Beyond natural disasters, MAF is committed to the people of Haiti who live in remote and isolated areas
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti––With more than 100 missionaries, aviation officials, and other guests on hand, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) celebrated 25 years of service in Haiti with a special ceremony Tuesday afternoon at the MAF aircraft hangar at the Port-au-Prince Airport.
MAF is a Christian ministry organization that uses airplanes and other technologies to serve church and relief organizations in remote areas of the world.
MAF officials shared about the work in Haiti, as did guest speaker Joe Hurston, an independent missionary pilot who lobbied MAF to come to Haiti in the mid-1980s.
“This morning I had the opportunity to visit Pignon and see some of the impact MAF is making in Haiti through the ministry partners we serve,” MAF President and CEO John Boyd said at the event. “I am as excited as I’ve ever been about what is happening here in Haiti and look forward to what God is going to do through MAF in the next 25 years.”
MAF began operating in Haiti in 1986, serving missions and relief agencies in remote areas of the country. Poor infrastructure has plagued Haiti’s development and causes non-profit organizations serving there to seek alternative transportation. A trip that might take eight hours or longer over rough, unsafe roads can be reduced to 25 minutes aboard an MAF plane.
Greg and Barb Van Schoyck, missionaries serving in Pignon with the Haitian American Friendship Foundation, noted how MAF has enabled them to minister more effectively.
“Flying MAF gives us the opportunity to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us. Trucks are expensive and the roads take their toll,” Greg said. “Long drives over terrible roads batter not only our trucks but our bodies as well. It didn’t take long to determine that flying is more cost effective for us in the long run.”
Following the massive earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, MAF’s knowledge of the country and expertise in transportation, communication, and disaster response positioned the organization to effectively serve the scores of humanitarian and medical aid groups that descended upon Port-au-Prince. It is that longevity within Haiti that has endeared MAF to local church leaders, medical groups and government officials.
Over the past two years, MAF has played a critical role in efforts to halt the spread of cholera in Haiti. MAF has assisted Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, Medical Teams International, and other groups by transporting medical teams, equipment, and supplies.
Anniversary celebrations will continue Wednesday, Feb. 29, with a reception and worship service at Quisqueya Chapel in Petionville, Haiti.