Flying for Life, MAF South Africa’s local initiative is reaching the isolated in Limpopo. Working in unity with each partner is key to seeing our vision of help, hope and healing materialise.
Flying for Life journeys with many different people. We never travel alone. There is an African proverb that says: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Flying for Life journeys with many different people. We never travel alone. There is an African proverb that says: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
In 2018, Flying for Life partnered with Mercy Air, a like-minded Christian Aviation organisation that has the same vision – to see isolated people spiritually and physically transformed. Their staff are missionaries with a heart for God and for people.
On one of our flights there could be nurses, doctors, photographers, logistics staff, evangelists and, of course, pilots. As a team of many different people from many different backgrounds and organisations, we collectively bring a unique set of skills and personalities. Every individual is paramount to the journey.
When we land, the collective journeying continues as we work with and coordinate many different partners on the ground. On a recent flight to the Vhembe District, we partnered with the local government to reach rural areas that do not have easy access to dental care. The government brought their dental truck, and our volunteer dentists from Johannesburg worked together with government dentists.
Mashula, a thirty-nine-year-old woman who received treatment, had experienced a year of dental pain and travelled over an hour to reach the dental truck. If city-dwellers go a month with dental pain, many would say they have left it too long. Each of the twenty-one patients that were treated have a long story of pain, but now they each carry a testimony of relief. Without collaboration, Mashula, or anyone of the twenty-one patients would have never been helped. Without you, Mashula would still be in pain.
Journeying together is a result of and a necessity for our vision of help, hope and healing in rural isolated communities of South Africa.
We love the fact that in an aircraft there are many different travellers in one vehicle, all going in one direction – a great reminder of our Christian mission. In 2019 we look forward to working in unity with many different partners, seeing more lives transformed, not just for the moment, but for years to come. Thank you for journeying with us!
In July 2013 we visited the Manenzhe Clinic, in the Mutale District where we had last flown our CHOC partners to do a CHOC Awareness Training session. These sessions train and educate healthcare professionals, healthcare workers and traditional practitioners on the early warning signs of childhood cancer. Sister Nekhubvi, a local nurse had been to this training and on our visit, told us about an 11-year-old girl with a growth on her eye.
We were able to meet with the young girl and her mother to take a photo for our team of ophthalmologists and cancer awareness trainers to assess.
If necessary, a CHOC home in Johannesburg was prepared to receive her if cancer treatment was necessary. We waited to hear the news.
With great joy we were told that the girl did not have cancer. After being checked, a diagnosis was made that it was a granuloma. We were able to fly Professor Polla Roux, our volunteer ophthalmologist, to the remote village and he was able to operate and remove the granuloma. This was to be the very first operation for the Eye Doctor Clinic flights that still take place today.
Many different partners were needed for this young girl to receive healing. It is always a privilege for Flying for Life to be a part in helping to see lives changed.