What do MAF Pilots Do? MAF in Papua New Guinea

Sometimes I have been asked the question, “What does a MAF pilot do?” The answer is different for each country where MAF operates, and from one day to the next. In Papua New Guinea (PNG), we do many things; on any one day I could be a mailman, an ambulance driver, a hearse driver, a taxi, a delivery man, and many other things, including being a school bus driver!

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Verified Versatility: The MAF Shuttle Flights in Kenya

MAF’s shuttle flights are like flying busses that go from airstrip to airstrip to bring people and cargo to different locations. It requires a versatile aircraft and some planning. Sometimes rows of seats are removed or stacked on top of the cargo and reinstalled to make it all fit into the aircraft.

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Makeshift Medical Church – MAF in Kenya

Instead of a nine-hour drive, One Child Matters chartered two MAF Caravans to fly a medical outreach team of 18 people from Developing Workers to Lokori. From there they drove 25 km in a bus to Elelea and set up a makeshift clinic in the local church.

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The Re-Opening of Koblagué Airstrip – MAF in Chad

In MAF we love opening new airstrips. For MAF, it represents the potential to reach more people with the love of Christ through aviation and technology. A new airstrip represents entire new communities with the potential to be transformed physically and spiritually.

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Mike Alpha India

A recount of Senior Instructor Andrew Little’s 7 hour ferry flight from Mareeba to Mt Hagen to bring a brand new Cessna 208 to the PNG programme.

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Precious in God’s Site – An Update on a Medevac from 9 years ago

Every year MAF PNG does somewhere in the region of 400 medevacs. Each person has their story; each one is a life; each one is precious in God’s sight.

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Kompiam District Hospital Outreach – PNG

Thank you to MAF for being so willing to partner with Kompiam District Hospital to make outreach visits to the remotest parts of Papua New Guinea possible.

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How Working for MAF has Changed My Life

MAF Canada’s Tim Bax recently spent some time in Papua New Guinea. While he took away a wide range of impressions from his time in PNG, the most indelible impression left upon him was the profound impact MAF is having on the lives of our national workers, many of whom have been serving with MAF for decades.

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Microlet, Motorbike and a MAF plane

Have you ever looked at a photo in a MAF magazine or on a website and wondered, “I wonder what it’s really like to work there?” For most people traveling to the remote locations where MAF serves will never become reality and remain just a thought. But in August 2018, a group of seven Australians, aged from 15 years to 70 plus, accompanied by MAF Australia General Manager Ian McDougall, made the trip to Timor-Leste to see just what life and service there is really like.

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Inspiring Young Hearts

MAF Uganda recently hosted a field trip to their airfield. Some of the boys were so impacted they are now talking of becoming pilots one day. It gave them a strong sense of value to be given this opportunity. Who knows what will eventuate from this day out in Kajjansi airfield. One thing is clear, it was a lifetime highlight for these kids who will live off the memory for a very long time.

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CRMF Bible Box Testimonies, Prayer Requests and Statistics

The Bible Box is a project that both MAF and CRMF partner together on. It’s quite a simple idea, but it’s life-changing for people who have no access to Christian resources and Bibles. Here are some stories and testimonies from our MAF Australia pilots and MAF Papua New Guinea staff who help hand out these valuable resources.

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Teaching to Fish and Overcome Poverty – Liberia

The story of a remarkable woman, Sister Wilhelmena, who in 2012 in response to the poverty around her, started the Peoples Initiative Against Poverty Program. Sister Wilhelmena often uses the services of MAF in Liberia to further her work, saying, “sometimes when the roads are bad, we are trapped. There’s no way to get out to carry on the work we do. It’s not only to the church but the entire country who’s been facing problems with roads. MAF’s presence in Liberia has brought great relief. We are very, very grateful. You can ask anybody in this region that has ever flown with MAF and they’ll tell you we are grateful.” Read about her amazing work here.

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Bringing Education to the Remote

For over 40 years, MAF has been partnering with Yirrkala Homelands School and Laynha to bring education to the remote communities of Arnhem Land. Yirrkala Homelands School was formerly part of Yirrkala School, and the services for Homeland communities began in 1974. Since the very beginning, they have been using MAF services to transport teachers out to the remote Homelands.

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From Death to Life

“She is not dead yet,” replied one of the villagers, “but will die soon.”

A 15-year-old girl was pregnant and trying to deliver, but the baby had turned. There was no healthcare at the time in the dense jungles of Kalimantan, Indonesia, on the island of Borneo. The people in her village had no hope that this girl, named Lihut, would live.

So they turned to the local witchdoctor.

He and a few other men decided to jump up and down on the girl’s belly, thinking this would help. Of course, it only caused further damage.

On a nearby grass airstrip, a small airplane—a Cessna 185—touched down and John Hook, a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), stepped out. Read what happened next here.

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A Story of Grace

This is a story of Grace. Emma Grace. She is alive today only by the Grace of God because, when Emma Grace was just two days old, she was left to die. Read more here.

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A Day to Remember – Harverson Memorial, PNG

The Harverson family came to PNG to find closure. What they found was connection and love.

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Didinga Bible Dedication – South Sudan

When MAF’s Cessna 182 landed in the village of Chukudum, it was the first time ever that the Didinga people in the south-east of South Sudan had seen a Bible in their mother tongue. It had been almost 40 years in the making and the excitement was great.

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Reconnecting Noru by Air

It has been twelve years since MAF has been able to land in the community of Noru in Papua New Guinea. Glenys Watson, First Officer on the MAF flight that recently reconnected Noru by air reports: “As we circled over the airstrip to inspect it, we could see plenty of people were out waiting to see what would happen. From the air, it looked good. The grass was cut short, and the wind was light. We made an approach to land. As we came into land, people lined the side of the airstrip, and all were clapping and cheering. We stopped and shutdown at the top of the airstrip where the majority of the community had gathered. We were met by men with bows and arrows dancing around the plane. As we climbed out, again the community clapped and cheered and hung flowers around our necks. The joy was obvious!“

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Well, This Isn’t Going to Work! – A Story from Papua New Guinea

Being a mission pilot these days in Papua New Guinea isn’t that much about flying missionaries. The number of missionaries in the country has declined a lot since MAF started its operation in 1951. Today, the MAF pilot is often the only expat missionary a remote community gets to see. However, the time spent on the ground with the community in many cases is limited to unloading the plane and to sorting out the passengers and loading for the take off.

Random opportunities do exist, however, when the timing is just right and the pilot can spend time with the people on the ground as recently happened to MAF Pilot Rick Velvin.

Enjoy his testimony of allowing God using him in an unexpected way.

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Commissioning Service for the New Training Aircraft

The unseasonal grey clouds and rain showers did not dampen the celebration of the commissioning of a new MAF Cessna 182T training aircraft in Mareeba. Registered as VH-WLX, the plane has been fully funded by Australian donors: Geoff and Bev Atkinson, a legacy gift from Trevor Withnall, and 800 others who responded sacrificially to the fundraising appeal. MAF could not serve without the generous support and long term partnership of like-minded individuals who seek to transform the lives of people living in poverty and isolation. Read more about the event here.

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