Flying for Life Spring 2018
The quarterly magazine of MAF
Open arms, open hearts
Mum on a mission
UGANDA: pray for refugees
Open arms, open hearts
Today, thanks to MAF partners, young people at Bidi Bidi, Uganda, are carrying a message of love and forgiveness that they hope will create a peaceful, prosperous tomorrow for South Sudan Story Jill Vine Photos Jill Vine and Clare Wise de Wet
ver the ten years I’ve worked for MAF, I’ve witnessed the beauty and transformation our partners bring about in this hurting world. MAF’s programme in Uganda helps address problems caused by the violent conflict in South Sudan that resulted in thousands of people taking refuge in Uganda. Last year, I visited Bidi Bidi to see how we are helping more than 280,000 South Sudanese refugees. The vast settlement – the largest in Africa – is spread out over 88.8 square miles of land that has been leased long-term by local landowners. Uganda, with its one million-plus refugees, has been hailed as the most successful refugee setup in the world.
‘They wanted to help’ When I visited the Prime Minister’s Office, the Community Services Assistant told me that ‘the locals in the area felt their brothers and sisters in South Sudan needed their help. Even though
2 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
there’s a border, they felt they wanted to help them with their challenges.’ The refugees – who are happy they are safe – are provided with shelter, water and schools. In an effort to avoid creating aid dependency, the agencies involved give able-bodied refugees a tarpaulin, some poles and a piece of land where they can build a house in the same way they would do back home.
‘It puts a smile on my face’ MAF partner War Child Canada offers legal aid to those who’ve survived sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and runs an accelerated learning programme that helps children integrate into Uganda’s school curriculum. War Child's Jennifer loves her job as a lawyer. ‘Being able to impact a change in someone else’s life,’ she says, ‘puts a smile on my face. The perpetrators [of SGBV] know they’ll be caught. A lot of the cases are related to intimate domestic violence and early marriage, which is culturally acceptable among
most communities in South Sudan, though not in Uganda.’ Thanks to legal intervention and community awareness, the problem is being addressed and its scale and magnitude is decreasing. 'The settlers,' says Jennifer, ‘are learning about their rights and the rights of others, which will hopefully impact South Sudan once they are able to return.’
‘There must be love’ War Child’s accelerated learning programme is similarly successful. Eighteen-year-old Robert Moki came to Bidi Bidi after fleeing the border town of Kya2 because people were being randomly killed. Although Robert couldn’t afford South Sudan’s school fees, he is able to finish his schooling in Bidi Bidi free of charge. He’s achieving top grades, and wants to be a doctor. Nema, aged 19, has a similar story. She works hard and wants to become an accountant. Thanks to War Child and other organisations, young people like 18-year-old Franco Santos have the opportunity to become influential leaders in the refugee community, which – when they finally return to South Sudan – bodes well for the country’s future. Franco thanks War Child for its help, saying, ‘We have learnt that good leaders must be kind to their people, forgiving and loving each other.
In a good community, there must be love.’
‘We saw people slaughtered’ Christian NGO and regular MAF flyer Samaritan’s Purse is also motivated by love – providing the refugees with water, food and teaching on sanitation and hygiene. Thanks to them, 68% of the settlers now have their own toilets – which prevents fatal outbreaks of cholera and dysentery. They are also digging boreholes and providing 1,000 refugees with paid work. David Minjo, who fled with his wife and four children, says, ‘I thank God for this day. In Yei, soldiers would come in the night and kill people. We saw people slaughtered like goats. It took us seven days to walk here by foot with our small children.’ His brother was one of those murdered.
‘The pilots comforted me’ Charpman Magagula, Regional Manager of Samaritan’s Purse, loves MAF. ‘I got on to a flight and the pilots said, “Let’s ask God for protection before the flight.” This really blessed and comforted me. ‘Without MAF, we’d spend seven hours just driving from Kampala to Arua. I’ve seen many influential people coming in with MAF to the camps to assess the situation. If we didn’t have MAF, it would reduce the help that we receive here.’
