Diamond Smugglers to the Rescue

One trip south to Kajiji, by the Angolan border, MAF planned to take Dad and his group to a Mennonite mission station there. It was Jean Sakala, Dede Kikavuanga Dongo, Paul and Joseph Tsasa. They needed two thousand dollars minimum for the trip (two return flights to the MAF station for dropoff and pickup). The two brothers seemed to always get sick when flying and by the time they arrived at the station they were green in the face.

They were feeling so sick that they laid out on the ground in the shade of the Cessna’s wings and the pilot hung around a little longer than customary to make sure they were OK. There was a great procession of greeting and singing in good Congolese fashion, choirs singing, children waving and cheering. Eventually the commotion died down and people trickled away when they understood there would be some delay until these boys recovered.

The unusual delay brought just the right window of opportunity for what followed. Two men approached the pilot and group out of breath, exhausted and anxious looking, sweating all over. They were urgently asking the pilot to fly them out of there…it appeared anywhere was fine.