“Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalm 34:3-4.
On Friday September 28, 2018, the Holy Spirit prompted a Christian airline pilot to speed the departure of his Batik Air flight from Palu carrying 140 passengers, narrowly averting a potential disaster with the loss of many lives.
The epicenter of a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in a mountainous area, 48 miles from the Palu, Indonesia. Only minutes later, underwater landslides apparently triggered a massive 10 to 20-foot tsunami that swept through Palu and other coastal areas.
“All day Friday I had been feeling unsettled and I didn’t know why,” Captain Icoze Mafella recounted at a Jakarta church on Sunday September 30th.
To displace his feelings of unease, Captain Mafella – a strong Christian – began to loudly sing worship songs on his flight from Ujung Pandang to Palu. “Usually I only hummed, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could,” he said.
When they were about to land at the Palu Airport, the wind was unusually strong and he “heard a voice in his heart” directing him to circle again before landing.
After they landed, the Holy Spirit prompted him once more that he needed to be quick. He instructed his crew to take a shorter, 20-minute break, before the plane was due to take off for Jakarta via Ujung Pandang.
“I didn’t even leave the cockpit and requested permission from the control tower to depart three minutes ahead of schedule,” he recounted.
He received approval for the expedited time for takeoff.
As they sped down the airstrip, the massive earthquake began to strike Palu and both pilots felt the plane sway noticeably to the left and right. The Muslim co-pilot glanced at Captain Mafella with a look of fear in his eyes.
“If I had taken off three minutes later, I would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind,” he testified.
In times of trouble, no one is closer than Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, praise the Lord that we are His people and He is our Deliverer.
“I thank God for the mountains. I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for all He’s brought me through. For if I never had a problem. If I had never had to worry. I’d never know what faith in God could do! Through it all, through it all. I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. I’ve learned to trust in God.” – Andre Crouch
God’s Word: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” – Psalm 68:19-20.