Main Some of the dynamic youth leaders mentored by War Child Canada Top left Refugees are provided with shelter, water and schools Bottom left Robert Moki is studying to be a doctor Above The Minjo family – now safe from the horrors of war
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 3
SOUTH UGANDA: SUDAN: praypray for refugees for new pilots
MAF provides up to five shuttles a week to Bidi Bidi. As we continue to offer as much support as possible to our 475 partners serving in northern Uganda, it’s encouraging to see what a difference they are making to the immense number of refugees whose lives depend on them. Please pray for more than a million refugees seeking to rebuild their lives in Uganda.
Bidi Bidi Arua DRC
U G A N D A
Key to maps
— Capital city
Left Jennifer says helping refugees puts a smile on her face
KENYA Lake Victoria
— MAF base 50 miles
Thank you for your generosity Thanks to a new state-of-the-art Redbird CRV-G simulator, our pilots are gaining valuable emergency response training. Based at MAF’s Africa region training hub at Kajjansi Airfield, Uganda, the simulator was donated by generous UK supporters including the Grace Charitable Trust. Its cockpit is a recreation of MAF’s most prolific aircraft type – the Cessna Grand Caravan 208 – enabling us to enhance our excellent flying standards through precisely tailored, cost-effective training. ‘We can rehearse emergencies in the simulator “for real” that we can’t do in the aircraft,' says MAF’s Fleet Training Captain Hansjoerg Schlatter, ‘and create scenarios that last longer and test how well pilots prioritise and sequence various tasks.’ Eric Payne OBE, of the Grace Charitable Trust – pictured above with his wife, Angela – and MAF Uganda’s Evelyn Kabahuma led worship at the simulator’s dedication ceremony. This included a song in the local Luganda language, which translates, ‘What shall we bring to You – we children of man – except to praise and worship You all the days of our lives.’
Important update In the last edition of Flying for Life, our Head of Fundraising Mike Fagg mentioned that we would be writing to you about forthcoming changes to the Data Protection regulations. Over the coming weeks, you will receive a letter from our Chief Executive Ruth Whitaker outlining some things you need to know. It will also include a copy of our updated privacy statement . Please note, if your letter asks you to respond about your current choice of MAF materials, please contact us as soon as possible. You can do this by using the response form that will come with your letter. Alternatively, you can phone us on 01303 852189 or email Supporter.Relations@maf-uk.org We really value your support and would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to respond, if asked. Please be aware that if you do not respond where you have been asked, we will be unable to send you this magazine and other communications you want to receive from us. 4 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
UK news: pray for missionaries
Photo MAF archive
A rainy day in Croydon Stuart King, one of MAF's founders, tells how the organisation took to the skies 70 years ago on its very first ‘flight of faith’
raumatic at times, MAF’s story is an adventure of faith! Above all, it’s God’s story. After World War II, in air forces throughout the world, the hearts of men and women were stirred by one question above all others – ‘Can aircraft that were used so effectively for death and destruction now bring God’s peace and love to isolated people living in unreached areas?’ New Zealander Murray Kendon – who’d been an RAF pilot in Coastal Command – was one such airman inspired by this idea. Jack Hemmings, Ken Ellis, Tom Banham and I were among the first to join Murray and his new organisation, Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF). We knew God had called us to survey the needs of missions in Africa. And we needed an aircraft to do this. It took two long years to raise funds for the twin-engined, four-seater Miles Gemini aircraft that became known as The Mildmay Pathfinder in honour of our
sponsor, the Mildmay Movement. Finally, on the afternoon of Tuesday 13 January 1948 at Croydon Airport – after an electrical fault had been corrected – Jack (pilot) and I (co-pilot and engineer) were given permission to take off. We flew into squalls of icy rain with 70mph crosswinds. There had been a brief debate about waiting for better weather, but we’d done more dangerous things in the war and couldn’t wait any longer to start this new adventure!
