Flying for Life Winter 2013
The quarterly magazine of MAF
2 Papua New Guinea 12 South Sudan Committed to reaching isolated people
PAPUA NEW GUINEA: serving long-term
20 years and lots of memories Pilot Michael Duncalfe looks back in wonder at the eventful time he and his wife Nicki have had in Papua New Guinea Photos Michael and Nicki Duncalfe
Nicki and Michael Duncalfe
Main: Michael delivering bibles to Yambaitok in the Enga Province Below: An enthusiastic young helper unloads deliveries from the MAF Twin Otter
wenty years! It’s a long time since we left the UK with our four young boys, Andrew, Richard, Peter and Philip, bound for Papua New Guinea (PNG). They have long since flown the nest, all are married, and two have families of their own – our four wonderful grandsons. Twenty years provides a big mix of memories – some good, some bad.
There was the struggle of learning to fly in such a challenging environment. Nicki being mugged. The boys away at school and us often unable to attend major events. The dreadful accidents in 1994, 2005 and 2006, when we lost colleagues and friends. We appreciate the fabulous scenery and the amazingly vast collection of languages and cultures. Taking part in ministry events in remote communities. Having a national Church leader tell me to sit down because I was too busy and he wanted to pray for me. Seeing opportunities to preach the Gospel, believers strengthened, those in need helped, the sick flown for treatment. Working with many different churches and missions. How amazing to be part of all that! Seeing our boys grow into young men with a faith of their own. We’re grateful to everyone who mentored them in our absence.
Partnership We have learnt so much from experienced missionaries. Their insights into foreign cultures, their wisdom, patience and stories (some fairly hair-raising) have deepened our understanding of the people we serve. How we respect the men and women that brought the Gospel to tribespeople who, in some cases, were still cannibals. Now in their late 70s and 80s, some of these pioneers still return to work among the isolated people they have come to love.
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This must be one of the most important lessons we’ve learned. The concerns about supportraising before we left were transformed by a team of faithful prayers and givers who enable us to work in PNG. They continually invest in the work God is doing through MAF here – work that just happens to involve Michael and Nicki Duncalfe.
Looking back, there is a continual sense of privilege and gratitude. The privilege of being part of something amazing that God is doing. Too many times for coincidence, situations have worked out that had absolutely no human solution. The privilege of partnership and team membership. The privilege of seeing places and meeting people that very few others will. The privilege of living and working across cultures, being enriched in the process, and learning that just because something is different doesn’t make it wrong.
Communication The second most important lesson we’ve learnt! How can our Supporters pray without inspiring and up-to-date information? We learnt that we needed to prioritise prayer updates and news bulletins in our busy schedule. It was worth it! People’s prayers have certainly kept us going when our own abilities and strength were exhausted.
Questions The biggest and ongoing question we have is, ‘Why are there so few pilots joining the team?’ From 37 in PNG when we first joined, the number has now dropped to only 19. Half the number of pilots equals half the ministry capacity. On top of this, the flying environment in PNG has become more complex, so some of our pilots have to have some management or administrative role as well. From 12 PNG bases in 1994, we now have 5. There is still work to do, but fewer people apparently willing to do it.
Regrets? No. A sense of loss over some things, but it’s more than matched by the enormous blessings and wonderful experiences we’ve had here in PNG. If we knew at the beginning of our journey with MAF what we know now, would we still do it? Yes!
Reflections Michael and Nicki reflect on the past 20 years with words from Psalm 115:
‘Not to us LORD, not to us, but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness’
Future? We’re not as young as we were! Realistically, I can’t continue flying into challenging airstrips indefinitely. So sometime in the next few years, a change will inevitably be on the horizon. Though we don’t know what shape that will take or exactly when it will be, God has proved His faithfulness time and time again. Besides, I don’t remember retirement being mentioned in the Bible!
