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Spring 2020

FLYING FOR LIFE Special Supplement

Since we published an extended, special edition magazine to celebrate MAF’s 75 years of “Flying for Life” earlier this year, we thought we would follow up with a “Spring supplement” to highlight some of the exciting developments taking place, both overseas and here in New Zealand.

The Kendon-Strong MAF Centre


Creating a “Hub” for our Future

as an Aircraft Engineer with MAF! Five years ago God first spoke to Mark Fox, the MAF NZ CEO, about creating a new centre, or “hub”, that would allow all of MAF New Zealand’s activities to go to the next level. On Wednesday 19 August, with gratitude to the Lord for His goodness and provision, MAF NZ was able to put down a deposit on a hangar at Tauranga airport. This will be developed into the Kendon-Strong MAF Centre. Named after Murray Kendon and Trevor Strong, the two Kiwi pilots who founded MAF, the new Centre will provide office space, meeting rooms and accommodation. There will be training facilities to meet the changing landscape of recruiting and developing missionary pilots, engineers, ground staff, managers

and leaders. It will house our Cessna 206, which will continue to be used for pilot training and promotional activities. From this hub strategic partnerships will be formed with churches, training providers and companies in New Zealand in order to work together to achieve our goals. Finance for this purchase has come from investments from the sale of our previous hangar at Ardmore many years ago, and three very generous gifts recently received towards this project. Yet there is still a way to go. pg 2

From the purchase price of $1,040,000 we have an outstanding balance of $245,000. The settlement date is 26 November 2020, and we urgently need to raise as much of the outstanding amount as we can before then. To invest into the future of MAF’s ministry, go to our website or contact Mark Fox directly to discuss making a gift (mobile: 021 240 5500 or email: For a full description of the Kendon-Strong MAF Centre, go to our website:

MAFTRACK has been developed to provide an individually tailored training pathway for pilots, aircraft engineers, managers and people with leadership skills to become “mission-ready” to work with MAF overseas. Recently, to provide additional support specifically for aircraft

engineers, we have connected with several major training organisations. This will provide a platform for both school leavers and those considering a change in career to take the next step towards working as an aircraft engineer with MAF. Contact us to start training in 2021! 0800 87 85 88

Recruitment Retreat Are you, or someone you know, interested in finding out more about MAF— where we work, what we do and what working with MAF is really like? Join us for the next Recruitment Retreat, which will be included

as part of the weekend celebration in Matamata during 6-8 November. This is a fantastic opportunity to ask questions with no obligation to join MAF. Contact Olivia to find out more.

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Not Too Late to Join the Celebration! There are just a few weeks to go before we celebrate “75 Years of Flying for Life” at Matamata from 6-8 November! An exciting weekend programme is ready and we are anticipating a fantastic time. Come and celebrate all that God has done over the last 75 years—and pray into the future. There are still a few places left, so head to our website to register so that you don’t miss out.


Staff Changes


Prabhu, Christina and Abigail Pothula

The expected date for completion of the Lailenpi airstrip in Myanmar is February 2021! Chin State has long suffered from lack of access to services and the highest rate (73%) of poverty in the country. Progress is going well on construction of the airstrip, which will provide immediate access to resources for approximately 40,000 people. Lailenpi was chosen as the most strategic location for the construction—it is a twoday drive from the nearest airport in the dry season, but during the monsoon season it becomes completely isolated due to road closures or landslides. The new 740m runway will serve light aircraft with up to ten seats.

MAF is about changing lives and supporting communities. A side benefit is that the airstrip development has inspired the Lailenpi community to create a 45-hectare Airstrip Zone in which coffee plantations will be a key feature. Once established, the 13,000 plants will produce about 13 tonnes of coffee per year! This community venture, along with the MAF flights, has the capacity to provide significant improvement on socio-economic conditions of the local people.

Fly the Flag for MAF as a Church Rep! As we say in MAF, “all pieces play a part” and Church Reps play a key role in introducing the ministry to others. We are looking for enthusiastic, missionsfocused people who would like to help promote MAF in their local church. Would you be able to tell people in your church about critical vacancies, run small fundraisers, look for opportunities to share about MAF and be the “go to” person for anyone with questions about our work? To find out more (or apply) go to the Work With Us page on our website.

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Stuart King, 1922–2020 Stuart King, one of the key founders of Mission Aviation Fellowship, has gone to be with his Lord at age 98. After the Second World War, Stuart partnered with Murray Kendon to help establish MAF. Highly skilled, tenacious and dedicated to helping those in need, Stuart

took part in the survey flight across eastern and central Africa in 1948—a pioneering mission that shaped the course of Stuart’s future and paved a way forward for humanitarian aviation. His determination and sense of adventure will be missed.

