Airborne Connections

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Airborne Connections

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Part 2.
What God is doing in people's lives


Testimonies Index

Ethiopian Airlines Ditching AAACF Newsline
Healing from cancer Capt Bob Palliaer
Where Angels fear to Tread Alexander Erdelyi
Why did you become a Christian? Dr David Yonggi Cho
The loss of her Husband Serena Koh


Getting your Faith Airborne

Reflections, food for thought!
Good News Update
Q & A on the faith journey
Does God have a call on your life?
Entree to Faith in Christ 
Airborne Bulletins
On Line course on following Christ


Ethiopian Airlines Ditching

flight961.jpg (9995 bytes)

The stewardesses greeted the passengers warmly as they boarded the Ethiopian 767 for the flight from Addis Ababa on the morning of Tuesday Nov 23rd, 1996. The aircraft took off and headed eastward as normal. No one anticipated this would be an eventful flight with many of the passengers and crew meeting their Maker sooner than they thought.

Shortly after it was airborne three armed hijackers entered the cockpit and demanded that the captain change course for Australia.

There was some violence, so the Captain obeyed their commands, but pointed out that they had insufficient fuel to complete the journey. Despite this the hijackers remained adamant, and it became clear that the aircraft would run out of fuel and have to ditch in the sea at the Comoros Islands.

Prior to descending, two Christian stewardesses on-board had time to pray and witness to some of the other crew members in a galley - and continued to pray for the passengers and crew until the aircraft hit the water.

Also one of the passengers was Andrew Meekens, who was an elder in the International Evangelical Church of Addis Ababa. According to survivors of the crash ~ after the pilot announced he would attempt an emergency landing Meekens stood up and spoke, calming the passengers. Meekens then presented the gospel of Jesus Christ and invited people to respond. A surviving flight attendant said that about twenty people accepted the invitation for salvation, including a flight attendant who did not survive the crash.

The photo above comes from a video taken by a holiday maker on the beach at the Comoros Islands - and this was seen on television throughout the world.

Although many on board perished, 46 passengers, the cockpit crew and the two Christians belonging to the Ethiopian Airline Fellowship survived the accident.

AAACF Newsline, January 1997 and subsequent report.
See also: Air Safety


Faith for Healing

By Capt Bob Palliaer

BobPal.jpg (24763 bytes)

December 1992

During July and August of 1992 I was in Stockholm, Sweden attending an engineering and simulator course with Scandinavian Airlines. This was in preparation for commencing flying duties with the relaunched Compass Airlines in Australia.

Shortly after my arrival I started bleeding quite heavily internally and wasted no time in immediately consulting a doctor and making preparations to return to Australia. Over the next few days an exhaustive series of tests, x-rays and ultra sound examinations came up negative and after consultation with the doctors I decided to complete the course.

On my return to Australia I consulted again with a local doctor and once again a series of tests gave no indication of any detectable problem. The matters under consideration were blood or urine infections, kidney stones, prostate problems and of course a tumour. However, the possibility of a tumour had been ruled out by all the doctors due to my age, excellent health and general fitness with no indications whatsoever of any aches or pains at any stage.

A consultation with a specialist urologist resulted in a cystoscophy being decided upon as a final course of action. To the surprise of the urologist and my wife and I a 3cm malignant tumour was discovered within and at the base of my bladder. Further devastating news awaited us when the biopsy report a few days later indicated that the cancer was -

1) Extremely rare and aggressive;
2) Potentially invasive of the entire body;
3) Not responsive to chemotherapy ray treatment.

During the few days between the tumour being removed from my bladder and the biopsy report my wife and I decided against further medical treatment of any nature. I would not have the bladder removed and we would simply adopt an attitude of hands off. Consequently the specialists report following the biopsy suited us fine as it removed the possibility of conflict with doctors, family and friends. The specialist's view was that we should think seriously about bladder removal and that I should undergo a further internal examination in 3 months. His prognosis for my future was not favourable.