Flying low across the Channel, the strong sidewinds made it necessary to correct our course by 20o all the way to France. Two hours later, we touched down safely in Paris – the first leg of our African adventure completed safely. Praise the Lord! Throughout this 70th anniversary year, Flying for Life will continue the amazing story of MAF’s beginnings. However, just before the Pathfinder left England that day, a supporter thrust a small movie camera into my hands and urged me to film the journey. The resulting documentary – plus interviews with Jack and myself – is called Flights of Faith and is now available on DVD for a suggested donation of £5 by phoning 01303 852819 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Main Ready for take-off at Croydon Airport, 13 January 1948 Left MAF pioneers: Jack Hemmings, Stuart King, Ken Ellis (temporary helper), Tom Banham and Murray Kendon
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 5
MONGOLIA: pray for children with special needs
A long, dark tunnel
Thanks to Reaching the Light and MAF, Mongolian children with special needs can now receive life-changing therapy
our-year-old Namuun wears a white polka-dot dress and a bright smile that melts hearts. She runs the length of the physiotherapy room many times, wobbling occasionally. When asked, she sings a song, then runs through some speech therapy exercises.
Main Our partnership with Reaching the Light is transforming the lives of children with special needs Above Namuun can now run, talk and sing because of regular therapy sessions Right Nomin is the top maths student in her class and faces a bright future
6 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
None of this came easily to Namuun. At 18 months old, she couldn’t crawl, walk or talk. When her mother Oyunaa realised Namuun wasn’t developing normal physical and speech skills like her two older siblings, it broke Oyunaa’s heart.
Improved Although Mongolia’s health system has improved greatly over the years, professional therapists for children with developmental disabilities are almost non-existent – especially outside the capital. Fortunately, NGO Reaching the Light (RTL) provides therapy and rehabilitation services to families in remote rural areas. It runs a developmental centre in the capital Ulaanbaatar and seven satellite
centres across the country. Blue Sky Aviation (BSA), as MAF is known in Mongolia, supports RTL through flights to rural locations. There they screen new patients and follow up on those who’ve completed two-week therapy sessions at their centre in Ulaanbaatar.
When Namuun was 1½ years old, a team of therapists flew to her province to screen special needs children. A physiotherapist ran tests on Namuun and assured Oyunaa that, with regular therapy, her daughter would be able to walk. So Oyunaa and Namuun flew from Ulaangom to Ulaanbaatar for two weeks of intensive treatment. Six months later, mother and daughter attended a second round of training and therapy. Namuun’s remarkable improvement is due in large part to the significant commitment and perseverance of her mother, who gave up her job to stay at home with her daughter.
Story and photos LuAnne Cadd
‘Every day, I spend about five hours working with Namuun,’ says Oyunaa. ‘When I do the housework, I talk, tell stories and read books to her. I ask Namuun what she needs, and she’s learning to express that.’
Thrilled With Namuun now able to communicate her basic needs, the RTL staff who checked on her last July are thrilled at the progress she’s making. ‘I’m really thankful for RTL and this centre,’ smiles Oyunaa. ‘I’m so happy to see my daughter walk like a normal child. Now she goes to a normal kindergarten, so when people see my daughter, they don’t realise she has a problem.’ Oyunaa is also grateful to us. ‘The first flight was so important because most families can’t afford government flights. The pilot was so kind and good with us. It would have been difficult to travel by car for two days. I’m really thankful for Blue Sky Aviation.'
Scared Nine-year-old Nomin has also flown with BSA. Her first time was 2013, when she was just five years old. ‘It went up very fast and was a little scary,’ she recalls. ‘I felt a little sick.’ That flight, and subsequent ones over the years, began a radical change for Nomin and her family.
‘When we met RTL’s people in Ulaangom, it was the luckiest moment of our lives,’ says Anglan, Nomin’s father. For this loving family, it was the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Not long after she was born, severe jaundice turned Nomin’s skin yellow. By the time she was admitted to hospital, the potentially fatal condition had damaged Nomin's brain. ‘At 18 months,’ Anglan explains, ‘she couldn’t walk and, at 3 years old, she still couldn’t talk.’