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PAPUA NEW GUINEA: providing healthcare
An unforgettable day Dr Allan Sawyer explains why the Sunday he spent in Yifififiki, Papua New Guinea, is one he will never forget Story Glen Sim Photos Allan Sawyer and Stephanie Doenges
Dr Allan and Teresa offering dental treatment
r Allan Sawyer, an American obstetrician/gynaecologist, has been on four mission trips to Papua New Guinea (PNG). Having prayed about ministering there again, he decided to contact Jason and Sarah (names have been changed to protect their identities), a couple who have lived with the Hewa people in Yifififiki for 11 years as missionaries. When Jason and Sarah first came to Yifififiki, the local people had no written language. So they learnt their dialect, created a written version and taught people to read and write. They also successfully translated most of the New Testament into Hewan. When Dr Allan offered to bring a medical team to teach the Hewans about healthcare and childbirth, Jason agreed enthusiastically. Joining him on this adventure were his wife Teresa, Dr Becky Morsch, Dr Stephanie Doenges and PNG nationals Matthew Galman and Joel Funfun.
Emotionally exhausted ‘The team gathered in Mount Hagen ready for MAF’s flight to Fiyawana,’ Dr Allan explains. Despite the rain, pilots Mike Davis and Nick Swalm landed safely at Fiyawana in the middle of the Engan jungle. Left A member of the Hewa tribe
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Serving Dr Allan’s team Pilot Nick Swalm writes, ‘It was great serving Dr Allan’s team. They were a real blessing to the people in this remote village, providing an incredible opportunity for them to receive the healthcare we take for granted in the West. ‘Although they provided physical treatment, they also showed the villagers, who have only recently heard the Gospel, living proof of Christ’s love.
‘I find it a real privilege to serve alongside people like this. They said time and time again over the time I was with them, “Thank you, we couldn’t have done this without you.’
When they reached Yiffifiki, Dr Allan’s team was met by almost 100 Hewa and neighbouring tribespeople who turned up to receive treatment and teaching. Some of the team taught in the open air, while Faimpot, a key figure in the community, translated. Dr Stephanie and Dr Allan saw patients in the tiny, oneroom medical clinic. Teresa served as pharmacist, with Jason and Sarah translating. ‘That night,’ recalls Dr Allan, ‘we set up a small projector and showed Jesus of Nazareth. The large image thrilled the Hewa people, and the team eventually stumbled into bed, physically and emotionally exhausted.’
Extremely grateful Matthew, who taught about hygiene, produced 150 toothbrushes and showed the villagers how to brush their teeth – they had never seen a toothbrush before! There was also teaching on childbirth and potential complications. When Faimpot cut his foot while he was playing football, Dr Allan dressed it. ‘He really needed a pair of shoes,’ Dr Allan says, ‘so I removed my sandals and put them on his feet. I think they were his first pair of shoes ever.’ The villagers were extremely grateful for the five-day course, and cooked four enormous pigs for all who attended. The
men gave the team their spears and the women presented bags hand-woven from tree bark. On Sunday, everyone gathered in the classroom for church. The Hewa people wore leafy branches and loincloths around their waists, and the women sat with their babies and children. Faimpot preached from John 3:16 and led singing with a very dirty five-string guitar that was incredibly out of tune.
Deeply moved In the evening, the team members gathered in Jason’s and Sarah’s living room. Dr Allan shared some grape juice and crackers for communion, filled a basin with soapy water, and produced 12 white towels. ‘I read John 13 to our little gathering in the middle of the remote jungle, sharing how Jesus taught us to serve one another and, during His last Passover meal, washed His disciples’ feet.’ Dr Allan washed Jason’s feet, saying how much he appreciated all Jason and Sarah were doing for the Hewa people. Then Dr Allan lifted Matthew’s foot into the basin, and said, ‘how glad I am to have you as my brother in Christ. You are doing great things for the people here in PNG.’ As he spoke, tears streamed freely down Matthew’s cheeks. When Jason washed Joel’s feet, Joel
also started weeping. Then everyone shared communion and prayed together. It was a very special time.
Cherished moment Joel told us that neither he nor Matthew had ever had their feet washed by anyone, and never dreamed that he, a black man, would have his feet washed by a white missionary. ‘It was an amazing moment I shall cherish for the rest of my life,’ recalls Dr Allan. ‘The experience wouldn’t have been possible if MAF wasn’t serving in PNG. We were extremely grateful for their service. MAF is essential to the ministry taking place here. We couldn’t do it without them.’
