A volunteer pilot for the American nonprofit group Mission Aviation Fellowship, Ryan Kohler, and two other MAF volunteers from South Africa were taken into custody in Mozambique more than four months ago. They are suspected of assisting rebel operations and provided a bail request. However, according to the Christian Post, it was reportedly denied by a court in Mozambique.
Detention of Mission Aviation Fellowship's Pilot and 2 Volunteers in Mozambique
On Nov. 4, 2022, Ryan Kohler, 31, and two South Africans, 77-year-old W.J. du Plessis and 69-year-old Eric Dry, were detained in the coastal city of Inhambane. They were loading supplies into the aircraft to be flown to an orphanage managed by the church in the Montepuez section of the dangerous Cabo Delgado Province. They reportedly provided a bail request in February but were denied by a Mozambique court. Moreover, the fellowship, together with Annable, wife of Kohler, calls every Christian worldwide to join them in prayer every Wednesday.
According to an update from the Mission Aviation Fellowship, on Friday, Feb. 17, Annabel thanked everyone who has been praying for her husband. In addition, Kohler's medical condition has been deteriorating; as a result, he has been experiencing severe itching, which has interrupted his sleep. Annabel said that Kohler is now feeling better due to the prayers and fasting of people.
She also revealed that Kohler was saddened after his bail application was denied. He explained to her that although the first few days after hearing the news were challenging for him, he now has peace from God and is devoted to doing what He desires. Annabel asked people to keep praying that God's comfort and strength be with Ryan as he goes through this difficult time.
On the other hand, Mission Network News stated that a representative from the United States Embassy visited Kohler earlier in the week and provided a mattress cover and other supplies purchased by Ambassador Aviation, which is under MAF in Mozambique. Accordingly, Kohler is permitted to spend one hour each day outside. They also handed over letters addressed to Kohler, which he would eventually get in the mail after their interview.
Furthermore, the investigation being conducted by the prosecutor in Mozambique is still ongoing. They hope that it will be finished by the end of the month.
Also Read: 10 'Unofficial' Chinese Priests Detained By Authorities In Hebei Province
According to the Mission Aviation Fellowship, it was initially just the desire of a few Christian air force pilots to build a fellowship. Through the years, MAF has grown into a worldwide movement with around 120 aircraft serving in over 27 countries. Tens of thousands of formerly inaccessible villages now can receive education, medical treatment, community development, disaster relief, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The organization's core mission has remained the same despite the changes in the past 75 years since MAF was established. It is to spread the love of God through the use of aviation and other technologies. Additionally, MAF wants to be a reflection of the love that Jesus had for his followers. God cared for people physically and spiritually, no matter who they were or what they were like.
Related Article: Cuba Releases Christian Pastor Detained On False Charges But Confiscates His Livelihood Tools