Confused Nomin’s parents had no idea what to do next. They visited various medical professionals, but received a variety of diagnoses. Anglan didn’t know where to turn until they heard that RTL was screening children at their local hospital. To the family’s joy, BSA flew Nomin to RTL’s centre in Ulaanbaatar. The 4½-hour flight saved a 2-day drive overland, just as it had for Namuun. ‘RTL understood what the problem was,’ recalls Anglan, ‘so we started doing proper exercises with Nomin, and recognised a lot of improvement.’ As father and daughter sit on a metal bench, waiting to see staff at RTL’s satellite centre in Ulaangom, they play rock-paper-scissors. It’s clear the two adore each other. ‘We are really close
friends,’ says Anglan. Like Namuun, Nomin's cognition now appears to be normal. ‘She’s the top maths student in her class,’ says Anglan, ‘but her balance remains a problem. Her writing isn’t so good, and running and physical work are difficult – but she’s getting better.’ During his 21 years of teaching chemistry, Anglan has seen 300 of his students become doctors. Thanks to BSA and RTL, he now sees hope and a bright future for his daughter. ‘I hope Nomin will be a pharmacist one day,’ her dad says. ‘I’ve already started to teach her!’
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 7
SOUTH SUDAN: pray for orphans
God's promise In 2013, during a visit to Bartholomew’s Orphanage in Kajo Keji, MAF Reporter Jill Vine noticed a rusting wheelchair frame that belonged to a teenage orphan Story Jill Vine Photos Clare Wise de Wet
hen I first saw Jackson Mataya, he was crawling in the dirt. I was told that he had a five-mile journey to school every day.
During childhood, Jackson contracted polio – a simple disease which can be easily avoided with one simple injection. Yet, in spite of the severe disability of a chronically twisted spine, Jackson radiated a remarkable, positive attitude and a smile to match.
Main Without a wheelchair, Jackson could not have escaped the shooting at his school Above Jill and Jackson – friends reunited
A call to MAF Operations Manager Dave Rogers back in Uganda established that MAF would be happy to fly Jackson's damaged wheelchair frame back to Kampala for repair. Terrific news, except that I wasn’t certain what the next step would be! Fortunately, a group called Katelemwa had helped me in the past to provide a wheelchair.
8 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
One of their volunteers Liz Oliver collected Jackson’s three-wheeled chair from the airport and took it to Katelemwa for it to be made roadworthy.
God’s timing, God’s promise MAF then flew the repaired wheelchair back to South Sudan – kindly covering the freight cost as another goodwill gesture. But, unable to make contact with partners in Kajo Keji before landing there, I couldn’t be sure if anyone would be there to meet us. However, God faithfully answered our prayers. Pastor David from the orphanage was waiting on our arrival to transport all of us and the wheelchair to Jackson. At the orphanage, we were told that Jackson wasn’t there! Due to MAF’s flight programme, we had less than an hour to hand
S O U T H
S U D A N
Juba Kajo Keji Arua
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
UGANDA 50 miles
Key to maps
— Capital city /
— MAF base — Location
Top Jackson has been living in safety since his school relocated to Arua Bottom Looking dapper in his best shirt and shoes! over the newly restored three-wheeler. Finally, we found Jackson at a school close to the airstrip where he took delivery of his precious new wheels. The elation on the face of a young man who’d been given back his mobility will remain with me forever.
Five years later As happy as that ‘ending’ was, Jackson’s fate weighed on my mind after hearing Kajo Keji had largely been evacuated in January 2017 following militia attacks that had devastated the region. On top of this, I wondered what future was there for a severely disabled person in a country wracked with poverty? In September, another prayer was answered when I finally made contact with some South Sudanese pastors from Kajo Keji. Ahead of my flight to a refugee settlement in Uganda, they relayed the wonderful news that Jackson’s school had been relocated to Arua, Uganda. He’s been living there safely since last January. With great joy, the two of us were reunited on Friday 22 September. Looking dapper in a shirt and very smart shoes – I’d last seen him in flip-flops – Jackson told me he’s studying to be a doctor!