Top The open-air classroom Bottom Matthew explains the dangers of using rusty razor blades for cutting the umbilical cord
Winter 2013 Flying for Life 5
DRC: assisting broken communities
A country in crisis Paul Beck reports on one of the most volatile countries we serve Photos LuAnne Cadd
Central African Republic
Nebobongo Bunia Nyankunde
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Tanzania
Angola 200 miles
he scale and horror of the ‘African World War’ that took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is beyond comprehension. With eight neighbouring countries embroiled in a conflict that lasted five years, the death toll exceeded five million. The shadow of such human, social and economic destruction extends for years afterwards, and today affects those who hadn’t even been born when the war formally ended in 2003. With the country covered in lush jungle that makes overland travel extremely challenging, MAF has been assisting isolated communities in the DRC since 1961. The collapse in medical infrastructure and provision that stemmed from the war has made our role increasingly vital. When doctors avoided areas with high security concerns, child vaccination programmes ground to a halt.
Combined with limited access to clean drinking water and effective sanitation, the DRC has in recent years experienced outbreaks of Ebola, malaria, cholera, measles and TB— diseases which generally pose no threat to western societies.
‘Thank God for MAF’ ‘People of the DRC have suffered so much in terms of poverty, conflict, malnutrition and lack of opportunities. The diseases, including HIV/ AIDS, only make life harsher and explain in part why the average adult life span is still in the mid-40s,’ says missionary doctor Bill Clemmer, who serves there. ‘It is particularly frustrating when we have the means to diagnose and treat such diseases, but lack access to vulnerable populations – and that of course is where MAF plays a critical role.’ Bill’s comments are echoed by Dr Makuma Booto Baudouin from the DRC Ministry of
If you would like to send a message or prayer to our DRC team, please visit www.maf-uk.org/prayerwall 6 Flying for Life Winter 2013 www.maf-uk.org
Left A vacant shell of a building in Nyankunde Below Congolese women worshipping Jesus Bottom A Congolese baby at a refugee camp run by Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI)
Health: ‘Each year, MAF transports vaccinations for around 40,000 children in the Bandundu region alone. I thank God for MAF and their partnership now and into the future.’
Genocide The country’s current problems go far beyond poor medical provision. Blessed with abundant mineral wealth, the DRC possesses enormous economic potential. Yet ownership of these resources remains a source of significant and continual conflict. Rival militias, particularly in the country’s volatile east, compete for control of tin and gold mines, as well as the rare elements that are vital for many modern electronic products. Any exports out of resource-rich areas such as Kivu in the east would, however, need to be transported through east Africa, rather than the DRC’s main economic hub of Kinshasa 1,000 miles to the west. Because of this, the country’s neighbours have more influence over events in eastern DRC than its politicians in the capital. Included in that neighbourhood is Rwanda, a country whose genocide in 1994 resulted in armed gangs streaming into the DRC, subjecting innocent victims to rape, extortion and brutality. MAF therefore regularly flies Christian NGOs such as Flame International into the region to
oversee a ministry of healing and biblicallybased reconciliation. Local residents have lost faith in international diplomacy, citing the practically non-existent peace overseen by the UN. Late in 2012, a relatively new and particularly well-organised rebel group called M23 (named after a failed peace agreement signed on 23 March 2009) seized control of the strategic eastern town of Goma. UN soldiers , some claimed, simply looked on, seemingly powerless to prevent the takeover. The situation resulted in riots in Bunia, another eastern town whose inhabitants felt that the UN had signalled its unwillingness to stand up to the rebels. The surge of violence and lootings that followed was all too familiar to the region, and explains why the MAF staff based there remain on standby to evacuate those wounded by gunfire.
Continuing needs ‘Longevity in any area of ministry is difficult to achieve,’ says John Boyd of MAF USA, as he reflects on the organisation’s decades of service in the DRC. However, as the physical and spiritual needs continue, the day when MAF is no longer needed there seems very distant. ‘Serving in the DRC is a calling that MAF takes seriously and counts as a privilege,’ John concludes.