On our return to our cottage in the country, I thought hard and long about the problem facing us. Both my wife and I were still suffering the shock of the news we had received, however, having discussed over the years death and dying, we were perhaps a little prepared and able to talk quite rationally about things.

We decided that one could survive cancer and that we would be amongst those that were fortunate enough to do so. Having decided that - it was now a matter of how? It seemed to me that if I stayed well rested and relaxed, maintained a positive attitude and ensured a healthy diet we would be well on the way - but I also felt it required something more! The day after we returned home my wife came out to the back garden where I had been sitting and thinking, to inform me a friend she had been talking to on the phone wished to come immediately and say prayers for me. I think we both knew at that moment that if we handed the problem over to the Lord I would be healed.

Our friend came to our house with her sister and brother-in-law, who were members of a healing church in Ulverstone, Tasmania. A hands on prayer service including the prayer of faith was conducted, and my wife and I felt instantly that from that moment on we need have no fears.

Our new found friends from Tasmania continued to have prayer sessions during the remainder of their stay and on their departure presented me with Canon Jim Glennon's book: "Your Healing is Within You".

I read the book thoroughly and as it was suggested that I contact the elders of the local church to pray for me. I also asked for an anointing service to be held and consequently over a period of eight weeks I was anointed and had hands on healing and prayer services on four occasions, including once at the hospital on my next visit prior to exploratory surgery.

Through a series of events we also established contact with St. Paul's Anglican Church in Malvern Victoria - and I commenced regular conversations and prayer sessions via the telephone with Noel Wood, a counsellor from the Church.

My wife and I involved the Church, all our friends both here and overseas and our relatives. Consequently we were placed on the prayer list of numerous church groups and individuals. I also maintained an absolute faith and belief that all would be well - and was assisted here by Noel Wood, who propped me up with prayer and his own faith anytime I faltered.

We were also fortunate that during this period Father Tom Drought from Adelaide was sent on relieving duties to the Church that my wife and I were attending for prayer services. He was a great believer in the healing ministry and conducted the majority of the anointing and healing services that I experienced. He, like Noel and myself also had absolute faith that I would be healed, and was a great source of inspiration to my wife and myself.

There is a common thread through all of this that intrigues me. Canon Jim Glennon had visited St. Pauls Anglican Church some years ago to conduct healing services. Our friends from Tasmania had also up with Jim Glennon. Father Tom Drought's own father had been ministering at St. Paul's during his years in the ministry and now he himself was in our area in my time of need. Further to this, Father Tom and Jim Glennon are known to each other. Our first contact with St. Paul's came about due to a chance conversation with a friend, whom we had not been in touch with for some time, who suggested we contact St. Paul's for assistance with my healing.

Eight weeks after the original diagnosis, at the request of the specialist, I re-entered hospital for another cystoscophy, the result was -

1) No tumour regrowth;
2) No evidence of any cancer cells.

Needless to say the specialist and his colleagues were pleased - but extremely surprised at this result. Apparently I am one of forty cases documented world wide to have contracted this particular cancer and the survival rate, to use the doctors own words, "is not good".

During the eight-week period between the first and second diagnosis I experienced an overwhelming feeling of well being. There were occasions on about a weekly basis when virtually "out of the blue" my mind would be filled with the knowledge that all is well and that I had been healed. The day after we arrived home with the good news, I experienced this feeling and knowledge again but this time I was conscious also that my healing was complete. I have experienced none of these feelings since.

My wife and I praise and bless the Lord, and all the people who assisted and supported us - that all is now well and we feel truly blessed indeed.

BobRobin.jpg (34915 bytes)

Robyn and Bob Palliaer


PS: Since this report Bob has regained his Australian Airline Pilot's Transport Licence and has been flying as a Captain with Air Nauru on their B737.


Where Angels Fear to Tread

On the fourth Friday of each month, a young man would hurry home at midday to his family. But it was not a hot lunch that awaited him. After some quick hugs for his children and a tight embrace from his wife, he would bid them goodbye.