shooting indiscriminately. ‘We had nowhere to run, so we had to lay on the floor,’ he told me. ‘One boy was shot right next to me.’ Two of Jackson’s fellow students were killed during the 15-minute ordeal. Practically everything was stolen by the militia, including the school bag we’d given Jackson in 2013. But he was able to grab his wheelchair and get home. Orphanage Director Mama Susan prayed for and counselled Jackson before he was taken the 90 miles from Kajo Keji to safety in Uganda. ‘My wheelchair was tied behind a boda boda (motorbike taxi) with me on top of all my belongings!’ he recalls. Once he arrived in Arua, Jackson completed the exams he and his classmates had been sitting when they were attacked. Jackson continues to thank God for the faithfulness He has always shown him. Undaunted by the crippling effects of polio and the loss of his parents during South Sudan’s tragic conflict, this young man remains utterly determined to gain a PhD in medicine and serve his people. It is a relief and a joy to report that Jackson is safe and excelling at his medical school in Uganda. I’m absolutely certain that your prayers made it possible for this story to be told.
Undaunted Yet, but for the grace of God, Jackson’s ‘story’ could have been very different indeed. Almost exactly a year before, 12 armed militia entered his school in Kajo Keji and began
The elation on the face of a young man who’d been given back his mobility will remain with me forever
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 9
MAREEBA: pray for pilots
Reach for the sky Story Jenny Beckwith Photos Andrea and Lukas Schmid
MAF began flight training in Australia in the mid-1960s, firstly in Ballarat before moving to Coldstream in 1995. Our new flight training centre in Mareeba equips the next generation of pilots to be ready for anything
10 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
hat do Danny Gill from Northern Ireland, Jacophin Singh from India and Mel Laird from New Zealand have in common? They’re all MAF students or pilots who have completed some of their training at MAF's purpose-built Flight Training Centre in Far North Queensland.
Integrated Pilot Training Course. A month later, they were already flying solo and now serve with MAF in Arnhem Land. ‘This is not a regular flight school,’ David commented at the time, ‘we are learning the MAF way!'
The new training centre in Mareeba was officially launched in 2015, in partnership with Aviation Australia. Located next to MAF International's heavy maintenance hub for all our Asia-Pacific aircraft, it provides pilots with the specific knowledge, skills and attitude it takes to be ‘mission-ready’ for remote area operations. In February 2016, the centre welcomed two Swiss MAF trainees David Graf and Simon Heusler for the first
Perfectly positioned for training purposes, Mareeba’s airspace, tropical climate, environment, geography and weather conditions are all comparable to those in MAF’s Asia-Pacific and Africa programmes. Being on the edge of the Australian outback, it’s ideal for advanced remote area navigation training and uniquely placed within range of MAF’s Arnhem Land and Papua New Guinea programmes.
Yirrkala Coral Sea
A U S T R A L I A
Great Australian Bight
Main Flight trainees Joël and Lukas, and MAF Pilot David Graf Below left Flight Instructor David Curtis teaches Joël 'the MAF way' Top Trainee pilot Jacophin Singh Bottom Progress at Mareeba is measured on Cessna 172 aircraft The centre offers the opportunity to enrol in a full Commercial Pilots Licence programme with instrument rating or for qualified pilots to complete conversions, standardisation and – for MAF pilots – upgrade training. Its facilities include a state-of-the-art Redbird FMX motion flight simulator, lecture and briefing rooms, a flight operations room, student study area and an in-house MAF flight examiner to measure training progress on Cessna 172 and 206 aircraft.
