Story by Beth Round, Photos by Nick Frey, Maguy Makusudi Zabibu
When war broke out, Maguy had to find a way to get herself and her children to safety. Twenty-five years later, she met MAF Pilot Nick Frey, and shared the incredible story of how God provided an MAF flight that saved their lives.
In 1996 war broke out in Zaire, (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo). At the time Maguy was a young married woman working in Bukavu. Her little family was growing; she and her husband had been blessed to welcome a baby girl and were excited to have a second child on the way.
As the war intensified, rebel forces moved to take control of areas along the country’s border and the violence moved towards Bukavu, where Maguy and her family were living. Hearing that the rebels were headed to the town, people began to panic and flee.
“It was a desperate situation, everyone was working hard to go out of this town, to go into a safer place,” Maguy reflects.
The only way to leave immediately was on foot. This would be daunting for anyone, let alone Maguy who was pregnant, and also had her 7-month-old daughter in her arms to care for. “I just couldn’t make it,” she shares.
Desperate to find safety for herself and her children, she began to look for other ways to leave – any other way to get away from the violence that was coming. She connected with her sister, whose husband worked as a pastor with a mission group in the area. They found out that there was an MAF evacuation flight leaving the area soon.
Thankfully there was enough room on the flight for Maguy and her baby. Her husband wasn’t able to make the flight and had to flee on foot, only willing to leave his wife and children knowing that they would be flown to safety. A strong, young man, he barely survived the journey through the forest and the hills to rejoin his family.
Hope lights up Maguy’s face as she shares about how God provided, and how much that MAF flight means to her and her children, “Thanks to God, I got this opportunity to fly with MAF from Bukavu to Nyankunde, where MAF is based. Just two days after, Bukavu was taken by the rebels. She shares that he father-in-law was killed in the fighting, and they still do not know where he was buried. So many lost their lives in the violence, they were told that mass graves were used to bury the bodies.
“It was really a desperate situation, and I wanted very much to give my testimony of how MAF saved my life,” Maguy beams, “I don’t know how I could make it from Bukavu to somewhere else, to a safer area, but with MAF I was able to quit Bukavu and get to a safer place! I was saved myself, my baby of 7 months, and even my boy whom I was carrying at that time because I was pregnant.”
Today, Maguy works with a humanitarian aid agency as Deputy Program Manager of their Human Development Team. Her children are now in their twenties, and her daughter is studying in university.
“I praise the Lord for this wonderful work that MAF is doing in Congo. They are really saving lives. They can go where no one can go. They can stay even when the situation got really worse…but, they stay to save lives. Let God bless MAF! Let God bless all that support MAF in this wonderful job that they are doing,” she gushes.
We’re blessed to hear the story of God’s plans for Maguy, and her family, and to have played a part in saving their lives for a future He continues to lead.