“The Lord be with you,” his wife would whisper, “see you tomorrow?”

Or maybe in 10 years, he thought as he rushed down the stairs to his car.

On his way from Bratislava, the young man would prepare himself psychologically for the routine police checkpoints along the exit roads from the city.

As the day faded into evening, and then night, he would arrive finally at a place where he could park the car on a narrow road close to the forest. Waiting with great anticipation, he might stroll nearby in the cool night to help ease his tension. Questions filled his mind as he waited: Did they make it across the border? Will neighbors be home tonight? Are there reasons why we shouldn’t come this time?

Eventually, a set of headlights would come into view. As a foreign van passed, the young man could sigh with relief. God had slit open the Iron Curtain between West and East one more time.

Waiting to make sure no one had followed, he would get back into his car and slowly drive to the appointed place. Using brake lights as a signal, he’d beckon the van to follow until both are deep into the forest. Quickly and quietly, the van driver and passengers would reveal their load.  The journey was far from complete, however.  Two hours later, the van would slowly drive toward the warehouse of a small village. If the door was opened, it would enter. If not, everyone involved would meet again in a different place the next night.

When the door was open, the van could drive in and the door would close. Everyone would wait and listen. Had anyone followed?  After determining all was clear, the young man and the van passengers would begin to unload Bibles and other Christian literature translated into Slovak, Czech, Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian. Quietly they’d store them in secret compartments throughout the warehouse.

For nearly a quarter of a century this same scenario played itself out time and again. Today, the young man who once took great risks to smuggle Scripture behind the Iron Curtain shares his story...

“I have often wondered if my family history helped pave the way for me, under a postwar Communist Regime, to become a clandestine distributor of Slovak Scripture,” Alexander Erdelyi said as he recalled memories of the years he smuggled Bibles throughout Eastern Europe. “God’s grace enabled me to take the risks necessary for storing and circulating tons of Scripture.”

Alexander, the son of a Slovak Reformed Christian of Jewish descent and a Christian Hungarian artist, grew up in post-war Europe. At an early age, he came to understand all-too-well the oppression and limitations of the swelling Communist Regime.

Denied access to theological studies, Alexander soon became interested in preparing handwritten evangelical tracts that he distributed beneath windshield wipers of parked cars. Later, while enrolled in a technical school, he studied printing methods so he could operate his own silk screen press for producing tracts in larger quantities.

One Sunday, an unexpected English visitor came to Alexander’s church, and he and his wife, Ruth, invited him home for lunch. When the visitor saw the home-printed tracts, he offered to bring the Erdelyis Slovak Bibles. Alexander explained the strict control and search procedures at the border, but the visitor did not appear to be daunted.

“Alex, if you could dream of the number of Bibles you would like to have, how many would it be?” he asked.

"One or two hundred,” Alexander answered cautiously, not sure where the conversation was leading.

“How many people are in your country?” the visitor continued.

“About 15 million.”

"Then that’s how many Bibles you should ask for!” he said.

Two months later, there was an unexpected knock on Alexander’s door. It was a group of students from England driving an old VW van. As they began unloading 150 Bibles from secret compartments throughout the vehicle, Alexander could not contain his astonishment. Such an act was miraculous!

From that day, there were many regularly scheduled visits on the fourth Friday of every month - and always to different rendezvous sites. Vehicles varied, from vans to large campers, but each one contained Bibles, New Testaments and Christian literature.

While unable to travel to the West, Alexander could travel freely to other parts of the Communist bloc. Bulgarian, Romanian and Hungarian Bibles were distributed by the millions until the fall of Communism.

“I still cannot explain how I completed 25 years of underground Scripture distribution unscathed!” Alexander said.  “Through it all, God protected me.

