Come to the Table

You are helping MAF serve the physical needs of isolated people.

 

Jesus has striking words for guests at a party thrown by an important Pharisee.

“But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:13-14.

woman and child pumping clean water Bangladesh Mission Aviation Fellowship Bangladesh

A woman pumps water in Khulna, Bangladesh. Photo by LuAnne Cadd.

 

Inviting guests to the table

There seems to be a renewed focus on the issues facing poor and marginalized people around the world—poverty, lack of healthcare and education, clean water, and more.  Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), governments, churches, and individuals are striving to find ways to bring about an end to poverty.

Can poverty be ended? Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:11 seem to suggest that might not be a reality in the present age; however, His call for H.is followers to care for the poor is unmistakable.

“If MAF’s partner organizations can’t get to isolated people groups, then the [goals of alleviating poverty] will never be attained,” says Alan Robinson, MAF International Development Advisor based in the United Kingdom.

“The areas with the highest rates of disability, malaria, maternal mortality—and those most lacking in healthcare, education, and equality—are frequently the most remote areas.

“A major barrier for many NGOs and missions is the lack of safe, reliable travel to provide an effective field presence. MAF’s flight service to hard-to-reach areas is the perfect solution.

“Of course, MAF [addresses] physical and spiritual poverty, enabling the work of mission organizations, Bible translators and distributors, and local churches across the world.

“The [goals of secular organizations] tend to have a focus on physical poverty and so—however successful they are—the successes will be temporal. The eternal element of holistic mission is so important.”

Around the world, because of your support, MAF is sharing Christ’s love with the poor—particularly those who live beyond where others can reach. Because of you, MAF is ensuring that even the most isolated are “invited to the banquet.”

Here are a few examples of what you have made possible:


Bangladesh – Clean Water

In Khulna, the third-largest city in Bangladesh, sanitation in many areas consists of latrines and septic tanks. Untreated human waste from these is dumped in waterways, destroying the health of the poorest people.

Not only is sustainable development intrinsic to MAF’s own vision of reaching isolated people, our aircraft also multiply the success of 600 partner organizations—2,000 worldwide, if you account for all of MAF’s international programs.

In March, MAF flew staff from SNV Netherlands Development Organization to the south-western city to establish a project that will revolutionize waste management services and vastly reduce contamination of public water resources.

The fastest way SNV staff can reach the region is by MAF’s floatplane. Without us, overland travel from Dhaka to Khulna takes at least eight hours—costing a day’s work.

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo – Good Health

Throughout its 50-plus years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), MAF has had its share of vaccine flights. In this vast country, it would be impossible to transport delicate vials great distances, over dirt roads or trails, and have them arrive intact and still be viable. MAF delivers vaccines and medicines in hours rather than days, and provides the “cold chain”—constant refrigeration—that ensures they remain effective.

MAF airplane brings vaccines to remote villages DR Congo

A vaccine delivery in western Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo by Kevin Spann.

On a quarterly basis, in partnership with the Swedish Baptist Mission, MAF airplanes carry thousands of vaccines into remote villages throughout western DRC. Earlier this year MAF spent three days transporting 5.5 tons of polio, yellow fever, pneumococcus, and other vaccines.

“We know that there are fewer outbreaks of disease in the areas that we serve because of these vaccine flights,” said MAF pilot Garth Pederson, who has been serving in west DRC since 2000.

Enabling vaccinations and other medicines to reach remote and isolated villages in the African bush has, no doubt, played a part in extending life in the DRC. In 1969, for instance, the under-five mortality rate (per 1,000 live births) was 252. In 2016 that number had dropped to 94 (source: UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation).

 

Papua – Quality Education

MAF is a key partner in bringing K-12 education to the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, where some 1.5 million children live in the mountainous region, cut off from any formal education.

Since 2008 MAF has been instrumental in the opening of seven Papua Hope schools, where 737 students are currently enrolled.

Six of the schools are in remote villages, and the plan is to open two more in mountainous areas each year. Papua Hope schools use a holistic approach to educate the whole person, equipping Papuan children to be future leaders with godly character, strong academic skills, and productive lifelong habits.

children receiving education in remote village Papua Indonesia Mission Aviation Fellowship

Students at a one of the Papua Hope schools in Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Nathan Fagerlie.

Without MAF flights bringing in administrators and teachers, carrying materials to build the schools and accompanying health clinics, and delivering solar panels, desks, and books, the village schools would not be possible. By collaborating with Papua Hope schools and local missionaries in each remote location, MAF is pursuing its vision of seeing physical and spiritual transformation among isolated people.

MAF does all of these things, because of people like you who believe Jesus has commanded His followers to ensure that all people—regardless of where they live—have a chance to come to His banquet table.

 

Story appeared in the January 2018 issue of FlightWatch. 

 

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