Joyce Lin was bringing supplies to the local clinic in the remote village of Mamit in the Papua highlands

By Rachel DeSantis
May 14, 2020 01:14 PM
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Joyce Lin
Joyce Lin
| Credit: Mission Aviation Fellowship

A pilot delivering supplies including COVID-19 test kits to a remote village in Indonesia died on Monday after her aircraft crashed into a lake shortly after takeoff.

Joyce Lin, 40, was bringing supplies to the local clinic in the village of Mamit in the Papua highlands when her MAF Kodiak aircraft went down, Mission Aviation Fellowship, the nonprofit she worked with, said in a news release.

Lin, who was the only person on the plane, reported an emergency just after taking off before the plane went down into Lake Sentani. She was later confirmed dead by Indonesian Search and Rescue divers, the release said.

The accident is currently under investigation by local authorities and MAF staff in Papua and Jakarta.

Lin worked for MAF — a Christian nonprofit that sends trained pilots to isolated areas in developing countries in need of basic necessities — in Indonesia for the past two years as a pilot and field IT support specialist, the organization said.

“Her impact was significant. Joyce repeatedly shared how joy-filled she was in the weeks before she went to join the Lord,” MAF’s release said. “Joyce was a light reflecting Jesus, and she will be deeply missed.”

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Lin was raised in Colorado and Maryland, and graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to her biography on the MAF site.

She also had a private pilot certificate, and worked as a computer specialist for more than 10 years after college.

She learned of mission aviation while working toward a Master of Divinity degree at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, from which she graduated in 2017, and found that it was something that combined all of her major passions.

A former colleague left a comment under MAF’s release writing that Lin was both the “smartest IT/Cyber person” they’d ever met and “the kindest.”

“She is wonderful!!” the person wrote. “I will truly miss her.”

Added another friend: “I’ve always been in awe of Joyce, with her spirit and intellect being the strongest I’ve ever known from anyone. I’ve followed Joyce from her days in college to what she was accomplishing since then, and she is a superpower of a woman.”

Lin is survived by her parents and two sisters, according to the release.

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been at least 16,000 cases and 1,000 deaths attributed to coronavirus in Indonesia, according to The New York Times.

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