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Mission Log: Working Together for a Common Good

Wednesday, March 31, 2010…Gather good people in a troubled place, give them purpose -- give them a KODIAK -- and they will make the good even better.

That's a conclusion we've come to expect from the news arriving through the mission groups that are putting KODIAK to work. We are extremely grateful to hear from them because they’re sharing something we couldn't expect…something we’d honestly only hoped for.

With two KODIAKs hard at work in Haiti we hear a good deal about capability. For example, one of the more typical loads is MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) provided via the UN’s World Food Program.

Each flight delivers between 1,000 and 1,300 meals to villages like Mare Rouge where local families are doing their best to house and feed the overwhelming number of displaced people who have flooded in from larger cities like Port Au Prince. There is a lot of food in those packages.

From time to time we also hear stories that really bring the crisis home.

Recently we heard about Julane, a young Haitian girl who was injured in the earthquake when falling concrete compressed her spine against her spinal cord and cut off feeling to her legs. Because the medical facilities in Port Au Prince were overrun she was taken 100 miles southwest to Les Cayes but doctors there determined they could not take the pressure off her spine. Fortunately they were able to find a doctor with the University of Miami Medical Facility, which is set up like a MASH unit just behind the MAF compound back in Port Au Prince. So she was loaded in the Samaritan’s Purse KODIAK and brought, with her mother, to the best medical care on the Island. The last we’ve heard of Julane is that she was feeling pain in her knee and, having felt nothing in her legs for weeks, this was very good sign.

These are the kinds of amazing stories we keep hearing from Haiti. They show the kind of work we have always expected KODIAK to shoulder. But, from time to time, we catch a glimpse of something we had only hoped for, and it’s not just in seeing what happened…but how it happened.

You see, the medical evacuation that brought Julane to hospital was organized by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)…and flown by a JAARS pilot with his former Moody Aviation instructor…all in a Samaritan's Purse KODIAK. These organizations are brothers and sisters who serve a common goal and it is a thrill to witness this incredible cooperative effort and see these groups continue to grow together in common, capable, equipment.

Meanwhile these, and many other, mission aviation groups now either fly, or are waiting for, their own KODIAK. Nine are currently in the hands of mission organizations worldwide.

The point is simple: An aircraft is a connection. It bridges the gap between people, places, and things. And while it's true that the KODIAK does much of its work in the air, it also serves as common ground. And, quite often, that makes all the difference.