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M i s s i o n

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FlightWatch Watch Spring 2012

A Relationship Bonded by 25 Years

MAF Has a Heart for Haiti




John Boyd President & CEO MAF USA

When a pilot is flying between two places, the midway point is considered the “point of no return.” When you reach those coordinates, you are closer to your destination than your departure point—and it would not be in your best interest to turn around. So you press ahead. Once while flying in Haiti, my return route required 30 nautical miles over the ocean. As I reached the point of no return on that trip, I saw something no pilot wants to see: oil pressure dropping and oil temperature rising. I began praying, knowing that if the Lord didn’t help me, I likely wouldn’t make it home that day. But the Lord kept the plane engine working just long enough for me to land safely. As in flying, when we reach the point of no return in the things God calls us to do, we realize it would be foolish to turn back. We have to go all in, trusting that God is going to ordain and guide our hands to do His work. In 1986, MAF established a program in Haiti. A quarter of a century later, that program has long since passed the point of no return. In this edition of FlightWatch, you’ll see how God’s hand has been upon MAF since its entry into the country, and how He has sustained the work there. I trust that you will enjoy reading about MAF’s Haiti program and will be encouraged to share these inspiring stories with others. Thank you for your continued support and partnership with this ministry. You help make it possible for MAF to reach the world for Christ.

To watch a video of John Boyd in Haiti, scan code, or visit

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Managing Editor: Tracey Werre Production Manager: Kelly Hewes

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Dear Friend in Christ,

John C. Boyd President and CEO

Mission Aviation Fellowship

Writers/Resourcing: Jennifer Wolf Jason Chatraw

Point of No Return

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Missionary Spotlight: Our Daily Pita Most MAF programs have new missionary families in the pipeline. These “pre-fielders” are at various stages in the process, either building their support team or at language school. One of these pre-field families is the Rogers who are slated for Haiti.


hile Tim and Catherine Rogers have been visiting churches around the country, telling others about MAF, and building up a team of supporters, God has been teaching them a thing or two along the way. Recently, God used a mailman to deliver a clear message of His unmerited love and kindness. One afternoon Tim brought home a Mediterranean meal from their favorite Greek restaurant. Catherine’s meal came with a good-sized bowl of hummus but only one small piece of pita bread. While not normally a complainer, when Catherine realized there was a shortage of pita for her hummus, she couldn’t help but be disappointed. “That’s all they gave me?” she said. “I need to say something to the manager about this pita situation. I really wish I had more pita!” Since there was nothing that could be done, they thanked God for the food and dug in. As they were eating, they began to share with Tim’s mom (who was visiting them) about God’s provision and how He had been teaching them about His loving care over the last year. Not ten minutes later, there was a knock at the door. It was their mailman delivering a package. Tim opened the door and said, “Danny! How’s it going?”

Tim and Catherine Rogers with their newborn son, Titus.

“Good,” he said. “Hey, do you like pita bread?” What? Has the USPS bugged our house or something? Is he listening in on our conversations? “Why yes we do,” answered Tim, dumbfounded, as he followed Danny to his mail truck. “A restaurant gave me two bags of pita, and there’s no way I can eat all of this,” said Danny, depositing one of the bags into Tim’s arms. “Here you go!”

Ask MAF!

Have you ever wondered … - What missionaries in Haiti eat? - How many crocodiles fit into one plane? - What a person has to do to become an MAF pilot? Send your question to, and it may be featured in our next issue.

