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Pilot for Nampa-based Mission Aviation Fellowship killed in crash

Joyce Lin was delivering coronavirus test kits to a remote village in Indonesia when her plane went down in a lake.

NAMPA, Idaho — A pilot for Nampa-based Mission Aviation Fellowship has died in a plane crash while delivering COVID-19 rapid test kits to a rural village in Indonesia.

The nonprofit Christian-based aid group said in a Facebook post that Joyce Lin left from the Sentani Airport in Papua, Indonesia early Monday morning. 

Lin was flying her single-engine Kodiak aircraft to the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands, where she had planned to deliver a shipment of coronavirus test kits to a local clinic.

Minutes after takeoff Lin reported an emergency and the plane went down into Lake Sentani, MAF said.

She was the only person on the airplane.

Indonesian search and rescue divers later confirmed to MAF that Lin did not survive the accident. The MAF staff in Papua and Jakarta are working with authorities on the investigation of the accident.

Lin grew up in Colorado and Maryland, according to her biography on the MAF website. She joined the nonprofit because it "combines her interests in computers, aviation, and Christian ministry." She served as a pilot and field IT support specialist.

Lin is survived by her parents and two sisters.

"The folks who serve with us, they need to have a compassion and love for some of the most isolated and cast aside members of society and Joyce was one of those people," said MAF CEO David Holsten. "She cared for people who lived in very primitive conditions, her heart went out to them and she wanted to serve them in a tangible way."

Memorial services are being planned and the group is working on an online tribute to Lin's ministry and her life.

"Joyce was a light-reflecting Jesus, and she will be deeply missed," MAF said in the Facebook post.

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