Wisdom and experience The centre's international team of flight instructors have unparalleled experience, having clocked literally thousands of flying hours between them. Most have served in MAF programmes. Chief Pilot Marcus Grey has spent over 30 years flying for MAF and training pilots. Operations Manager Thomas Beyeler was a jet fighter pilot and instructor in the Swiss Air Force. Aviation Director for MAF International William Nicol holds Commercial Pilots Licences in eight different countries. For Danny Gill – who joined us in 2015 – it was the realisation of a childhood dream to become an MAF pilot. Now flying for MAF in South Sudan, he says, ‘The wisdom and experience the instructors share is invaluable and I cannot thank them enough. 'The lessons and “mottos” they taught me are constant reminders of the attitude I need to adopt towards my work.’ A unique element of the training programme is a remote area ‘safari’ to an MAF programme. Safaris give trainee pilots experience in
flying to remote areas in hot climates, navigating largely featureless terrain. Taken beyond their comfort zone by factors such as limited fuel and changing weather conditions, they must plan their flights accordingly. Swiss trainee Lukas Schmid says of his time in Arnhem Land, ‘To see first-hand the role of an MAF pilot was great. It was also interesting to fly to two homelands and have the opportunity to see how the people live there.’
The highest calibre During the first two years, Mareeba instructors trained pilots of 12 different nationalities who now serve MAF in Arnhem Land, Bangladesh, Chad, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan and Timor-Leste. They include trainees who came to Mareeba with no flying experience, as well as seasoned pilots who only needed to complete a standardisation course before heading off to their designated programme. Pilot training programmes offered at the MAF Flight Training Centre in Mareeba are crucial to the decades-long mission of seeing people physically and spiritually transformed by God’s love. Thanks to the dedicated international staff team at Mareeba, 2,000 partner organisations throughout the world can continue to depend upon pilots of the highest calibre to deliver them safely to areas of great deprivation for many years to come.
Pilot training programmes are crucial to the mission of seeing people transformed by God's love
For more details about the MAF Flight Training Centre, please visit www.maftraining.org Spring 2018 Flying for Life 11
CHAD: pray for pilots
Mum on a mission MAF Pilot Becki Dillingham has high hopes for her new assignment in Chad Story Jenny Davies Photos LuAnne Cadd
’m conveniently small for the passengers!’ Becki smiles – explaining how it was she came to fly MAF’s smallest aircraft. The limited payload of just 270kg means there’s a real advantage to having a small pilot. ‘At the same time, it’s fun flying the little workhorse!’ Becki explains. Like most pilots, she loves to fly – and the fewer the passengers, the more personal a service MAF is able to provide. Becki has forged some good relationships in the Cessna 182, chatting with passengers over the headset. In Madagascar, she flew the Mercy Ships hospital team dozens of times as they taught remote hospital staff – in Becki's words – to do ‘simple things that would actually save lives. I took them around to do all the initial training; then I took them around a few months later to see how it was all going.’
Keep calm and carry on! Becki sees the same exciting ministry potential for the Cessna 182 in Chad – her latest adventure with MAF. The Dillinghams arrived in Chad in October 2017 and the first few weeks weren't exactly an easy ride.
12 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
Visa problems in the UK meant Matt had to make an 11th-hour dash to the Chadian embassy in Brussels, while Becki made her way to the airport with two children and eight large suitcases in tow. Then, five days after their arrival in Chad, five-year-old Bethan sustained a nasty concussion when she took a tumble on a wet floor after a pipe burst. Becki continued her flight checks while they monitored Bethan for a head injury. She was actually relieved when Bethan’s persistent vomiting turned out to be a stomach bug! Thankfully, other things were easier than anticipated. Becki found a familiar plane in the hangar and many of the same work processes that she had been used to in Madagascar. The whole family quickly felt at home in the MAF Chad compound, where kids similar in age to Bethan and Luke run happily in and out of each other’s houses.
Felt food and frequent flights Becki admits that the greatest challenge she faces will be getting a good work-family balance. ‘Because you’re here to help people and you get really passionate about that, but
the limits you go up to can be quite beyond a normal working week. ‘In Madagascar, I would have weeks when I was leaving the house at 4.30am, flying at 5.30am and then getting back at 6pm and putting Bethan to bed. ‘Then you can end up doing overnights in a hotel somewhere. I used to take felt, because it’s light, and a needle and thread to make play food for Bethan’s kitchen – slices of bread and boiled eggs and cucumber. I would come back and Bethan would say, “So you’ve been away, what have you made me?”’ Interestingly as a female pilot, Becki’s never had a bad reaction in a remote community just because she’s a woman. But she’s met negative and repressive attitudes in larger towns. Yet these experiences have only underlined the challenges women face every day in the developing world.
