Introducing David Holsten

MAF’s new president steps into the next chapter of God’s story.


“Who am I to be asked to step into this role?”

That question ran through David Holsten’s mind when the MAF Board of Directors formally asked him to consider becoming MAF’s next President and CEO. Thoughts of the incredible legacy of this 73-year-old organization and the countless transformed lives washed over David in that moment.

“That was very, very humbling,” said David. “To see how God has used MAF in modern missions and then to be asked to step into that history and feel the mantle of leadership is a very weighty thing.”

David and his wife, Natalie, along with their four children, have served with MAF in Indonesia for the past 18 years. David has held a variety of roles, including pilot, program manager, and regional director of MAF’s largest region. However, one role David has particularly relished is story-teller.

The Holsten family. Left to right: (back row) Carter and David; (center) Grace, Natalie, and Luke; (front) Zoe.

David and Natalie both come from families of storytellers. David’s father was a pastor and rancher in Colorado and his brothers are pastors, authors, and communicators. David’s late mother is the one he credits as being the family’s best storyteller. His mother’s childhood was a difficult one—yet she constantly told her children how God had brought her through it.

“She would tell that story to us all the time, and God’s faithfulness and His goodness and His salvation were illustrated to us through stories,” said David.

“It just became this natural thing and, without even realizing it, I found myself doing the same thing with MAF. If you just open your eyes, the goodness of God—His faithfulness, His salvation, and the Gospel—are woven through everything MAF does.”

While David, Natalie, and their children are excited about the next chapter of their lives, they are mourning leaving behind their life in Indonesia, their home, their friends, and even their dog who won’t be able to make the transition with them. David will also miss the opportunity of having a front row seat to MAF’s operations, as a pilot, but his seat at MAF’s headquarters will give him a whole new view.

“Loving the story of MAF, to be able to see that playing out on a global level is such an incredible blessing,” said David. “It just turns up the volume of what I appreciate about MAF already.

“MAF has such a rich heritage,” said David, “it’s very humbling and a privilege to be able to lead this organization into its next chapter.”


Please pray for David, Natalie, and their family as they make this transition.

This story originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of FlightWatch. You can read the entire issue here:


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