Pray for us MAF staff in the DRC are in constant need of your prayer and support. Country Director Jon Cadd says:
‘We depend on the support of people who pray for us and hold us up.’
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UGANDA: Scope of service
Serving Uganda MAF has been operating in Uganda since 1987, serving over 400 partner organisations and bringing help to thousands of people in need
Our operation: Country Director: Steve Forsyth
Total area: 93,065 sq miles
Staff: 60 (14 international, 46 national)
MAF flights last year: 3,460
Fleet (Cessna): 2 Grand Caravans 1 Caravan 2 206s Destinations: 68 Passengers last year: 14,704 Partners we serve: 480
Sources: UNDP Human Development Report 2013, Operation World, World Health Organisation (Uganda health profile 2013), CIA Word Factbook 2013
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Key organisations who fly with MAF: Oxfam, ALARM, International Midwife Assistance, World Harvest Mission, Jesus Film Ministries, Watoto
People living with HIV/AIDS: 1.4 million (World Health Organisation estimate) Age structure: 48% 0-14 years (median age 15.5 years) Infant mortality: 62/1,000 deaths Languages: 45 Human Development Index (a measure of GDP): 161/186
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
TANZANIA Turn over to read more about two of our partners in Uganda
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UGANDA: serving communities
Hive of activity Information Officer Jill Vine reports on ways we help bring hope and healing to widows and orphans in Uganda Photos Jill Vine, IMA A survivor’s tale Margaret, one of ALARM’s teachers, fled to Lira aged 15 to try and escape war, but was caught in a rebel ambush. A soldier grabbed her two-yearold nephew and used him as a human shield. The boy died in the crossfire. Margaret carried the dead child all night and returned to her village. Traumatised by what had happened, she was greeted with ‘Koma Kech!’ (‘Unfortunate girl!’) and taunts of ‘You will never marry.’ It took Margaret ten years to recover. She joined Caritas and became a counsellor, helping children who ran into the bush to escape war. She also stayed with women who had lost their husbands and children. Both of Margaret’s parents died in 2008, so her entire family depends on her to provide for them. Her widowed sister is HIV positive and has five children. Her brother, who is also HIV positive, has three children. Please pray for Margaret, her family and the work of ALARM.
recently accompanied two very different flights to witness some of our partners’ projects in Uganda. Uganda has received significant aid in the years since war erupted in the late 1980s, and work is still underway to help those displaced from surrounding nations by violence and genocide. When I arrived at the International Midwife Assistance (IMA) clinic in Soroti, it was teeming with life, and reminded me of a busy beehive. Outside, women and babies sat waiting to be seen. Others sat in an area set aside for them to cook for sick relatives – no hospital cafés needed in the community that is Africa! Of the people tested for AIDS here, many are HIV positive. Those who are pregnant receive preventative, mother-to-child transmission drugs. I was encouraged that the number of couples with HIV is declining because of the education this clinic offers. Some patients travel as far as eight miles, often by foot. Others arrive by motorbike, paid for by the clinic. Every morning, the Christian staff have prayer, devotions and studies with the patients, particularly encouraging those with unsupportive husbands. Thanks to IMA’s intervention, incidents of domestic violence, which are culturally acceptable in Uganda, are decreasing. MAF brings IMA personnel from Kampala five times a year, and often flies their Executive
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Director Jennifer Braun. Clinic Manager Martin Oteger says, ‘It is a difficult journey from Kampala to Soroti. Bad roads, accidents and robbers are all hazards which are avoided by flying on MAF planes.’
Busy bees My other visit was to African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) in Pader, a district ravaged by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which left an entire generation uneducated and trained only to kill. Created in 1994, ALARM mentors young men and women in badly affected areas, provides clean water for the community, and leadership training for pastors. It also runs carpentry, construction and seamstress workshops that provide employment and enable women to make scarves and bead necklaces to sell at the local market. Three years ago, ALARM set up a primary and secondary school. About 120 schoolchildren, 57 vocational students and 30 women from very poor families receive help. Thanks to ALARM and MAF, they now face a much brighter future. After visiting these projects, I was uplifted, having met some very special people who are rebuilding the world around them. MAF has an eagle’s view of some of the most fascinating ‘beehives’ which assist the developing world.