So much to explore Science teacher Matt is the all-important, behind-the-scenes support that enables Bethan, Luke and Becki to thrive in this vast desert country, home to miles upon miles of Saharan sand. ‘MAF is doing good work in some of the poorest countries of the world by helping vulnerable people,’ Matt explains, ‘and I’m playing a small part in that by staying at home with the kids so Becki can fulfil her ambition and her dream.’ Extra responsibilities as Flight Operations Manager keep Becki busy, but they also keep her closer to home for now - just a ten-minute motorbike ride away. There is a lot of this fascinating country for Becki to explore. From the fertile south, where the rainy season brings periodic isolation for missionaries and medics alike, to the eastern provinces where MAF is the only alternative to long, back-breaking journeys on awful roads. She may even venture to the far north where isolated desert peoples inhabit the world’s most inhospitable terrain. Becki will go anywhere her 182 will take her.
The limited payload of just 270kg means there is a real advantage to having a small pilot
Main Becki and Matt Dillingham with Luke and Bethan Left High above the Sahara near Faya Right, from top down Becki in uniform; Jenny Davies; Matt, Bethan and Luke make friends in the community; The MAF Chad team with the Cessna Caravan
Becki’s never had a bad reaction in a remote community just because she’s a woman
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 13
The promises of God
MAF Youth hits Soul Survivor
This issue of Flying for Life brings you the beginning of a four-part story that tells how the first survey flight of Africa saw MAF – literally – take off.
Picture the scene – massive arenas buzzing with 15,000 teenagers praising the Lord… and water fights breaking out in the strangest places! Last summer, MAF Youth went BIG with a huge stand at the new Soul Survivor venue in Peterborough. We rocked up with our brand new flight simulator, exciting competitions and great cardboard cut-outs of MAF pilots and engineers with whom many a selfie was taken. Since launching on social media channel Snapchat last year, we’ve ‘snapped’ out MAF stories, competitions and prayer requests directly to young people’s mobile phones. We’ve received an amazing response. The MAF Youth team had great fun at Soul Survivor ‘snapping’ out daily competition tasks – such as ‘Send us a picture of the biggest human pyramid you can make!’ – and handing out the Prize of the Day, such as a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts!
Soul Survivor 2018 will take place 18-28 August, so keep searching www.maf-uk/youth to see what you can expect from us this year!
It is 70 years since a short flight from Croydon to Paris began the transformation of a post-war vision of peace into reality (page 5). From that first overseas landing to this day, thousands of stories bear witness that God kept His promises to the young men He called to mission. He continues to keep them today as courageous MAF pilots fly our partners to meet both the basic needs of refugees in Uganda (page 2) and the specific needs of disabled children in Mongolia (page 6). And Jackson Mataya’s story of surviving a civil war is an extraordinary example of God’s faithfulness (page 8). I’m delighted that we can also feature several of the pilots who are responsible for continuing to fulfil MAF’s vision in 2018, and the new training methods that are helping to shape the pilots of tomorrow. The many stories we’ve brought you over the years have been a direct result of your prayers and gifts, for which we are truly thankful.for which we're truly thankful. May you continue to be blessed and amazed by our God throughout 2018.
Ruth Whitaker Chief Executive, MAF UK
This is Mission Aviation Fellowship is a Christian organisation serving 26 developing countries to reach the world’s forgotten people – those living out of sight, out of mind and out of hope. With land access denied by inaccessible terrain – due to natural disaster, war or economic crisis – thousands of communities are completely isolated. Operating around 135 light aircraft, MAF’s pilots fly into some 1,400 remote destinations. Whether landing in deserts or jungles, on lakes, rivers, tracks or roads, MAF planes transport essential medical care, food, water, relief teams and church workers to those in desperate need. Each flight carries practical help, spiritual hope and physical healing to thousands of men, women and children for whom flying is not a luxury but a lifeline. MAF is flying for life.
