An Interview with Ludmer Meiko

When did you join MAF, and what brought you to work with MAF?

I joined MAF on the 22nd of October 1996 at Vanimo. The back then Regional Manager for MAF at Vanimo approached me in church and hired me as a traffic officer.

Later I became a cabin attendant with the Twin Otter and flew a lot with Richard Marples and Dirk Markensteijn. In 2007, when the Twin Otter was removed from Vanimo I moved to Wewak and continued to work as a traffic officer there.

 

Ludmer knows all the airstrips in the Sepik area

 

What is your current role?

I am now the Senior Base Supervisor in Wewak.

What is your favourite part about this role? 

As a supervisor, I enjoy to communicate with my base staff, the pilots and the HQ colleagues at Mt Hagen so we can serve our customers from Wewak as good as possible. I enjoy how we serve the people in the Sepik are and like to explain to them how we can help and assist their communities with our planes.

What are the challenges?

When things are not working right I need to find some solutions, e.g. when the plane broke down, a pilot got sick, or customers are frustrated. Then I have to find some means and ways to explain things to them so they can understand.

How does your job support MAF’s purpose and vision to see isolated people physically and spiritually transformed into Christ’s name?

It happens when I look after the base well, schedule the plane efficiently, and in the way I communicate with the costumers.

I can see it when costumers are satisfied and come back to me telling me we did a good job in assisting them.

Or when we did a medevac and before the patients go back home after being in the hospital, they come and thank us as base staff and the pilots, like “You’ve helped us.“ “You’ve saved us.“ “We know our life is safe with MAF.“ “The plane comes, no matter of it being a weekend, or challenging weather. We can count on MAF.“

How have you seen God at work in your role? 

God did a lot of things in our lives and in our workplace. When we face problems like when the weather is bad, we often say we have to pray and ask for a good outcome. 

Every morning we gather as base staff and pilots and start with a devotion and ask God for protection and guidance.

Recently we did a medevac for Busilmin. We had a Vanimo program for that day. Paul was already on his way and taking passengers from Lumi to Vanimo. Then we received a radio call from Busilmin at our Wewak base. There is no radio at Buslimin; the people there have to walk to Myianmin to get on the radio and ask for the medevac. A boy got burned; somehow he fell into a fire. How can we help him? We prayed and then tried to contact Paul on the radio. Finally, we got hold of Paul and told him that there is a boy at Busilmin fighting for his life. Paul continued to Vanimo, refuelled the aircraft and then went straight to Busilmin. He took the boy to Telefomin where there is a hospital. At the end of the day we thanked God that we could help the boy.

I’ve seen it so many times while I am with MAF that God is at work and He is making things possible, especially with medevacs; but God is also at work in my own life and my family’s life. 

Ludmer and his colleagues Jacob Okbon and Joel Apo working together to transfer the patient from the aircraft into the MAF van for Ludmer to drive the patient to the Wewak hospital.

Anything else you would like to add…

I have been with MAF about 20 years now and we all work for different departments; but we are all serving the one God. When we go to work we stop and pray first to seek God’s will for the day. This is special with MAF. Not many companies do it that way, even Christian organisations. But MAF puts God first and that’s what I like.