Joyce Lin, a missionary delivering coronavirus test kits to a remote village in Indonesia, died on an airplane crash on Tuesday. Lin worked as a Kodiak pilot and IT specialist for the Idaho-based Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
“She departed the Sentani, Papua, Indonesia airport early in the morning of May 12, piloting an MAF Kodiak aircraft. Joyce was responding to the needs of the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands and cargo on the plane included COVID-19 rapid test kits for the local clinic,” MAF said in a statement.
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“Within minutes of takeoff, she reported an emergency and the aircraft descended into Lake Sentani,” the statement also mentioned. It also revealed that Joyce rode the plane alone.
“Our hearts are broken as we grieve her death, but we are also encouraged knowing that she gave her life to a work that she absolutely loved doing,” said David Holsten, MAF’s president and CEO.
“Joyce embodied so much of what we love to see in MAF staff,” he added. “She was following a call from God to serve others. Joyce was invested in the local culture and maintained a deep connection to her family, friends, and supporters around the world. She was professional in her IT work and in her flying, and well-loved by those she served.”
According to Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, a Papua police spokesman, Lin apparently had technical problems two minutes after takeoff. She sent out a distress call and requested a return to the airport. However, the control tower lost contact with her, as reported by Fox News. Indonesian Search and Rescue divers found her body two hours after the accident.
Fox News also reported that Lin was delivering supplies to the indigenous Papuan people – including COVID-19 rapid test kits, books, food, and school kits.