14 Flying for Life Spring 2018 www.maf-uk.org
MAF UK Castle House, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone Kent CT20 2TQ 29 Canal Street, Glasgow G4 0AD FREEPOST ADM4164, PORTRUSH BT56 8ZY Dept AA1818, PO Box 4214, FREEPOST Dublin 2 T 01303 852819 E email@example.com W www.maf-uk.org Registered charity in England and Wales (1064598) and in Scotland (SC039107) ® Registered trademark 3026860, 3026908, 3026915
Flying for Life Editor: Richard Chambers Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copy Editor: Gary Clayton Designer: Oak Creative Printer: Fretwell Print and Design Ltd Printed on sustainable paper produced from a managed forest © MAF UK Spring 2018 ffmp It costs us no more than 65p to produce and send you this magazine and prayer diary
MAF UK's Chief Executive 1994-2006 passed away on 18 October 2017 As a Royal Navy combat pilot, Keith experienced God’s life-saving intervention when he found himself surrounded by sharks in a tiny dinghy, having been forced to ditch his plane in complete darkness! ‘I should have been dead,’ Keith later recalled, ‘but it was proof that God had other plans for me.’ In 1978, Keith took up his first pilot position with MAF in Chad, later flying in Kenya, Tanzania and Sudan – which became home for him from December 1979. Keith served churches, missions, healthcare and construction organisations in this volatile land, fulfilling his promise to serve God ‘whatever the cost.’ Keith returned to the UK five years later and eventually became Director of Development at MAF UK, where he met Ruth Ewart. They married in 1987 and welcomed their son David two years later. Ruth remembers her husband as a multitalented, highly intelligent man of great wit and humour – ‘a real inspiration in the way he treated others and a wonderful, wise, loving, supportive husband and father.’ We give thanks for Keith's passionate commitment and dedicated service to MAF for more than 30 years, and for his faith and trust in our gracious Lord throughout his life.
If I knew then what I know now When Michael and Angela Burt married in 1961, they promised each other they would seek work overseas In 1966, they set sail for Papua New Guinea (PNG) with their two young daughters. Working as an architect and English teacher respectively, Michael and Angela needed to travel across this mountainous country. The lack of roads was a major problem and light aircraft had to be used for all trips of considerable distance. Air travel was a new and glorious revelation to the young couple who loved the thrilling proximity to mountaintops, flying through clouds and landing on remote hillside airstrips. Years after their return from PNG, a friend lent Michael the book Eyes Turned Skyward. He immediately recognised many of the places and routes the author and former missionary pilot Max Meyers describes. Had he known then what he knows now, Michael reflects that he would have been involved with MAF much sooner. For this reason, he’s chosen to support MAF by leaving a legacy.
If you would like to know more about leaving a gift to MAF in your Will, please phone Miriam Wheeler on 01303 851958 or email email@example.com
Want to be a Hero? Heroes is a brand new, feature-length stage production from 4front Theatre exploring the true stories of four faith heroes through theatre, music and multimedia Churches are welcome to host this riveting production during this year’s September-October tour. To find out more or book a performance, please phone Natalie at 4front Theatre on 01905 20919 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring 2018 Flying for Life 15
A FLYING VISIT OUR NEWEST FLOATPLANE IS PASSING THROUGH ENROUTE TO BANGLADESH This Spring, embrace a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the newest member of our MAF fleet — an Amphibious Cessna 208. Come to see the plane and meet our Pilot and team in: SCOTLAND Lodge on Loch Lomond, Luss, G83 8PA Saturday 17 March, 11am – 3pm Subject to weather conditions, please check the website or call 0141 332 5222 prior to the event.
ENGLAND* Conservation Hall, IWM Duxford, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4QR Saturday 24 March, 10am – 4pm Why not enjoy a day out at one of these unique venues and bring a friend to meet us? Free parking is available, and refreshments will be on sale. Visit the website below for further details about the plane’s activities in the UK, and to download your FREE TICKET. Alternatively, phone our Supporter Relations team on 01303 852819
www.maf-uk.org/flyingvisit *Please bring a copy of this advert, or download a ticket for your free MAF experience