A Dream Takes Flight

MAF inspires a Haitian intern to achieve new heights

The first time Zacharie François saw his country of Haiti from the air, it was a pivotal moment in his life. He saw the joy on his little brother’s face as MAF pilot Will White took them to Pignon. He, too, felt joy as he realized the possibilities that aviation could bring to his country. It was at this moment that his dream of becoming a missionary pilot was born.

That was eleven years ago. After he graduated from high school in Port-au-Prince last year, Zacharie started interning in the MAF hangar. The pilots have been working with him on his maintenance training.

Zacharie François (left) and Nestor Mercure, another MAF Haiti employee, check an oil filter to ensure there are no metal fragments. Photo by Mark and Kelly Hewes.

Zacharie François (left) and Nestor Mercure, another MAF Haiti employee, check an oil filter to ensure there are no metal fragments. Photo by Mark and Kelly Hewes.

“I first became interested in aviation when Will White brought his son and me to the national airport and showed us around,” said Zacharie. “Since then I have always had that in my mind. Growing up around the Whites and other MAF missionary families, that love of what they were doing kept on growing in me.”

Zacharie was practically a member of the White’s family. Being somewhat close in age, William, the oldest child, and Zacharie are like brothers. His parents, Georges and Chrisméne, have been employed by MAF families for the past 26 years! In fact, for 16 of those years, they lived right behind the Whites. So their families and children were pretty close.

After the Whites left Haiti in 2015, MAF’s Christine Harms felt the Lord was leading her to work with Zacharie.

“At that time, I didn’t know his dream of becoming a pilot. I knew he had just graduated from high school, which is a big accomplishment here. Very few people pass the national exams,” said Christine. “I wanted to see what was next for him and how I could help.”

Christine tutored him in English and worked with him to pass his Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). He also took a class downtown, which his family paid for, at no small cost to them. Zacharie scored well enough on his test that he was accepted to Moody. But his financial situation prevented him from attending this year. He’s continuing to raise support and hopes to go next year.

“Working with Zach reminds me that God knows our needs and arranges things exactly as He plans. It’s a blessing for me as I use my talent for teaching, and yet, that blessing extends to Zach and, God willing, to his future passengers years down the line,” said Christine.

One of the key priorities of the MAF Haiti team is to foster knowledge of aviation among the Haitians. “We know that people like Zach can reach Haiti far better than we can,” added Christine, “and the future of missions depends on all of us working together.”

Zacharie hopes others will be inspired by his story and venture down the same path that he is on, to become a missionary pilot.

Zacharie (right) with his parents, Christine and Georges François (center), and younger brother Hans (left).

Zacharie (right) with his parents, Christine and Georges François (center), and younger brother Hans (left).

“The most encouraging part of working with Zach is seeing his faith: He truly believes that anything is possible if God is at work,” explained Christine. “His sincerity and optimism are refreshing in a place where doubt and apathy are rampant.”

“I totally want to be a missionary pilot, in Haiti, if possible,” said Zacharie. “I have seen what they’ve been doing here and I want to be part of it. I also want to show others that when you have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, He will not let you down.”

 

Want to know how you can help Zacharie? Contact Christine Harms at charms@maf.org.

4 Comments

  • Avatar Linda Popkes says:

    Zacharie will be a great MAF pilot some day! Does he have a way to raise funds? How can people contribute?

  • Avatar MAF says:

    Hi Linda. Contact Christine Harms at charms@maf.org. Thank you!

  • Avatar Janet Hibbs says:

    George lived in a room at our house during the five years that Terry and I served with MAF in Haiti. Soon we celebrated his wedding to Chrismene in our living room. I knew Zacharie as a baby and little boy. I am THRILLED to hear that now these years later, Zacharie has already progressed so far toward his goal to be an MAF pilot. May the Lord whom we lovingly serve continue to be glorified. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6

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