“The future for IBS" work here is bright. We have been able to provide easy-to-read-and-understand Scripture to many people who have allowed their hard-to-read Bibles to gather dust on the shelf or become an untouchable symbol in the middle of the coffee table. But with faith and life in Jesus Christ and an understanding of God’s Word, a positive and powerful transformation takes place in individuals and world nations.

With God’s Word, the people of Slovakia can experience this power in their lives, too.” Today,  he is National Director of the International Bible Society in Slovakia.

International Bible Society -
Web:,   On-Line Magazine


Death of her Husband 
by Serena Koh


Serena shares her travail through the loss of her husband, Rev.Philip Koh. Her story is related unedited in honour of the family and in respect to their desire to bring glory to God through their circumstances. These events took place in Singapore, 1998.

On 3rd Jan 98, the first Saturday of the year, Pastor Derek Hong preached in his sermon: "Name your year", There is power in your spoken word and tell God whatever you desire in your heart." I pondered and I knew I needed to improve in my discipline in spending time teaching my children the piano. I also wanted to upgrade my musical skills. But I knew that was not the most important thing in my life and the cry of my inmost being was: "Lord, transform my heart into the likeness of your heart. Give me your heart, not just your heartbeat, so that I can always pulsate with you at your heartbeat."

On Sunday, 4th Jan, Pastor Derek preached the same sermon "Name your year". I prayed, "Lord, may this year be a year of "Death". Teach me to die more to myself, my pride, my flesh, my rights, man’s opinions and approval, and teach me to surrender my heart and fleshly desires to you."

From 18th to 20th Jan, Philip brought me on a cruise. My mum had a fall on Sunday, 18 Jan. On Wednesday 21st Philip and I visited her. Philip prayed very hard while I shared the gospel with mum, and she accepted Christ.

On Friday 23rd at 11.55 am, I was informed of Philip’s death in a car accident. I screamed, cried, and interceded, forbidding any spirit of premature death and spiritual attack. At the same time I also knew that God was sovereign and I prayed: "God do not let him go if it is not your time for you to resurrect him Lord". I felt very guilty. Had I inflicted any curse on Philip because of my prayer on Jan 4th and had I left any loophole for the enemy to attack?

I shared this with Derek and Su Lan that afternoon. Derek assured me that I did not put a death curse on Philip. Was there any part that Satan played? There could be. Satan instigated the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and nailed Him to the cross. Satan thought he had the victory, but he did not realise that it was God’s plan that Jesus must die and be raised so that we all might have eternal life and be reconciled to the loving, eternal Almighty God. Satan could have a part to play but perhaps it was for God’s greater glory.

Phillip and I knew that we love God very much, and God is more important in our lives. We love each other very deeply inside out. My three children were conceived out of love, not lust. Each time when I was pregnant, we surrendered and dedicated each child to God. At the funeral, I painfully released and surrendered back to God the person I loved most in my life - the fantastic father of my three lovely children. I bought a bouquet of roses for Phillip and asked my children what they would write to daddy.

Elisha wrote: "Dearest Daddy, I miss you very much and I love you too. See you in heaven. I will follow your example. Thank you for everything. Daddy you're the best daddy. Please help me to fix the train. I love you, Elisha."

Glorianno wrote: "Dearest Daddy, I miss you. We love you very much. You were a very good daddy. Jesus loves you. We will always love you, Glorianne Koh".

Katrianne wrote: "Dearest Daddy, I want daddy to love me, Katrianne."

Little did I realise that when I prayed, "Lord, teach me to die to my rights and desires", it included the departure of my most treasured husband Philip Koh Kim Tian. I know there are many weaknesses in Philip and I, and God is refining us. It was very, very painful to let Philip go but I know I have to.

I do not understand why God brought him home now, but I know that God is sovereign, God is Love. I believe God would have said to him now: "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and enter into my rest."

Serena Kob
Church of our Saviour

Serena gave this testimony at the memorial service of the late Rev.Philip Koh. The testimony has been distributed through the Anglican Diocese of Singapore.




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