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US MAF Pilot, 2 Orphans Unlimited Volunteers Released from Mozambique Prison, Prayer Still Needed

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Ryan Koher, a pilot for the U.S.-based ministry Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), and two South African volunteers for Orphans Unlimited were released from a Mozambican prison in mid-March, the organization announced. 

The three men had been held at a high-security prison in the southeastern African country for four months. Their release is a provisional one and they are required to remain in the country, while their case is still ongoing, according to MAF. 

Koher is said to be "doing well" following his release and has spoken multiple times with his wife, Annabel, and his two sons since his release, the ministry said.

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As CBN News reported in December, Koher, 31, was taken into custody by officials in Mozambique while preparing to fly vitamins and other supplies to church-run orphanages in the Cabo Delgado Province. He was arrested on Nov. 4 for allegedly "supporting terrorism." 

During airport security scans, officials took interest in over-the-counter medications and food preservative supplies. Those supplies did not belong to Ambassador Aviation Ltd. (AAL), which is a partner of the U.S.-based non-profit MAF. The group reports it was just delivering those materials on behalf of the orphanage.

In addition, sources tell CBN News the two South Africans, W.J. du Plessis, and Eric Dry, are not connected to MAF. They are volunteers for the orphanage, Orphans Unlimited. Koher was flying the supplies to the orphanage, but he was not acquainted with the two men and had not met them until he came to the airport to get the supplies. 

According to MAF, the trio was bringing supplies for orphanages in the northern part of the country and it was a flight MAF, known as Ambassador Aviation Ltd. in Mozambique, had flown many times in the past.

In a statement posted to the organization's website, MAF said, "The executive leadership team of MAF-US expresses its thanks for all those who have been praying for Ryan and his family. We ask for continued prayer that the final outcome will be a full release of Ryan from any charges and trial."

"MAF is grateful to the courts in Mozambique for this decision. Out of respect for the legal process in Mozambique, MAF will make no further comment at this time," the statement concluded. 

The northern part of Mozambique has been dealing with jihadist insurgents for the past couple of years. 

In an update posted on March 30, the MAF reported Koher's wife Annabel, and their two boys had joined him in Mozambique after five months of being separated. 

"He is checking in with officials as required by his provisional release," the group said in a statement on April 14. "The legal process is ongoing and it is unknown at this time when it will be completed."

"Please continue to pray that the case will be dropped and Ryan will be free from any prosecution. Also, pray that Ryan and Annabel continue to trust in the Lord through this time of uncertainty about the outcome of the case," the statement concluded. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of