Tim walked back into the house, laughing, and set the bag in front of Catherine. “You said you wanted more pita, and God said, ‘Here’s your pita!’” It was as if God was sitting with them at the dinner table and said, “This is too good. I’m going to do this for my daughter Catherine.” (See Matthew 7:11.) Tim’s mom’s faith has also been strengthened through this experience as she observed firsthand God revealing Himself to Tim and Catherine. The Rogers have a unique set of skills that seem especially suited for Haiti. Tim worked in the emergency medical field as an E.R. technician, and in the aviation field as a freight pilot and aviation maintenance technician. Catherine worked as a physician assistant through 2011. The couple welcomed their firstborn son, Titus, to their family in August. To learn more about the Rogers, visit Spring 2012 |



t was 4 a.m., and John Boyd was wide awake an hour before he needed to be. Serving with MAF’s program in Haiti in the late 1990s, Boyd needed to be well-rested before embarking on a day of rigorous flying. But the voodoo ritual taking place outside in the street made it next to impossible.

John Boyd delivers Haitian Bibles.

“We were living in a house right between two voodoo priests,” said Boyd, who now serves as MAF’s president and CEO. “There was nothing in the windows to filter the noise—nothing but the breeze. And this particular morning, the loud chanting from a voodoo ritual in the street woke me up and continued for an hour.” Boyd joined hands with his wife, Tanya, and prayed. “Right then we knew what it felt like to be aliens in a foreign land,” Boyd said. “At the same time, we felt God’s presence and had an overpowering sense of why we were in Haiti.”

Photo courtesy of Michael Broyles, 2007



It was the same sense that prompted MAF leadership to establish a base in the beleaguered country more than a quarter of a century ago, resulting in a strong, respected presence.


When MAF leadership began exploring the idea of opening a base in Haiti in the mid-1980s, President JeanClaude Duvalier was in power in Haiti. The infrastructure within the country began to deteriorate, and tension mounted as the Haitian people grew tired of his authoritarian style of government. Nevertheless, MAF continued moving forward—and did so with an unprecedented amount of goodwill, something that can only be explained as divine favor. In 1985, MAF pilot Barry Borror was sent to Haiti to look closely at the need for an MAF base, and he soon met Joe Hurston. At the time, Hurston was an independent missionary flying a Cessna 206 out of Port-au-Prince. Not long after the two men connected, Borror began flying missionaries, supplies, and medical evacuation flights with Hurston. The two became synonymous with one another among airport personnel, which would later prove beneficial. As MAF moved toward establishing a base in Port-au-Prince, it began the process of applying for nongovernmental status (NGO), which would allow MAF to fly into unapproved airstrips that commercial planes could not. With a Cessna turbo 210 slated to arrive in the spring of 1986, MAF wanted the privilege of being able to land on all remote airstrips for its future pilots as well. At the beginning of 1986, President Duvalier was forced out of office, and Borror was summoned to meet with Haiti’s director of civil aviation. The director began the conversation by asking Borror if he knew why he and Hurston had the privilege of flying wherever they pleased. Borror shook his head, and the director shared with him the reason.

1993 medical evacuation. Photo courtesy of Dennis Fulton.

Several years earlier, Hurston was flying from Cap-Haïtien to Port-auPrince when he heard radio chatter reporting that Duvalier’s wife, Michèle Bennett, went missing off the coast during a boating excursion. Hurston requested to join the search, asked God for direction, and then flew directly over the first lady’s capsized boat. He radioed their coordinates in to the Haitian navy, which quickly rescued her.

Ernest pay off his debt to Hurston by allowing him access to any airstrip in the country without any restrictions. Because of Borror’s relationship with Hurston, the favor Ernest owed was also transferred to Borror and MAF. “God directed this entire process,” Borror said. “It was clear from the start that God was putting things into place for MAF to be in Haiti.” On March 21, 1986, Borror made the first flight with an MAF plane, a Cessna turbo 210. And MAF’s Haiti program was launched. (Continued on page 6).

At the same time, we felt God’s presence and had an overpowering sense of why we were in Haiti.

Feeling indebted to Hurston, Bennett’s father, Ernest, a powerful businessman within Haiti, met with Joe and offered a reward to him. Unaware of cultural norms, Hurston refused. As a result, Ernest was now indebted to Hurston. Government officials and the aviation community learned about this—and helped

1988 aerial view. Photo courtesy of Rick Shinn.

