PRESIDENT’S DESK “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2 MAF serves in places around the world where the effects of lives lived apart from Christ are on full display. We know that it is only through the transforming love of Christ that we can offer a message of hope and freedom to those trapped in darkness, and it is our prayer that God will graciously use our ministry to help change the ending for those in bondage. Throughout these pages you will read about the completion of a decades-long Bible translation project in Papua, Indonesia, in which MAF played a key role. Translating God’s word into a local language takes a vast amount of work. It takes dedication over time—and no one person can take all the credit. Bible translators, MAF pilots, local believers and church leaders, and people like you who support this work through gifts and prayer. All of us strive together so that people like those in the village of Apahapsili can read God’s word in their own language and grow in their understanding of all that God has done for them. MAF is a vital link in that chain—a link that could not happen without you! This particular story holds a special place in my heart. I flew many flights to the airstrip at Apahapsili during the years we served in Papua, and felt a true sense of fellowship with those who lived there. I’m thrilled they now have the entire Bible in their language! Thank you for the part you played in bringing the word of God to the people there. And thank you for changing the endings for people around the world through MAF. Serving Together,
a publication of Mission Aviation Fellowship The stories within FlightWatch are highlights of MAF’s ministry. Some days our missionaries get to see and experience the amazing things our Lord is doing. Other days are spent quietly and diligently serving the Lord through routine flights, maintenance work, and simply living among others in foreign countries. We believe that God works through all areas of service and at times blesses us with extraordinary glimpses of His work.
Director of Marketing: Tracey Werre Managing Editor: Chris Burgess Production Manager: Micki Blair Graphic Designer: Clayton Borah Writers/Resourcing: Jennifer Wolf Chris Burgess Every gift you send, every prayer you offer for MAF, helps change lives through aviation and technology. We enjoy hearing from you! Please send comments and questions to MAF-US@maf.org. MAF PO Box 47 Nampa, ID 83653-0047 208-498-0800 1-800-FLYS-MAF (359-7623) maf.org
MAF maintains the highest standards of financial accountability and public disclosure to donors, the government, and the world at large. MAF is a member of ... Accord (formerly AERDO) • CSC Christian Service Charities • ECFA Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability • IAMA International Association of Missionary Aviation • Missio Nexus. All Scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 2010 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
David Holsten President and CEO
On the cover: Yali people praying. Photo by Mark Hewes
You don’t have to cross an ocean to be part of the work MAF is doing. There are many ways you can use your skills to help MAF reach isolated people with Christ’s love.
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BECOME AN MAF ADVOCATE
Be a voice for MAF. Tell the MAF story in your community and help change the ending for isolated people by becoming an MAF advocate.
A MOTHER’S BLESSING by Jennifer Wolf
photos by Stephen Hale
An MAF pilot flies his mom and their ministries converge to bring lifesaving medical training to Congolese doctors and nurses. “Mom, this is surreal. How does this happen?” said MAF pilot Stephen Hale to his mother, who was in the co-pilot seat next to him in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It was morning, and they were about to take off for the distant village of Wasolo, in the northwest corner of the country. Renée Hale was accompanying a team of medical ambassadors in her role as the executive director of the Paul Carlson Partnership. The team included a pediatrician, a nurse, and a physician’s assistant from the U.S., along with four Congolese medical professionals from Karawa. These seven would teach a group of 22 Congolese doctors and nurses two courses: “Helping Babies Breathe” and “Essential Care for Every Baby.” The 22 could then go out and train many others. On the taxiway at the Kinshasa International Airport, Renée said, “Stephen, at 15 we knew that God was beginning to work in your life towards mission aviation ministry, and now, here you are, and I’m sitting in the co-pilot seat with you. We’re actually seeing the 4
kingdom work that God has called us to do meld together as our organizations are partnering in this ministry. It does feel surreal. It also feels like so much of a blessing, I can hardly contain it!” Renée had flown with MAF in the DRC previously, but this was her first time to fly with her son there. The team landed on the red-clay airstrip near Wasolo in the late afternoon. Wasolo was too far from home base to return that day, and Renée was scheduled to fly to another village in three days. So the airplane was parked until then, and Stephen was able to spend two days on the ground with his mother, getting to know the team and seeing their work firsthand. A Strong Partnership “Our Congolese brothers and sisters