SOUTH SUDAN: new aircraft
Flying over the mountains to bring Good News Commissioning South Sudan’s new Cessna 182 SMA aircraft Story Jo Lamb Photos Alex Finlow and Hilary Brown
‘The planes have changed, technology has changed, the scale of MAF has changed, but our call remains the same: we fly at all times to glorify God.’
his summer brought some of the hottest days Britain has seen in over seven years. As MAF co-founder Stuart King stepped out of our new Cessna 182 aircraft at Lydd Airport, he reflected, ’Flying today with the windows open and hot air rushing in took me back to the heat of flying in South Sudan!’ MAF has been flying in South Sudan ever since Stuart’s first flight in 1948, and has reached thousands of people in desperate need of God’s hope and love. When a couple of generous Supporters donated the 182 to MAF last year, it seemed right to commission the new aircraft before sending it off to assist our work there. As Stuart explained, South Sudan remains one of the neediest countries in the world. Operating our new aircraft in this impoverished country will provide MAF personnel with many vital opportunities to help isolated people. Stuart always gets excited about what God has done through the work of MAF, and this
new little plane is a great blessing to us. It may be small but, as Stuart himself noted, small aircraft are often the most effective way of reaching the remotest places. He is delighted to be sending our new 182 to South Sudan, and sees this aircraft as an ‘overflow of God’s great goodness’. In the 65 years since he flew MAF’s first aircraft – a twin-engined Miles Gemini – Stuart affirms, ‘The planes have changed, technology has changed, the scale of MAF has changed, but our call remains the same: we fly at all times to glorify God.’ As MAF staff gathered at Lydd Airport to pray blessings over the 182, Stuart adapted the well-known Scripture to proclaim, ‘How beautiful are the wings of those who fly over mountains to bring Good News.’ We pray that God will use this new aircraft to glorify His Name in South Sudan, and as Stuart concluded, ‘May every person who sets foot in our new 182 receive a special touch from the Lord.’
Above Stuart King observes the engine of our new aircraft, and commissions it for service
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SOUTH SUDAN: delivering wheelchairs
When God leaps in MAF helps two South Sudanese orphans to get moving Story Jill Vine Photos Jill Vine and Achim Appel
he day we delivered the promised wheelchairs to two teenage orphans in Kajo Keji, South Sudan, was one I shall never forget. Back in February, when I first visited St Bartholomew’s Orphanage, I noticed two rusting wheelchair frames discarded under a shelter. One belonged to Matthais Jackson, whom I saw crawling in the dirt. He had to drag himself five miles to school and back every day. The other belonged to Josephine, whose legs and knees were covered in dirt from having to do the same. Surely there was something we could do to help? I called MAF Uganda Operations Manager Dave Rogers, who agreed to fly the rusty frames back to Kampala. We arranged for them
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to be collected by a group called Katalemwa, who had helped me provide a wheelchair before for another disabled child.
Just in time My friend from Katalemwa called two weeks later with news that she had found funding for Matthais’ three-wheeled chair to be rebuilt! This still left Josephine’s wheelchair. We were short of money and time, as my visa was running out – quite aside from the fact that the orphans had to struggle on each day without their chairs. I also secretly hoped I would be able to return the chairs myself so I could photograph Matthais and Josephine receiving them. Then, through God’s orchestration, I met a man at church who linked me with someone
Jill Vine greets Matthais and Josephine
who imports wheelchairs to give to people in need. I emailed him an application form and he promptly replied, saying he had a brand new wheelchair ready for us to collect. We had been successful – just before my visa expired! MAF agreed to fly the two wheelchairs back to Kajo Keji free of charge, and Katalemwa delivered Matthais’ three-wheeler to Kajansi airfield the night before the shuttle flight. We had trouble contacting our partners to request a large vehicle to transport the wheelchairs. But when we stepped off the plane, a message from Pastor David Kaya said he would be there with a huge bus!
