Mozambique (MNN) — Just over three months ago, American missionary pilot Ryan Koher was provisionally released from prison in Mozambique. Ryan, a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship (known in Mozambique as Ambassador Aviation), was detained along with two South African men in November while preparing to transport orphanage supplies and accused of “supporting terrorism.” The case is still open.
Back on Ambassador Aviation’s base in Mozambique, Ryan shares, “We’re waiting for the investigators to finish their investigation, and then the case will go to a judge and we’ll see if they’re going to press charges or drop the case, or if there’s going to be some sort of a hearing.”
Ryan’s wife Annabel and their two young sons are on the ministry’s Mozambique base with him. Since Ryan is unable to leave Mozambique (a provision of his release), they are trying to soak up this time together as a family. Ryan is free to travel within Mozambique, but cannot “work” since he does not have a current work visa.
Annabel says, “Life is somewhat normal because now we’re back in our house and we’re able to do day-to-day stuff. So in one sense, it’s not as hard. But in another sense, it’s hard because it’s almost like our life is on hold right now.
“We can’t make any decisions for our family for the future…and so it almost feels like our family is on hold…. We just don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know how the case is going to end.”
In the meantime, Ryan and his family are living out what it means to walk by faith.
Ryan shares, “I think people would think that I personally would be impatient or anxious. But really, I’m not feeling that. Definitely, there are hard aspects of waiting, like I’m not able to work and not able to drive or fly. So it’s kind of a little bit stuck.
“But I believe that God has a purpose for this time and that there’s no wasted time with God. So I kind of have peace in that — knowing that He has a plan and He’ll take care of me and take care of us, as He has in amazing ways so far.”
A significant way Ryan has seen the Lord’s provision is through tangible support and prayers from fellow believers around the world who are following this case.
Ryan says, “One of the biggest blessings I had in prison was knowing there were so many people on the outside who were caring and praying and taking care of my family, sending meals and clothes and toiletries and things like that — as well as people working relentlessly on the legal side of things as well. So through that, I can see it was a work of God having His Church come behind me in that way.”
As the waiting continues, Ryan offers three specific prayer needs.
“The things that we need prayer for are a quick and desirable outcome for the case, and that we’d be able to return to the US soon and take our furlough and get additional training and support there.
“Also, another big prayer request that we have is that we’ll be able to return to Mozambique and continue to serve here once our time in the US is over.
“Then the last thing would be just [prayers for] wisdom on how to best use this story…to glorify God in the best way.”
Check back tomorrow as Ryan and Annabel talk more about their passion for ministry in Mozambique!
Header photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship, used with permission from the Koher family.