kept thanking Stephen profusely for the ministry of MAF to bring us to this remote area,” said Renée. “They kept saying, ‘Thank you for helping us learn to save lives,’ and ‘We know you could not get here over the roads. It’s just too long and the roads are too deteriorated.’ “They could see the connection between MAF, the Paul Carlson Partnership, and themselves—how those dots connect to make life-saving medical ministry possible.” That sense of partnership was strong during those few days in Wasolo. One evening as they were all together enjoying an Africanstyle dinner, Renée was struck by how all three parties were coming from very different places of life and ministry, and yet, there they were, ministering together. “It was powerful,” she recalls. As a holistic ministry of capacity building in medical and economic development with the gospel as the foundation, and in conjunction with the Evangelical Covenant Church, the Paul Carlson Partnership often collaborates with third parties like MAF. “It’s like a stool with three legs,” explains Renée. “If one leg is missing, it will fall down. God has provided us a way to create these three-partner relationships that transform us as partners, and they transform the lives of the people alongside whom we have the opportunity to minister.” The Timely Way Renée boarded the airplane with her son a few days later, heading to Karawa to visit the Paul Carlson Partnership’s Karawa Coffee Project, and she was in for an even more poignant experience. “As we took off from the airstrip, it was just the two of us in the airplane; it felt like a moment suspended in blessing. We flew at a lower altitude than usual because the weather was better at
around 5,000 feet. “If someone has not had the opportunity to fly that low, then you don’t have that magnitude of realization—how thick the forest is and how there are no roads. How you really are remote!” Had Renée and her team not been able to fly with MAF to these distant locations, the trip most likely would not have happened. They would have had to wait for dry season; their Congolese partners would have had to complete a survey of the roads. It could have meant a one- or two-year delay. “When we need to do timely work, we rely on MAF,” said Renée. This particular training happened last September, and the Congolese medical staff were able to start saving lives immediately. And they’ve already trained others to do the same. The impact has spread exponentially.
“When we need to do timely work, we rely on MAF.”
A Parting Delivery When MAF came to pick up the medical team and take them back to Kinshasa, the airplane carried a great blessing for the Wasolo hospital. On board were 20 mattresses donated by a U.S. church and a six-month supply of an antiseptic gel that, when applied to the umbilical cords of newborns, would prevent infection and reduce the seven-day mortality rate in infants. The departing team rejoiced to see the boxes of life-saving gel, knowing they had already taught the medical staff how to use it. Thinking of the donors who make the work of the Paul Carlson Partnership and MAF possible, Renée says, “Thank you is not sufficient. Those of us who get to be the messengers, the pilots, the facilitators—we are in a place of honor and privilege to carry out what our donors make possible by their gifts. So thank you for giving to MAF, because MAF partners with people like the Paul Carlson Partnership. “Our Congolese brothers and sisters have said it best, ‘Thank you for helping us save lives every day.’ ”
SEE WHAT YOU MADE POSSIBLE You changed the ending for isolated people around the world in 2018! Because of the support of people like you, MAF was able to share the love of Jesus with people living in some of the most remote places on earth. We are grateful for God’s provision and for all you made possible. Your support helped MAF not only meet—but exceed—its 2018 financial goals! Thank you for giving!
Here is just a glimpse of what you made happen in 2018:
AIRPLANE MAINTENANCE Refurbishing Airplanes
MEDICAL Hundreds of life-saving flights
Regular fleet maintenance
SHARING GOD’S WORD 40+ translation projects supported
DISASTER RESPONSE Provided food, shelter and supplies for a Congolese refugee camp
54+ screenings of the “JESUS” film Responded to Ebola outbreaks Some 35,000 lbs. of Bibles and Christian books and resources delivered
Relief efforts after earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia
Thank you for changing the ending for isolated people through MAF! 6
THE PLACE WE ARE FOUND BY GOD
How access to God’s Word has changed the ending for the Yali people
by Chris Burgess
There is a village high in the mountains of Papua, Indonesia, called “Apahapsili.” The name has several different meanings to the Yali people who live there, but today it most closely means “the place where we are uncovered by God.” Because of the gospel, the Yali who were hidden behind the mountain were found by God. But “Apahapsili” didn’t always mean this. Not long ago the word meant something very, very different.
EVERYTHING CHANGED The Yali people group—numbering around 100,000—lived entirely cut off from the outside world for generations. But life was far from idyllic for the Yali. “We didn’t know anything about the outside world,” said Unus Walilo, a Yali elder and pastor of the local church (GKII). “We didn’t know there were people beyond the mountains. We lived in the stone age—killing each other, eating our enemies. We didn’t know any life different than that.” Back then the village’s name was understood to mean “the place where we take the skin from our enemies and eat them.”
