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Holy Spirit urged take off

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Captain Icoze Mafella
Captain Icoze Mafella (at right) with co-pilot.

A Christian airline pilot says the Holy Spirit prompted him to take off early from Palau airport in Indonesia on 28 September, narrowly avoiding the disastrous earthquake and saving the lives of his 140 passengers.

He said he felt “uneasy” and began to sing worship songs as he flew from the Indonesian island of Ujung Pandang to the island of Palu.

His Muslim co-pilot joked with him saying, “I think you should make a CD of worship songs”.

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Captain Mafella said he prayed the 23rd Psalm as he landed the plane at Palu. Once on the tarmac, he said he sensed the Holy Spirit prompting him to leave immediately.

“I didn’t even leave the cockpit and requested permission from the control tower to depart three minutes ahead of schedule.” He felt such a sense of urgency he took over some of his co-pilot’s duties and gunned the plane down the runway.

The earthquake struck just as the plane was taking off. “If I had taken off three minutes later I would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind,” he said.

It was only after they landed back in Ujung Pandang that he heard about the earthquake and tsunami that had struck Palu.

He also learned that Air Controller Anthonius Agung, had waited until their plane had safely taken off before jumping out of the control tower but died from his injuries.

“He waited for me until I was safe. That’s why I call him my guardian angel.”

“Whatever happens we must be calm, not in a panic so that we can clearly hear the voice of God coming to us by the Holy Spirit.”

His story appeared on the God Reports Christian news website.

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