Christian pilot returns home after wrongful detention in Mozambique

The Koher family after arriving at Boise airport.(Photo: Mission Aviation Fellowship)

An American missionary pilot has been able to return home to the US after nearly a year of false allegations hanging over his head.

Ryan Koher was piloting humanitarian flights with Ambassador Aviation, an operational arm of Christian charity Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), at the time of his arrest on 4 November 2022.

He was arrested along with two South African nationals, Willem du Plessis and Eric Dry.

The three men were accused of supporting insurgents in a volatile part of Mozambique, allegations they strenuously denied.

They spent nearly five months in a maximum security prison in the capital, Maputo, where Koher said his faith kept him strong. 

“I try to exercise every day and spend most of my time reading the Bible,” he said in a January update from prison.

“I need not fear in the face of suffering because I am united with Christ. It is very comforting to me because I know He will be with me and has a purpose in it all.”

All three have now been allowed to leave the country after a judge lifted travel restrictions and authorised the return of their passports on 6 October.

Koher, his wife Annabel and their two children arrived at Boise airport in Idaho this week and plan to spend time with friends and family.

Despite being allowed to return home, the investigation is still ongoing and the case has not been dismissed.

MAF US is asking supporters to pray that the case will be dropped. 

“Ryan is a caring and gentle individual. Over the last couple of years, he and his wife have worked hard to learn the language and culture of Mozambique to better serve those who rely on our services,” MAF said.

“Ambassador Aviation has long sought to care for those who have been harmed by the insurgency, including evacuating innocent residents following the attacks in March 2021. We invite our supporters to continue to pray for this situation.”


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