Baby born mid-flight on MAF plane

By August 5, 2019

Indonesia (MNN) — Can you imagine giving birth on a plane? That’s exactly what happened recently to a mom in Papua, Indonesia.

Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Dennis Bergstrazer was flying a pregnant woman to a hospital in the city of Timika. Her husband, sister, young daughter, and a nurse were also with her.

As Bergstrazer tells it, “About halfway back to Timika, I turned around and sure enough, she was giving birth right then and there! Fortunately, the nurse was along and she had everything that she needed right there handy…. So by the time we landed 15 minutes later, the baby was of course born by that time.”

From left to right: the mother, nurse Yunita, and baby Dennis. (Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

The joyful parents named their newborn son in honor of the man who piloted their airborne maternity ward, as well as the ministry — ‘Dennis MAF’.

Although the unusual situation could have been cause for turbulence, Bergstrazer says everything went rather smoothly.

“After being on the ground for about 15 minutes here in Timika, to my surprise, [the mother] was starting to get up to walk off the airplane by herself…. The nurse asked her, ‘Are you dizzy? Do you need some help to get off the airplane?’ She said no with a smile.

“I think it’s a miracle when you take off with six people on board, and land with seven. Of course, all babies are miracles.”

This is actually the second time Bergstrazer has had a baby born on his plane. The first time, they weren’t even off the airstrip before the infant made his debut. However, this recent delivery was the first time Bergstrazer’s plane facilitated a birth mid-flight.

“I’m just happy the Lord has just brought this about to be in the right place at the right time to help somebody,” Bergstrazer says. “And it was a gift to me. My friends would say, ‘Wow, that was quite a gift. You got to have a baby born in your airplane.’ Then it wasn’t too long after that, I heard they named the baby after me, which is really an honor.

View of Nabire, Papua, Indonesia. (Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

“The previous baby that was born — not in the air but on the ground there in Ilaga actually — they named that baby ‘MAF’ too! So there’s a bit of a tradition now.”

MAF works in remote regions of Papua, Indonesia providing flights for medical, spiritual, and humanitarian services. Everything they do is in the name of Jesus.

Bergstrazer says, “I think the Gospel just kind of takes on feet, I guess you might say. We go about our day-to-day activities and look for opportunities to share the love of God and support the evangelistic work and the Church growth that is taking place interior.”

MAF could always use more pilots in Papua, Indonesia, as well as mechanics, IT technicians, and even teachers. Who knows? Maybe you’ll have a baby born on your plane too!

Learn more about serving with MAF here.




Header photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship.

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