Spring 2012 |


Flying by the Seat of Your Pants


hen Papua program manager Doug Allrich paid a visit to MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, he brought an urgent appeal for MAF’s fabrication shop. His request? Make something to help MAF pilots get seats in and out of Kodiak airplanes, with greater ease. With MAF pilots reconfiguring their cabins multiple times during a full day of flying, wrestling with the Kodiak seats ate into their tight schedules. Difficult-to-reach parts necessitated MAF’s fabrication shop personnel to develop a solution. John Miller, recently joined by co-leader Dan Rogers, has managed the MAF fabrication shop volunteer program since 1999. With valuable input from several volunteers, they sought a solution for Kodiak pilots. The first problem pilots encountered during installation was how the seat legs collapsed inward, increasing the difficulty of putting the seat legs into the slotted track. So, they created a spreader bar to temporarily hold the legs in position until locked in place. The next problem was being able to easily lock the seat in place. Due to the difficulty of muscling a screwdriver into a tight space, the fabrication shop created locking levers to create ease and save the screwdriver slots from further damage.

They took a germ of an idea to a whole new level … amazingly nifty.

Finally, pilots could reach a certain screw that secured the seat to the floor, but it wore out their screwdriver, often rendering the head of the screw slot unusable. So, MAF volunteer machinists created an annex piece that fits over the head of a screwdriver and perfectly onto the screw. Problem solved? Not exactly the first time around. “As always, the first or second iterations didn’t work,” said Miller, who has packaged up the modified tools and sent them to other MAF ministry partners who use Kodiaks, like Spokane Turbine Center, New Tribes Mission, and Samaritan’s Purse. “We had to get at it a few different times until we got it to work out.” Although Miller was satisfied, his real satisfaction comes in hearing stories from pilots on the mission field who are using the specialty tools and modifications created by the talented volunteers in the fabrication shop. “They took a germ of an idea to a whole new level … amazingly nifty,” Allrich said after implementing the innovations in Papua. Spring 2012 |



From the beginning, MAF has had the privilege of serving mission agencies and humanitarian organizations reaching deep into the interior of Haiti. In his MAF partners with over 30 other organizations in Haiti. first year of flying for MAF in Haiti, Borror transported workers from agencies such as Convention Baptiste d’Haiti (Southern Baptists), One Mission Society, Compassion International, Willow Creek Church, USAID, Red Cross, World Team, and UNESCO. As a weakening infrastructure caused ground transportation to become increasingly difficult, more mission agencies became dependent upon MAF’s services. One such agency was the Haitian American Friendship Foundation (HAFF), which was already working in Haiti before MAF arrived. Based out of Pignon, HAFF began working in the 1970s in the areas of spiritual and academic education before expanding to help meet medical needs as well. Working directly with Hôpital Bienfaisance (Charity Hospital) in Pignon, HAFF and the hospital served the growing population in Haiti’s Central Plateau, creating a greater need to quickly transport people and medical supplies to and from Port-au-Prince. The trip took about eight hours but started to take more of a toll on HAFF vehicles as the road deteriorated. In 1987, HAFF met with government officials along with MAF and Missionary Flights International (MFI) to determine if the restricted airstrip that had been blocked for years could be reopened.

Poverty continues to be a challenge in Haiti. Photo courtesy of Rick Shinn.


While the devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed thousands of people brought Haiti into the international spotlight, disaster and tragedy have occurred regularly there for years. Earthquakes, hurricanes, cholera outbreaks, political instability, and severe poverty continue to plague Haiti, creating a need for the swift, reliable transportation of muchneeded workers, supplies and medicine. Thanks to the support of generous donors, MAF has been able to faithfully fill that niche for Haiti in a significant way.

I am personally grateful for MAF’s ministry in Haiti.

After meeting a list of government conditions to resurrect the airstrip, two years later MAF commenced flights to Pignon. The airstrip gave the hospital a way to not only get supplies more quickly but also to transport patients in need of critical care that was beyond its capabilities. The strip also became a lifeline for HAFF missionaries.

