A Missionary in Haiti equips himself to volunteer with MAF
As a missionary based in Haiti since 2011, Andrew Sutton knew about MAF. He’d bumped into David Carwell, MAF Haiti program manager, on one of his first visits to the country while exploring an opportunity to serve with an organization called Hands and Feet.
Then Hurricane Matthew blew through, and with it Andrew got a taste of MAF.
“I’d actually read the prayer email that morning that MAF needed some help. I thought, maybe I should email them,” said Andrew.
Later that day, Andrew’s wife, Angie, read the email and said, “Hey, you should reach out to MAF and see if they need some help.”
So Andrew started helping out in the hangar one or two days a week. While there he met Roger Clark, a maintenance specialist from MAF headquarters. Roger encouraged Andrew to come to Nampa and go through the whole process so he could eventually help on the flight line.
“That got the ball rolling. They were slowly reeling me in,” said Andrew, laughing. “But I really enjoy helping the guys. They’re a good crew down there.”
Andrew already has his private pilot’s license and an A&P license. And he’s completed his flight and maintenance standardization at MAF headquarters.
“One of the things that attracted me to MAF is the high standards that they have. I’ve really enjoyed working with the group there. And coming to Nampa and seeing everyone and all the expertise they have… It’s been pretty encouraging.”
Now, back in Haiti, the only thing left is to do a check-out flight to each of the airstrips before he can fly solo. Then he’ll be an official long-term volunteer, filling in when staff are on furlough or someone gets sick.
In the meantime, Andrew and his wife, along with their four girls (ranging from 6 months to 7 years old), help manage the Hands & Feet’s Children’s Village in Grand Goave, Haiti. The Haitian staff handle a lot of the day-to-day stuff while the Suttons provide oversight and training.
The Hands & Feet Project was co-founded by Mark Stuart along with his former bandmates from the Grammy Award-winning band Audio Adrenaline in the summer of 2004. The Project, inspired by fan reaction to the song “Hands and Feet,” is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing family-style, residential care for children in crisis.
“We rely on MAF and their dependable pilots for emergencies and special occasion where a quick trip is needed,” said Mark. “Travel from Port au Prince to Jacmel can take anywhere from three to ten hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. When we have a sick child or missionary, MAF has been our ‘go to’ option.”
When asked how he felt about Andrew partnering with MAF, Mark said, “Andrew Sutton has a heart of gold. He is committed to walking with, and loving, the Haitian people in the name of Jesus. We are proud to have Andrew and his wife Angie on the Hands and Feet‘s team in Haiti. We are also thrilled to see Andrew volunteer with MAF.”
The MAF Haiti team will benefit from having an additional pilot to balance out the work load. And for Andrew, it will be a dream fulfilled, borne on the tail winds of a mighty storm.
“Andrew, as long as I’ve known him, has dreamed of using his skills and passion for flying to serve the Kingdom of God,” said Mark. “And now that dream has come true. Godspeed, Andrew!”