On September 10, 1965, after MAF pilots had discovered the Yali people while doing survey flights, the first outsiders arrived in Apahapsili. “I still remember the day, when the missionary with local pastors arrived here,” said Unus. “It made a big impact.” This first contact began a decades-long process of learning the language and the culture of the Yali and launching a joint effort with them to translate the Bible
into their language. This process would not be fully completed until 2018.
THE WORD COMES TO THE YALI Siegfried Zoellner and Friedrich Tometten, German missionaries from the United Evangelical Mission, have worked very closely with Yali translators. The initial focus of the translators was the New Testament, which was completed and printed in 1988. A few years later they began work on the Old Testament. An abridged version of the Old Testament was completed in 1998—but the Yali wanted more. “When I came back to the village in 2006,” said Friedrich, “the Yali told us they wanted to complete the Old Testament. I asked what was missing and they said, ‘the genealogies.’ This was strange for me, but I learned a lot from them about the meaning of all these lists and various parts of the Bible. “They said the Old Testament is their story—it is the story of their own lives.”
“We didn’t only want to hear the word of the Lord in other languages, we needed to hear and read it in our mother tongue,” said Unus. “It is really a privilege to have the Bible in our own language.” “Speaking on behalf of the other Yali women, we really love to read the Bible in our language. It nurtures us,” said Antje Faluk, the youngest female member of the translation team. “Some of the women have memorized entire chapters and know many of the Psalms by heart.” The Yali were eager for the Bible to be completed. This work transformed the entire people group in so many ways. This once-violent group now looks to educate their children not in warfare but in reading and writing. They band together not to fight their enemies but to raise funds to construct a church building. For the Yali, the story of the Bible is “our story; it is the story of God looking for us; it is His love seeking us.”
A LIFELINE FOR THE YALI MAF played a key role in this entire process—from locating the Yali, to supporting the missionaries working there, to delivering Bibles and supporting the entire community in so many ways. “MAF is a lifeline for people living interior in isolated places like Apahapsili,” said Jeremiah Hartin, an MAF pilot in Papua. “We carry in not only Bibles, but also food, and supplies like roofing A Yali woman participates in the celebration. Photo by Lem Malabuyo material or medicine. We provide transportation for The process of translating the Bible into people as well. As a pilot, it feels very any language is lengthy, but for the Yali satisfying to know that I am playing a it was particularly challenging. One Yali small part, but it is a significant link in the word can have about 1,000 forms. This chain of what God is doing.” process required collaboration between MAF’s role is recognized both by the the German translators who were fluent missionaries and the Yali themselves. in biblical Greek and Hebrew and a team “All that we are doing here could not of Yali translators who were the experts in happen without the support of MAF,” said their own language. Paulina Wandik, another Yali translator. 8
best education possible. They will learn more than we have ever learned. Maybe they will be able to go to school in Indonesia, Germany, or even America.” Someday in a faraway classroom, a student might say to his instructor, “I come from a place called Apahapsili. Let me tell you what that means.”
Yali people dance around an MAF Kodiak. Photo by Lem Malabuyo
A NEW BEGINNING When an MAF team recently landed in Apahapsili, they were greeted with an elaborate ceremony of dancing and singing. This ceremony explained the history of the Yali. They told how they were found by God, laid down their arrows and spears, and took up His Word. The community that once devoured its enemies now lives in peace—with each other and with their Creator. And their story is far from over. As Yali evangelists chat with Friedrich and the MAF team about how life in Apahapsili has changed, a young boy walks up and sits at their feet. The older Yali people look on him with pride and affection. “We are looking to the future,” says Paulina. “We hope our children get the
The Yali celebrate the arrival of God’s Word. Photo by Mark Hewes
Church built by the Yali people. Photo by Mark Hewes
PETER AND MIRIAM DE WINKLE by Jennifer Wolf
Six years ago, Peter and Miriam De Winkle, and their kids, were living on a dairy farm not far from MAF’s headquarters. Peter operated and maintained equipment and managed operations on his parents’ 2,000-cow farm. Today, the De Winkles are MAF pre-fielders, preparing to serve in Suriname as a pilot/mechanic family. “It was a big surprise to us that God was able to change the course of our lives. We’d assumed that we’d just be farmers for the rest of our lives,” said Peter. The seed was planted when Peter and Miriam met a long-time MAF couple in their church small group. As Peter learned more about MAF, his interest grew. “I loved the way that they served and spread God’s kingdom around the world,” said Peter. “I wanted to be involved in that.” “We both are so passionate about helping people,” said Miriam. “And Peter is very technical. It’s amazing 10
how God lined up our skills and our passions and gifting with MAF.” At first, Peter thought he’d be a mechanic. He had a background in maintenance and wasn’t a pilot. But after taking his first flight lesson, he was hooked. “There were still huge barriers to overcome, such as the flight training,” explained Peter. “But we said, ‘God, if this is really what you want us to do, then we’ll keep going as long as you make a way.’ And He did.” When the De Winkles discovered that MAF had a program in Suriname, a Dutch-speaking country in South America, they felt another tug on their hearts. Both come from Dutch families, and Miriam grew up speaking Dutch. They couldn’t help but think: What if we go there one day? “It’s been amazing how God has directed us toward Suriname in our hearts, and towards the people,” said Miriam.