Explosive joy MAF pilot Achim Appel, Pastor David and I then travelled to the orphanage with the threewheeler strapped to the roof of the bus. We only had an hour on the ground to locate Matthais and Josephine. Josephine was at the orphanage, and was surrounded by hundreds of children that I remembered from my previous visit. She made her way towards us with two sticks, hardly able to manoeuvre on her severely crippled legs. When she collapsed onto the ground just as she reached the chair, we lifted her into it. As she looked up, the sight of her smile was so lovely. It made all the complicated details of this trip completely worthwhile! Then we asked for Matthais. The orphanage staff explained that he was at school, which was close to the runway. With only 20 minutes before our departure time, we set off in search of the young man whose positive outlook on
life has left a mark on me forever. When we found him, Matthais looked a lot smaller and thinner than I remembered. When he’s on all fours, Matthais looks extremely disfigured, but seeing him in his new threewheeled chair gave me an explosive joy – he looked like a dignified king! His smile was beaming as we flew out of Kajo Keji that day.
Happy ending With the help of MAF and others, God brought things together beautifully to make this story such a happy one. It was a delight to witness the elation of Josephine and Matthais when they saw their gleaming wheelchairs. While we were there, we were also able to give them some stationery donated by a Supporter, who had been moved when reading about Matthais in the June issue of Flying for Life. What wonderful gifts for these two dear orphans! It seems that, as we take one small step, perhaps even make a couple of phone calls, God leaps in and helps co-ordinate everything else. Praise His Name!
Above Josephine in her new wheelchair
Winter 2013 Flying for Life 13
AThebody of MAF Day of Prayer many parts
Connecting the dots Our first year at Soul Survivor provided friends from far and wide Hot chocolate mountains, wellie-boots and boundless energy are all staples for the Christian youth festival Soul Survivor. So we thought we would pack a few essentials of our own (a Twister mat, ukulele and bright blue bonbons), head off to Somerset and join the fun. Our aim was to showcase MAF’s work and make some new friends – and we had a feast to offer these enthusiastic young people! For starters: a Twister competition – the winner entered a prize draw to win a flight in a light aircraft. The second course: a song competition to win two days in a recording studio. And for pudding: endless blueberry bonbons. Young people today are buzzing with energy, creativity and a love of sweet treats. So our engaging exhibition stand
was right up their street. Playing Twister over 100 times and strumming tunes on the ukulele was the perfect setting to engage young people with MAF’s work and ‘connect the dots’ about what we do. After 2 exhausting weeks, we made over 500 new friends and told many more about MAF’s vision and ministry. We pray God will continue to inspire these lovely young people to embark on an adventure with Him – and we can’t wait for next summer!
The question I am most often asked is, ‘Are you a pilot?’ ‘No,’ I reply. I trained as an engineer and, combined with my experience in management, was equipped with beneficial skills for my role in MAF – but it’s a role which doesn’t require me to be able to fly an aircraft. Although our pilots have the most visible and tailored expertise, they will be the first to tell you that it is the skills, commitment and participation of MAF’s ground crews that are essential to operating and maintaining our worldwide fleet of aircraft. It is the combining of our skills as we work together as a team that causes us to become effective, to be stronger, and enables us to reach those in greatest need. We read in Romans 12:4 that, just as our bodies have many special parts, we too have a particular part to play in the body of Christ. As MAF aircraft fly into some of the world’s poorest communities, it is the result of many people playing many different parts. And MAF’s ‘ground crew’ includes you. Your support in prayer, your financial giving and your time as you volunteer connects you to our mechanics, the many partner organisations we fly and the people and communities we serve. Thank you for playing your part – enabling MAF to continue ‘Flying for life’.
Ruth Whitaker Chief Executive, MAF UK
This is MAF is an international Christian aviation organisation serving around 25 developing countries to reach people living in some of the world’s most isolated communities. Operating more than 130 light aircraft, MAF flies into 1,800 remote destinations, transporting essential medical care, food and water supplies, relief teams and church workers enabling physical and spiritual care to reach countless thousands of people cut off due to formidable geographical barriers, natural disasters and political unrest. Each flight carries help and hope to men, women and children for whom flying is not a luxury but a lifeline. Transforming lives through enabling access, MAF is flying for life.
