A Christian pilot heard God’s voice and saved hundreds of passengers. This is truly a miracle!
On September 28, 2018, series of earthquakes struck the province of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia with the strongest magnitude of 7.5. Following the mainshock, a tsunami struck Palu City. The dreadful event was the deadliest earthquake that struck Indonesia since 2006 with over 4000 casualties.
But a few minutes before the tragedy, a miracle happened! Captain Ricosetta Mafella of Batik Air is feeling uncomfortable during that Friday and he didn’t know why. He sang praises as hard as he can as he was flying from Ujung Pandang to Palu.
“Usually I only hummed, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could”, he said
Before landing at the Palu airport, he said he heard the Lord whispered in his heart to circle again before landing. The Palu airport was referred to as the “valleys of death” by other pilots since it is situated between two mountain ranges. Captain Ricosetta was then reminded of the Psalms 23: 4: “I may walk through valleys as dark as death but I won’t be afraid. You are with me and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.”
A moment after landing, he felt again that God told him to be quick. He didn’t leave the cockpit and instructed his crew members to just take a 20 minutes break before the plane returns to Ujung Pandang. The captain requested the control tower to depart 3 minutes ahead of schedule and upon receiving the permission, they prepared to take-off.
Captain Ricosetta confessed to breaking the flight procedure just to speed up the take-off. He didn’t know an earthquake has already hit Palu City but he did notice that the plane is swaying a little.
A few minutes after taking off, he communicated to the tower of Palu Airport but there was no response. He looked down and saw a strange phenomenon, the seawater was forming a large hole.
Upon landing at the Ujung Padung, he was told that there was an earthquake and a tsunami in Palu Airport. The traffic controller, Anthonius Gunawan Agung, who stayed in the tower to help them take-off died shortly. If they weren’t able to take-off three minutes ahead, all the passengers aboard Captain Ricosetta’s plane should have died.
Captain Ricosetta and traffic controller Anthonius are being hailed as heroes for saving 140 passengers during that tragic day.
“And whatever happens we must be calm, not in a panic so that we can clearly hear the voice of God coming to us by the Holy Spirit,” Captain Ricosetta said.
Reference: The Elijah Challenge