Peter is looking forward to being able to bless the people of Suriname by providing medical evacuations, and transporting missionaries and supplies. In the meantime, the De Winkles are working on building their support team. They hope to make it to the field in the fall. While it all seems a bit surreal, the couple has been reassured throughout this journey. “We’ve given it up to God over and over again,” said Peter, “and He’s guided our paths. It’s really because God has laid it on our hearts, and he has opened the door for us to go.”
Is God calling you to join with the De Winkles in blessing the people of Suriname through MAF? To join their team, visit maf.org/dewinkle.
HELP FOR HAITI’S YOUNGEST Healing and hope for undernourished children in rural Haiti
photo by Lacey West
by Jennifer Wolf
One out of every 14 Haitian children won’t live to see their fifth birthday due to malnutrition and related complications, like anemia. But Danita’s Children—a Christian organization serving in Haiti—is working to change that. Danita’s Children launched a new program that brings mobile malnutrition clinics to rural areas of Haiti. “We’re finding the ones who can’t get to us,” said Brittany Hilker, the malnutrition program director for Danita’s Children. “These are kids who maybe would have never made it.” One area Brittany and her team are focusing on is Baie d’Orange, a beautiful and extremely remote area in the mountains of Belle Anse, Haiti. About 14,000 people live here, and there are no health facilities or doctors. “The people are very poor and most all of them live off the land to survive,” said Brittany. “The need is greater than I’ve seen anywhere else in Haiti, especially regarding child malnutrition.” On one of their visits, the team saw 167 children in one day, 20 of whom were found to be severely malnourished—like baby Kenold. At eight months old, Kenold was a mere eight pounds. He and his loving, attentive mom, 18-year-old Monique, received an emergency MAF flight back to the main Danita’s Children medical center in Ouanaminthe. Several other children were medevaced as well. Kenold was treated there for six weeks and weighed 12 pounds when he was released. MAF flights are taking the Danita’s Children malnutrition team partway to Baie d’Orange—to the closest airstrip—two or three times a year. The airplanes also carry boxes of a peanut-based therapeutic food, Plumpy Nut or Plumpy Sup. In October the team was able to stock a pharmacy with a year’s worth of medicines and nutritional supplements, train two partner nurses, plant moringa trees, fund the construction of latrines, and share the gospel with the community. Brittany sent a report to the MAF Haiti team and thanked them: “Since they are a vital part of getting us there and back, I would love for the pilots and those in the office to see what they are a part of. We are not only going and flying sick kids back, we are helping the people of Baie d’Orange have their own permanent malnutrition program to combat the epidemic in their area. Thanks for all your help!”
