Wired for Joy

A staff member from Papua takes his skills to the next level and spreads joy at MAF headquarters


“In MAF, I love to do even little things but with a big heart,” said Arleon Eko, an MAF staff member from Papua, Indonesia. “I work with wiring or solar but I can help people in remote areas. I love it!”

Arleon is one of two national avionics technicians at the Sentani base, and he recently spent five weeks training at MAF’s US headquarters, working with the avionics team there. Avionics involves nearly all of the electrical devices and systems found on an aircraft, most of which resides in the cockpit, in the instrument panel and the wiring behind it.

“I’ve been working with MAF since 2011,” said Arleon, who moved to Papua after attending a technical high school on his home island of North Maluku, 937 miles from Sentani—a two-day trip by boat for Arleon. He lived with his uncle who worked for MAF for more than 30 years.

“I knew about MAF from him,” he added. “I love it!”

Arleon loves sharing about the love of Christ. He’s a youth leader and worship leader at his church as well as at Newman Chapel, where his MAF Papua teammates attend. He likes that his MAF work doesn’t get in the way of his serving in church on the weekends.

MAF is committed to investing in its local staff members like Arleon who serve vital roles at MAF flight programs around the world. Whenever possible, the ministry provides them with the technical training they need to do their jobs well and to advance in their skills. Occasionally that warrants a visit to the States.

“It has been very exciting to have Arleon here in Nampa,” said Bruce Harcey, supervisor of Avionics. “We’ve learned that the quality of his work is already at the level of MAF standards, and that he is a quick learner.

“It has been awesome to observe how the Lord has arranged events during his stay in Nampa. Not only has Arleon been able to work on one airplane headed to Papua, he’s also been able to work on the wiring for an avionics equipment upgrade coming up in one of the planes already in Papua. But in addition to that, it just so happened that the Aircraft Electronics Association had its annual training conference in late September and we were able to take Arleon along to receive the avionics training that was offered.

missionary aviation charity Indonesian staff aircraft maintenance avionics

Arleon doing preliminary work on the avionics upgrades for one of the Papua Caravans. Photo by Lem Malabuyo.

“He learned many new things and discovered that, because of his MAF experience up to this point, he could immediately benefit from the added training! I must say, it is such a delight to be able to assign work to Arleon because he’s been able to delve right into it with very little help. What a blessing for MAF and for God’s kingdom!”

You may remember reading earlier this year about MAF’s Papua Caravans needing avionics upgrades and glass cockpits. The training Arleon received here will greatly enable him to help with those upgrades back in Papua.

Tim Dyk, an avionics inspector with MAF, worked with Arleon at headquarters and says, “The better that we know someone in person, the easier it is to communicate real needs and find real solutions. It will help our support of the Papua program to have him more familiar with the staff in Nampa, Idaho. Not only do we get familiar with his abilities, we also learn what parts of his on-the-job training that may have been lacking. We also get to know each other on a spiritual basis.”

avionics maintenance amphibious Cessna Caravan missionary aviation flight charity

Getting to know the amphibious Caravan which he’ll help maintain once it gets to Papua. Photo by Lem Malabuyo.

Arleon’s enthusiasm for his work with MAF is so evident, as is his grateful spirit. Spend any amount of time and he will tell you over and over, “I love it.” He knows his job and his time at headquarters are not by accident.

“God called me to Papua, to MAF… and now I’m here!”

Back home in Sentani now, Arleon and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child. We’re so glad God brought his skills and infectious joy to MAF. He’s committed to the mission of MAF and plays a critical role in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with isolated people.

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