to Queen Esther and says, ‘and who knows but that you’ve come to your royal position for such a time as this.’ It was that last part of the verse that just stuck in my mind that whole morning. ‘For such a time as this.’ I really believe the Lord was saying to me, ‘I’ve positioned you here for this time.’ It was a great encouragement to me over the weeks as I flew a lot and moved around quite a lot that the Lord had brought me here for this time to serve Him in this situation.”
Following the crisis and resulting tension and insecurity, MAF South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda worked together with AIM Air and Samaritan’s Purse to coordinate the heavy increase in flight requests, both for evacuations and urgent supplies needed in northern counties that were unaffected by the violence but cut off from the regular Juba cargo flights. Mark Liprini was immediately repositioned with a Cessna Caravan in Loki, Kenya where he was based off and on for over a month providing MAF South Sudan and Kenya with an indispensable pilot at the right place, for such a time as this.
“For the future in South Sudan, it seems pretty uncertain right now,” Mark reflected as he headed home for a much needed break. “There are rumors of more trouble. We really don’t know right now. But in the meantime, MAF is going to continue serving the people of South Sudan the best we can.”