TECH CORNER AN MAF VOLUNTEER INNOVATION WILL ADD A SPARK TO THE FLEET! MAF airplanes take off and land in some of the most remote airstrips in the world. This means they must be uniquely equipped. And keeping MAF flying in remote jungles, deserts, and mountains often requires innovative approaches in unexpected ways. Take the MAF battery cart for example. A decade ago, when MAF began switching its fleet from piston engines to the much more dependable turbine engines, staff noticed poor starts that resulted from off-the-shelf batteries quickly losing power and creating weaker sparks. This meant the fire remained in the chamber too long. Over time, this causes the chamber to break down—getting hot and remaining hot for too long—and reduces its life expectancy. Replacing a chamber can cost $200,000. So Gerald Dafoe, a former MAF pilot in Brazil who now serves as an MAF volunteer, and other volunteers at MAF’s headquarters in Nampa created the MAF battery cart to solve this problem. The cart includes two 6-volt batteries and two 8-volt batteries, as well as a charge monitoring system that was also developed by MAF. The monitoring system allows charger performance to be viewed remotely—either at the Nampa home base or from a volunteer or staff member’s home. Battery charging carts may revolutionize response times, reach, and resources for years to come. They fill a specific niche for our hangar crews and pilots not currently addressed by typical flight equipment. And it’s a niche that goes back to the very basic function of the airplane battery— creating a hot start. Many MAF flights aren’t long enough for the engine to cool appropriately, which shortens the life of our aircraft. The carts lengthen the life of the chamber, which allows other internal workings to see increased lifespan. In addition, the battery carts themselves will last 8-10 years as compared to 18 months for traditional, onboard batteries. By using the onboard battery half as often, those batteries will last 50 percent longer. “We must be good stewards—even, or perhaps especially, when we discuss aircraft,” said Gerald. Currently, the first cart is being used at the MAF hangar in Nampa. The plan is to get them to the field bases once funding can be raised to build others.
JOIN US IN PRAYER Pray for MAF human resources personnel in the U.S. and around the world, that God would direct their hiring decisions.
Lift up 10 new MAF staff who were accepted in January. Ask the Lord to grow their ministry partnership teams.
Continue to pray about the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC—for protection over our staff and our partners, for those affected, and for containment.
Lift up the Trio and Wayana children of Suriname who will now experience the Bible in their own language. May the Lord grab hold of their hearts and may they learn to walk with Him forever. Pray also for those who are trying to raise money to print and deliver more copies of these scripture translations.
“May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2 (NIV)
NEWS BRIEFS ‘CHARLIE BROWN’ ON THE MOVE In previous issues of FlightWatch we told you about two Cessna 185 floatplanes, PK-MCB and PK-MCD, that retired from MAF service last year. Well, they are on the move again! PKMCB, “Charlie Brown,” will be on-loan to MAF Switzerland, who has arranged for it to be displayed at the Swiss Museum of Transport. By summer the airplane should be installed on a large pond with islands that represent various MAF locations around the world. Interactive features include paddle-boats (“airplanes”) for visitors to carry out “missions” at each country, sound effects, and graphic panels telling about PK-MCB and MAF. PKMCB will be on the pond for at least a year. After that, it will likely move inside the museum building for several more years. Charlie Brown’s counterpart, PKMCD, will be on display at the Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, WA.
RESTORING WOMEN’S LIVES MAF flew Dr. Tim Rice and Dr. Shannon Potter to the Vanga Evangelical Hospital in the DRC in early December, where women from all over the area came for life-changing surgeries to treat obstetric fistula. MAF pilot Stephen Hale then flew to the Kikongo mission station to pick up five women and bring them to Vanga for the surgery. The ladies’ flights were paid for by the Vanga-Kikongo Project, funded by MAF donors to support medical and missionary flights to those two locations. The cost of the surgeries was covered by Americans who gave through CongoHealthConnection.org.
CHILDREN’S BIBLE DEDICATIONS MAF Suriname, an affiliate of MAF, recently delivered children’s Bibles that had been translated into the Trio and Wayana languages. Jacoline Bijkerk, wife of MAF program manager MAF BATTLES EBOLA DESPITE Andy Bijkerk, spearheaded this EVACUATION project, which took four years to MAF’s team in eastern Democratic complete. These two tribes had no Republic of the Congo (DRC) was biblical material for young children evacuated from Nyankunde after an (lower elementary grades), and now Ebola patient was identified at the they have a beautiful picture-book local hospital just before Christmas. version. Andy spoke at four Trio village The team relocated to MAF’s Uganda dedications and quoted Deuteronomy base, from which our pilots continued 6:6-7: “These commandments that to transport vaccines, medical I give you today are to be on your personnel and supplies, and sanitation hearts. Impress them on your children. equipment into the North Kivu Talk about them when you sit at home province. The MAF team returned to and when you walk along the road, Nyankunde at the end of January, after when you lie down and when you get no more cases had been reported up.” Photo by Andy Bijkerk. there for 21 days (the incubation period). Photo by Dave Petersen.