A court in Mozambique, Africa, has denied bail for a pilot for the U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and two volunteers who were arrested over four months ago on suspicion of supporting insurgent activity.
Ryan Koher, 31, and South Africans W.J. du Plessis, 77, and Eric Dry, 69, were denied bail earlier this month after being arrested on Nov. 4 while loading supplies into an aircraft headed towards Cabo Delgado Province to help several church-run orphanages.
In an update from MAF on Friday, Koher’s wife, Annabel, thanked everyone for their continued prayers and fasting on behalf of her husband.
“Thank you all for praying on Ryan’s behalf—it is making a difference as God hears and answers,” she said.
According to The Christian Post, Annabel also shared that her husband had been suffering from itching in his sleep due to a deteriorating medical condition but has been sleeping better lately thanks to a prayer and fasting event for him last Wednesday organized by MAF and Christians across the globe.
MAF also has a video message by Annabel encouraging the Christians to pray for her husband every Wednesday.
Earlier this week, an official from the U.S. Embassy visited Koher and gave him a mattress cover and additional items. It was also confirmed that Koher could spend an hour outside each day.
Last week, MAF shared a letter Koher sent to the organization through the U.S. Embassy about his time in prison.
“I am doing well and in good health. The prison did a special meal for Christmas. They had beef and Coke Zero instead of the normal beans and chicken feet,” he wrote in a letter.
“I try to exercise every day — just some jumping jacks, push-ups and squats. I still spend most of my day reading the Bible — it’s a real ‘page turner!’ One of the men here let me borrow his Portuguese Bible in exchange for one of my English ones — I’m using it to improve my Portuguese.”
“Whatever path God has me take, he has a work for me to complete, and I need not fear in the face of suffering because I am united with Christ,” he continued. “These things are very comforting to me because I know he will be with me and has a purpose in it all. Please pray that he would help me conduct myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel so that I will not be frightened by those who oppose me,” he concluded.
In an earlier statement, MAF asserted that the three men never supported an insurgency and noted that the organization has “long sought to care for those who have been harmed by the insurgency, including evacuating innocent residents following a March 2021 insurgent attack.”
Islamic extremists have been taking advantage of a crisis in the coastal province of Cabo Delgado. In 2017, a civil war began over the area’s gas, rubies, graphite, gold and other natural resources. Protesters argued that the profits went to an elite few in the ruling Frelimo Party, leaving locals with fewer jobs.
Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/allanswart
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.