“I am personally grateful for MAF’s ministry in Haiti,” said HAFF missionary Greg Van Schoyck, who is currently serving in Haiti. “For many of the 17 years we’ve lived on the remote Central Plateau near Pignon, the roads to Port-au-Prince have been so bad that the 80-mile drive could take somewhere between eight and 12 hours, depending on how often we got stuck and the number of flat tires. The 25-minute MAF flight is quick, easy, and fun, and flying with MAF gives us the opportunity to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us. … It didn’t take long to determine that flying is more cost-effective for us in the long run, not only with regard to saving wear and tear on our trucks but saving time, and wear and tear on our bodies.”



“MAF-Haiti’s desire has been to see the Great Commission accomplished in this needy land,” said Haiti program manager David Carwell, who oversaw MAF’s service to more than 30 ministries and agencies last year. “MAF has encouraged development in the aviation infrastructure and has been a technical resource to many entities.

“While Haiti’s challenges are great, we do see the light of the Gospel bringing about change in people’s hearts as we continue to serve organizations that are working to help the people of Haiti. Beyond the hangar and the airports around the land, our missionary staff has made a difference in people’s lives as they minister in their local churches, neighborhoods, and homes.” Only God knows what lies ahead in Haiti for the next 25 years. But as the need to reach isolated people persists there, MAF looks forward to faithfully serving the people of Haiti and watching God transform the heart of a nation. To watch a video of how MAF is a catalyst for change, scan code, or visit

A Life of Service

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

—Colossians 4:2 Pray that ...

• Our programs will be able to obtain aviation gasoline (avgas). • The MAF staff who are involved in after-hours ministry will have opportunities to share Christ. • The 11 pre-field missionaries who were recently accepted to MAF will find ministry partners. • God will bring schoolteachers and mechanics to serve with MAF. • Dieuphete Celime, a 12-yearold boy in Haiti, will adjust to life after treatment for third-degree burns.

Claire Mellis, a pioneer MAF missionary, went to be with the Lord on New Year’s Day. Claire and her husband Charlie were instrumental in the founding of MAF, moving to Los Angeles in 1946 and living out of suitcases while working to get the ministry off the ground. They spent many years establishing the mission work in Papua New Guinea and Papua (then called Irian Jaya) before returning to MAF headquarters in 1958. Charlie, who served as MAF president from 1970 –1973, passed away in 1981. Claire authored More than a Pilot: A Pioneer in Mission Aviation, which tells the story of her family’s ministry with MAF.

MAF-LT Enables Dial-a-Devotion Ministry

Brad Rhoads, of MAF-Learning Technologies (LT), recently installed two phone systems—one in Paris, France, (to reach people in North Africa), and the other in a country in Central Asia. These systems provide a daily devotional message with a salvation invitation at the end. A similar system in the Philippines received 7,000 calls per day, resulting in hundreds coming to Christ. Brad helped set up the equipment and trained the staff of a partner organization. That ministry then went on to complete a third installation in Ethiopia. Visit to learn about other MAF-LT projects.

Growing Pains in South Sudan

Due to refugee movement, tribal conflicts, and the activities of development organizations in South Sudan, there has been an increased demand for MAF services. MAF-I’s Kenya program, based in Nairobi, is ramping up its operations in Juba, South Sudan, to meet the need. Recent flights in the area have resulted in 400 blind people receiving sight—thanks to doctors from Christian Blind Mission.

Correction: In our last issue, we stated that Richard Morales was the first Ecuadorian pilot to fly for MAF. Job Orellana was the first-ever Ecuadorian to fly for MAF. His first flight was in 1981.

I want to help MAF share the hope and healing found in Christ.

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2012 Spring FlightWatch  
2012 Spring FlightWatch  

In this issue: a in-depth look at how Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has served in Haiti for 25 years (MAF has a heart for Haiti); Tech C...