I can see the look of wonder in Nteboheleng’s eyes. She is gazing over her country, a view she has never before seen in her 16 years. From our vantage point of 11,500 feet, I point out different places she might know. Each one brings a smile and sometimes a giggle in excitement. She has a look of, “I can’t wait to tell my friends,” or, “wait ‘til my mom hears about this!”
I really don’t know what she is thinking though. It is clear to me that God still has a plan for her life. I’m also thinking that I am so blessed to witness her miracle.
See, although this is the first time Nteboheleng is seeing her country from the air, it is not the first time she has flown. On her first flight she was unconscious, curled into a little ball, strapped to the floor of the airplane, fighting for her very life. Begging, no, pleading for God to spare her life, I had lifted her seemingly lifeless body into the airplane and fastened the straps around her.
Almost one month earlier Nteboleheng was hit by a car. In fact, nine of her friends were also hit by the same car while walking to a school sports day. Two of the girls were killed instantly. A third died shortly after. Seven, including Nteboleheng, were medevac’d by MAF that day. It took four flights in all to collect the girls. I was honored to be the pilot of one of those flights. Nteboleheng was on the first flight, considered to be the most critical of them all.
In May alone, MAF Lesotho transported 32 such patients. Although it was an exceptional month for medevac flights, it highlights the critical role MAF plays in Lesotho’s healthcare system.
Nteboheleng’s eyes widen again; this time I’m sure it is because she has spotted home. Mom and grandmother are waiting for her when we land. I hand them her bag, wish her well, and she is on her way.
I’ve seen Nteboheleng twice since flying her home after that terrible accident. Each time she walks a little easier and looks a little healthier. I count it an absolute privilege to build a relationship with her and others like her.
MAF staff have been ministering to the girls and families affected by this tragic accident; please pray for those who are healing from injuries and grieving the loss of loved ones.