A Mutual Blessing

How people like you are helping the gospel reach the ends of the earth

An MAF airplane at the ends of the earth, Lesotho. Photo by Grant Strugnell.

“Lord, thank You for the opportunity to be involved with MAF in making a difference in the world…. In Christ’s name, Amen.”

In one short prayer, Dr. Gary Coombs—missions pastor at Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California—summed up the symbiotic relationship between churches and MAF. From grand vision to ordinary task, we are in this together.

We, at MAF, could not do our work (nor would we want to) without local bodies of believers standing with us in prayer, financial support, and encouragement. And churches would find it challenging to directly impact the lives of isolated people if they did not partner with frontline organizations like MAF.

Local congregations would also miss out on the beauty of deep friendships with those who live and work among the world’s most isolated. And MAF staff would be all the poorer for it.

Dave and Linda Ringenberg had been supported by Shadow Mountain since joining MAF in 1997. When their five-year-old daughter, Hannah, became sick with a brain tumor in 2002, they returned home to care for her in the church’s missionary apartments. Throughout that excruciating time, up until her death, the church stood by their side.

“Their special care for us during that hard season of our lives was truly a great blessing to our family, as is their continued prayer and financial support,” said Linda.

Chuck and Susan Weatherstone have partnered with Calvary Church of Santa Ana, California, since 1985. Calvary saw them through two evacuations and several violent conflicts as they served with MAF in various countries. Today, Calvary is helping raise up the next generation of MAF missionaries as they support the Weatherstones in their role as mobilizers.

“Through Calvary, we have experienced the love of the body of Christ,” said Susan.

Calvary Church has shown that same love to several generations of MAF missionaries, starting with Francis and George Boggs—one of MAF’s earliest pilots—back in 1956.

Besides staff support, both churches have also contributed to several important MAF funds: Global Ministry, Haiti Disaster, Mali Well projects, Mobilization, and a Kodiak airplane.

Basotho people wait outside the remote Bobete clinic in Lesotho (Africa). Photo by Mark and Kelly Hewes.

What drives churches to partner with MAF, generation after generation? Dr. Coombs summed it up well:

“How do we get the gospel out to the more remote places on this earth? We support MAF because we believe they have a key role in accomplishing the Great Commission.”

This story appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of FlightWatch:

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