By Stefan J. Bos, Special Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) - An American mission pilot flying much-needed coronavirus test kits to a remote village in Indonesia has died in a plane crash, her Christian aviation organization confirmed.
The Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) said 40-year-old Joyce Lin from the U.S. State of Maryland died after departing early Tuesday from the Sentani airport in Indonesia’s Papua province piloting an MAF Kodiak aircraft. “Joyce was responding to the needs of the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands, and cargo on the plane included COVID-19 rapid test kits for the local clinic. Within minutes of takeoff, she reported an emergency, and the aircraft descended into Lake Sentani.”
Joyce Lin was the only person on the airplane, MAF added in a statement seen by Worthy News. Indonesian search and rescue divers reportedly confirmed that Joyce did not survive the accident. MAF said its staff in Papua and Jakarta, the capital, are working with authorities on investigating the accident. Lin is survived by her parents and two sisters.
MAF told supporters that “Prayers for her family in this time of sudden loss are appreciated, as well as prayers for the MAF Papua team that worked by her side.” The group said that Lin would be remembered as someone who “loved working for MAF in Indonesia, where she served as a pilot and field [Information Technology] IT support specialist.”
Though she served the group just two years—one in Central Java for language school and another in Sentani—“her impact was significant,” MAF stressed.
“Joyce repeatedly shared how joy-filled she was in the weeks before she went to join the Lord.” The final sentence of Joyce Lin’s MAF biography reads: “While Joyce will always be excited to fly planes and work on computers, she is most excited to share the love of Jesus Christ. By helping to transform other people’s deep discouragement and mourning into dancing and joy.”
MAF called the Christian woman “ a light-reflecting Jesus” and said, “she will be deeply missed.” MAF said preparations for memorial services ago online tributes were underway.
Established in 1946, MAF has grown into a mission group using light aircraft to Christian and humanitarian agencies, as well as thousands of isolated missionaries and indigenous villagers in the world's most remote areas.