Mission Aviation Fellowship UK Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone CT20 2TN 29 Canal Street, Glasgow G4 0AD FREEPOST ADM4164, PORTRUSH BT56 8ZY Dept AA1818, PO Box 4214, FREEPOST Dublin 2 Telephone: 0845 850 9505 Email: email@example.com Website: www.maf-uk.org Registered charity in England and Wales (1064598) and in Scotland (SC039107)
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Flying for Life Editor: Richard Hubbard Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Printer: Headley Brothers Ltd Ashford, Kent Printed on sustainable paper produced from a managed forest © MAF UK Winter 2013 fflt
Passion for a purpose We have a great bunch of Volunteers who give up so much of their time to help promote the work of MAF – so we thought we’d tell you about two of them.
Ken Thom from Tiptree, Essex, has a passion for aviation. When he was ten, he began collecting aeronautical postcards. As a student, Ken wanted to raise money for MAF, so he started to sell his postcards. What began on a very modest level gradually increased and suddenly took off. Last year, Ken and his team raised £16,100! Ken told us how ‘it is exciting to see postcards being turned into funds to help keep MAF flying. I have also found, through being a Volunteer, how highly MAF is regarded not just within the Christian community but by many others as well.’ One of our busiest speakers, Michael Fawdrey, first heard of MAF in 1997 when he started learning to fly. He requested an MAF speaker for his flying club and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael told us how his favourite part of volunteering is generating new contacts to tell more people about the work of MAF. As Michael says, ‘There are many essential Christian charities out there doing important work. But if there is no transport, that work is impossible.’ We are so thankful for our Volunteers. If you are interested in joining our Volunteer team, please contact us – we would love to hear from you! You can volunteer on a regular basis or do one-off events such as a Bake Off to Take Off coffee morning. To request a postcard collecting box, which we will forward to Ken when it’s full, or one of our Bake Off to Take Off fundraising packs, please phone us on 0845 850 9505.
I had been working at MAF for about seven years when I heard the news that Mark Stanton was to join our Folkestone team in 2002. We became friends immediately and were married in May 2004, with all of our friends and family there to celebrate with us. We loved working together, often both leading the team in worship as Mark played the guitar. In his role as Purchasing Manager, Mark was responsible for negotiating the best price for our printed materials, as well as any other interesting items that needed to be bought. It was a job he absolutely loved, especially as he could see the difference it made in keeping our costs low. This was his faithful
contribution to the vital work of MAF. In 2009 Mark was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. This is a degenerative condition that claims 90% of lives within 5 years. As Mark’s illness progressed, he displayed incredible strength and courage. There was always a sense of joy and fun whenever he was around, even though his body was failing. The MAF team made many adjustments to enable him to remain at work for as long as possible. On 14 June 2013, less than a month after his condition forced him to stop working, he passed away in my arms. Before he died, I asked Mark whether he would like MAF to benefit from gifts instead of flowers at his funeral. His answer was an emphatic ‘Yes!’, knowing so well the difference it would make to help speed God’s love to those in need.
Fiona Stanton Relationships Manager Mark’s life and service to MAF was an inspiration, reflected by many gifts to MAF instead of flowers. We are very grateful for Mark and other Supporters who have chosen to support MAF in this way. To find out more, visit www.maf-uk.org/inmemoriam
Visit our website www.maf-uk.org For our latest news and to give a gift, please visit www.maf-uk.org/flyingforlife or call our Supporter Relations team on 0845 850 9505
My response I want to help MAF bring God’s care and compassion to people in need I enclose my gift of £ Title
for use where most needed
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Janet, Peter, Eric and 51 others like this.
18 shares Mike Is there a large net on the overshoot? Like . Reply . 1 . 25 June at 19:21 Joe No room for error here! Like . Reply . 1 . 24 June at 17:53 Lisa Wow! What skills the pilots have! Bless you all Like . Reply . 1 . 23 June at 16:21 Joy MAF pilots obviously don’t need extreme sports to get an adrenaline rush! Like . Reply . 1 . 23 June at 14:22 Simon I’d love to give landing there a try Like . Reply . 1 . 23 June at 12:12 Francis What an intense landing strip, would make for a good film scene! Like . Reply . 1 . 22 June at 16:53 Write a comment...
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Published on Oct 18, 2013