Every 10 minutes—somewhere in the world—a Mission Aviation Fellowship airplane takes off or lands.” This is how Mission Aviation Fellowship describes its reach. Mission Aviation Fellowship or MAF is an organization of pilots serving missionaries and other nonprofits around the globe. Focused on aviation, technology and training, MAF works in the hardest-to-reach locations. MAF has programs in 14 countries including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Indonesia, Kalimantan, Papua, Lesotho, Mali and Mozambique. Highly trained pilots land in jungle clearings or on the sides of mountains to bring medicine and doctors, disaster relief, education and more to people isolated from the rest of the world.
After World War II, a handful of veteran U.S. and UK pilots asked themselves “How can we use our flying skills to reach isolated people with the Gospel?” They founded MAF in 1946 to fill their desire to give back and be involved in God’s global mission. Mission Aviation Fellowship’s goal is to “share the love of Jesus Christ through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed.” Technology is key in the MAF mission. MAF connects people to Jesus and brings God’s Word to remote areas through email, radio installation and other digital solutions. The MAF Technology Resources team launched Estante, an Android™ app that works offline and allows isolated pastors and church leaders to easily store, view, and share digital Christian resources anywhere.
Training extends the reach of Mission Aviation Fellowship by helping pastors learn how to use technology. MAF teaches pastors culturally relevant methods to share the Gospel, such as oral communication strategies for reaching non-literate groups. Training takes the form of certified IT, digital security courses, plane maintenance and flight instructions.
In 2001, MAF launched Operation ACCESS! to survey 364 isolated areas in 64 countries where barriers impeded access to the Gospel. The survey identified transportation, communications, and technology barriers that MAF could address.
MAF was honored in 2010, when the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) who served during World War II. Honorees included Betty Greene who piloted MAF’s inaugural flight, taking two Wycliffe workers to a remote jungle location in Mexico. The award also honored 1,100 other women who performed often hazardous non-combat flying duties to free up male pilots for combat during the war.
Today MAF is a thriving technology and training organization. In 2014 alone, MAF distributed 3,217 biblical resources such as computers, tablets, digital libraries, apps, software, and teaching materials. They also trained hundreds of church leaders in using different technology resources which would allow them to safely and confidently share the gospel. MAF also flew doctors to treat 1,500 sick people affected by a deadly malaria outbreak in the village of Kinkodja in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In fact, 2014 saw 26,200 flights conducted, which delivered over 8 million pounds of life-sustaining cargo and served more than 600 churches, mission organizations, medical groups, schools and relief agencies.
Other advancements in MAF’s mission include the installation of 75 new satellite communication systems to improve communication for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working on healthcare, agriculture and other development projects.
MAF relies on donations and volunteers to keep the airplanes in the air and the technology online. If you want to get involved in MAF, begin by praying for their teams and mission. Sign up for Prayer Connection and MAF will email you a weekly prayer bulletin that provides daily intercessions. To subscribe, go to https://www.maf.org/get-involved/pray.
You can also serve overseas as a missionary to reach others for Christ in remote areas around the world. Missionaries can focus on aviation, technology, teaching or business/ administration.
There are opportunities for people to serve as MAF advocates too, trained to inform others about the impact that people can have through MAF. MAF advocates accept a one year commitment to present the MAF ministry to individuals and groups eight or more times per year. All it takes to qualify is a growing personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the desire to reach isolated people with the Gospel, and active involvement in a local church.
You can serve in the U.S. by applying for a job. Current openings include front-end developer, system administrator, and database administrator.
Interested churches can partner with MAF to use airplanes and other technologies to reach the isolated with the love of Christ. Churches can help MAF financially by adopting a plane, country, missionary or sponsoring a one-time project. To find out more about supporting short-term mission trips, call Mike Snodgrass, Director of Ministry Awareness, at (208) 498-0659 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also show your support by shopping online for apparel, books and novelties (they even have a clearance section) on the MAF website. Buy a new sporty cap or handcrafted ceramic coffee mug or give your favorite infant a cute, cuddly aviator bear. Order a book and read how God is using his church to transform lives throughout the world. All proceeds benefit the MAF worldwide ministry.
Contact information for Mission Aviation Fellowship is P.O. Box 47, Nampa, ID 83653. 1-800-FLYS-MAF, email@example.com or maf.org.