Andy Campbell

Upcoming Touch and Go Events — Catch the Vision! Come to one of our “Touch and Go” events to see MAF NZ’s aircraft (which previously served MAF overseas for over 30 years), meet CEO Mark Fox, talk to MAF staff and volunteers, and connect with others who share a passion for mission and aviation! These events are

The Pothulas have been led by the Lord to transition to Pioneers, a partner organisation of MAF in Arnhem Land. They will focus on working directly with the indigenous Yolngu people. We wish them all the best and thank them for their hard work with MAF.

great opportunities to catch the “MAF vision”. Over the summer we are planning to visit Hamilton, Warkworth Whanganui, Hawera, New Plymouth and Auckland. We’ll be in touch with more details, or check our website. These events are weather-dependent. pg 5

Andy is the latest MAF NZ missionary to complete all the necessary steps and head overseas to serve with MAF. Andy stopped by the office on his way to the airport to say goodbye and thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. We congratulate Andy on a job well done. He is now serving as a Maintenance Controller with MAF in PNG!

Impact of COVID-19 on MAF Operations Worldwide


As expected, reports vary from country to country, but overall there have been encouraging signs as some MAF programmes begin to slowly open up. Here are a few highlights:

INGHAM My Journey

with MAF

In Arnhem Land, flight operations continue with limited resources (aircraft and pilots).

“Bondia!” (“good day”) from Dili, Timor-Leste! I can’t believe I’m really here! Arriving in Timor-Leste was just another step along my journey which began in February 2018, at a recruitment retreat for people interested in finding out more about working for MAF. Throughout the weekend my sense that this is what God is calling me to just grew and grew. Then began the long process of preparing to become a MAF pilot, including raising my financial sponsorship! My journey continued in Mareeba, in the far north of Australia, where I worked as an instructor at the Flight Training Centre. However, on 3 June, I was asked if I would be willing to take up a relief pilot role in Timor-Leste for six months. A number of their staff had been evacuated to their home countries and were having difficulty getting back. After prayer, I agreed. So, on Monday 6 July, I left Mareeba and headed to Timor-Leste.

Arriving in Timor-Leste When a MAF pilot starts in a new programme, they begin with CARA— country, area, route and

airstrip—training. The goal is to learn the intricacies of each of the different airstrips. This filled my early weeks. MAF is contracted to provide air transport for the national ambulance service in TimorLeste. That means that we fly a lot of medevacs—an average of about six a week. I found it really useful to be involved in medevac flying— although it often disrupted our plans (accidents aren’t planned ahead!) The major benefits were getting some “real” operational flying experience and flying the aircraft close to its maximum weight.

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Life in Timor-Leste With any cross-cultural move there is often an initial “culture shock”, followed by a “honeymoon” period, before “culture stress” starts to set in. I found the first week here pretty hard. But once I was able to rearrange things in the house a bit more and started sleeping through the night (instead of being woken by roosters crowing at 1 am), things started looking up. In Dili, MAF rents a number of houses. They aren’t in a compound, like some of the other programmes; nor are they particularly close to each other, but they are all within a few minutes’

drive of the airport. I have been assigned to a Timorese style house. We are currently operating on a skeleton staff of Andy Macdonald and myself, both from New Zealand, along with three local Timorese staff—and one aircraft. (We will get our second aircraft back once maintenance work has been completed). Andy has been here since late 2019. It’s great to have a fellow Kiwi flying here! I look forward to the next steps on the journey that God leads me on as I serve with MAF as a pilot!

Kenya, where Sam Johnston from New Zealand is a pilot, has seen the number of confirmed COVID cases each day decreasing over the past few weeks. The borders remain open and they have welcomed a new engineer family. In PNG flight hours are continuing to climb (to about 52 flight hours per week) although they have plateaued somewhat due to the number of available pilots in country. Two pilots are arriving in country shortly but will have to quarantine for 14 days. Airstrip surveys are still in process, with 55 airstrips opened so far. MAF in Madagascar has been able to resume normal working hours for some time now and is thankful for each flight they can make.

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In Uganda, MAF is thankful to have received official permission to resume domestic flying! A recent address by the President gave people hope regarding churches opening again with up to 70 people attending, some schools will reopen and borders will also open. In South Sudan scheduled shuttle flights are being well used. They flew over 133 passengers from more than 40 different partner organisations in August, clocking up more than 11k nautical miles. The Engineering and Flight Training Centres in Mareeba continue to work, whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. The MAF programme in Timor-Leste is operating normally, with relief pilots providing support for six months.


PO Box 76502 Manukau City, Auckland 2241 New Zealand Toll Free: 0800 87 85 88 Email:

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Flying For Life 2020 Supplement  

Flying For Life 2020 Supplement  

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