Nampa Woman Marks 81st Birthday with Ride on Missionary Plane

Mission Aviation Fellowship Haiti Caravan Plane Dedication ceremonyBetty Burge, and other passengers receive pre-flight instructions from Jeff Turcotte. Photo by Colby Dees.

NAMPA, Idaho — When Betty Burge marked her 81st birthday on Saturday, April 28, she celebrated by taking a ride on a small MAF missionary plane as part of her commitment to “do something outside of the box at least once a month.”

In December, the spry Ms. Burge had her picture taken with Santa Claus for the first time in her life. In March, she convinced a girlfriend to go with her to a biker church at the Busted Shovel Bar and Grill in Meridian, Idaho.

“Life has become more restrictive for me recently as I have a lot more difficulty hearing,” Burge said. “So, I wanted to spice things up a bit by getting creative and trying lots of new things.”

She tries different ethnic restaurants and even attended a Romanian funeral that lasted four hours! “I wouldn’t recommend that,” Burge said.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Haiti Caravan Plane Dedication ceremony
Betty Burge seated aboard the MAF KODIAK ready for takeoff. Photo by Colby Dees.

This month her out-of-the-box experience was a ride in one of MAF’s missionary airplanes. On Saturday, April 28 — Ms. Burge’s birthday – the Nampa-based ministry organization dedicated a new aircraft for service in Haiti, and offered airplane rides as part of the day’s activities. Betty Burge just couldn’t resist.

Ms. Burge is a long-time supporter of MAF, and even sponsors one of its missionaries – Brendan Blowers, a Nampa-native who serves with MAF in Costa Rica.

While she hasn’t flown in a smaller aircraft in a while, it won’t be her first time. When Ms. Burge lived in Moses Lake, WA, she dated a man with a pilot’s license.

“He used to call me up and invite me to dinner in Seattle,” Ms. Burge said. “Of course, I didn’t turn that down!”

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