Date: October 23, 2023
Mozambique (MNN) — Nearly one year after his wrongful arrest in Mozambique, American missionary pilot Ryan Koher is finally back in the United States along with his wife, Annabel, and their two young sons.
Ryan spent four months in a maximum security prison and was provisionally released back in March. He’s been in Mozambique since then with his family on Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF) base – known in-country as Ambassador Aviation. Then a few weeks ago, a judge lifted Ryan’s travel restrictions.
Ryan says, “It feels great to be back. Definitely, a load has been lifted that I didn’t really know I had. But it’s been a really restful time even though it’s been a really busy schedule. It’s just been great to be back and to visit with everyone at MAF who has been praying for me, and visit with our home church here in Idaho. It was great to reconnect with a lot of these people, meet a lot of new people, and to share a little bit about how God’s been working in our lives.”
In November 2022, Ryan was detained while preparing to transport orphanage supplies including vitamins, over-the-counter medication, and food preservatives. Ryan and two orphanage volunteers, Willem du Plessis and Eric Dry, were accused of “supporting terrorism.”
The next deadline for Ryan’s case is in June. If the judge doesn’t make a decision before then, the investigation will expire or need to be renewed.
Ryan’s wife Annabel explains, “It’s been a secure investigation because of the accusations of terrorism and the accusations of helping the insurgents. So the way the investigation is, it’s actually very closed, from my understanding. Even our lawyer doesn’t really have much information into what they’re investigating or what their next steps will be.”
As Ryan and his family transition to life back in the States, he says, “We’re starting our furlough, which is a time of debriefing, retraining, refreshment, and connecting with our family and supporters.”
Ambassador Aviation in Mozambique flies to reach the most remote and isolated communities with aid and the spiritual hope of Jesus Christ. Prior to his detainment, Ryan served as a pilot and mechanic with Ambassador Aviation.
Once the case is concluded, the Kohers hope to resume ministry in Mozambique. Just like many missionaries, their work is supported by financial partners linking arms with them for the Great Commission — something that’s especially helpful and needed during furlough.
You can also donate to MAF here and help cover ministry costs related to Ryan’s case (attorney fees, travel, medical checkups, etc.).
Ultimately, please pray this will be a time of rest and encouragement for the Koher family. Ask God to use Ryan’s story of faithfulness to the Great Commission for His glory in Mozambique.
Annabel says, “One of the biggest things that kept [Ryan] going, aside from God Himself and the Word, was knowing that believers had been praying for him.”
Header photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship, used with permission from the Koher family.