The Yali tribe in Papua, Indonesia, once very hostile, are now enjoying the Word of God translated in their language after pilots dropped off 2,500 Bibles.
In August of this year, according to a report, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) out of the UK, flew this precious cargo to the Yali tribe. They brought 1,100 Bibles and 1,400 children’s Bibles to the remote Papuan villages of Holuwon, Oakbisik, and DeKai.
In Oakbisik, people from neighbouring villages walked for a whole day just to receive a Bible.
MAF is made up of pilots and missionaries who deliver relief workers, doctors, pastors, school books, food, medicines - everything that can only be safely and speedily delivered by air - to remote places in the world.
According to their website, their "vision is to see 'isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ's name."
One of the pilots who brought his load filled with hope recalls landing and having many people right outside singing praises and chanting in their language.
"It felt like we were on holy ground. It was a holy moment - one to be remembered," says Dave Ringenberg, Instructor Pilot and Director of Papua Operations.
Another pilot shares his experience in a recent YouTube video, saying, "I wish you could all be here and witness the joy in these people's faces and in their lives."
Missionaries started reaching the Yuli tribe 55 years ago. Back in 1965, a group of missionaries went to Papua, Indonesia to start sharing the gospel to a people that had been fully remote until that point.
"We didn't know anything about the outer world. We had never seen an airplane," says one Yali tribesman.
In 1968, the organization started translating the Bible into the Yali tribe's language, with the first book of the Bible translated was the gospel of Mark.
This was done by World Team missionary, Stan Dale, and a Yali man named Luliap Pahabol. Luliap was the very first Yali man to receive the gospel.
A short while later, Dale and his missionary teammate, Phil Masters, were tragically killed by tribesmen who were waiting for them.
"We really lived in the stone age, killing our enemies, killing and eating each other," says the Yali tribesmen in the video.
Now all these years later, the tribe is excited to receive the gospel, through the Word of God.
One female leader of the Yali tribe can be seen holding up the Bible during a recent ceremony, saying, "This will be our freshwater. Now we can read it in our mother tongue."
Today there are over 100 churches among the Yali.