Elated gasps and cries of joy simultaneously resounded in both a meeting room in Shell Mera, Ecuador, and the MAF chapel in Nampa, Idaho. MAF President John Boyd had just shared, via a video conference call, that a KODIAK had been funded by generous supporters and would soon make its way to Alas de Socorro del Ecuador (ADSE)—an MAF affiliate program.
This news means much more than an added aircraft. It means this historic ministry will be able to fly faster and farther, carry more cargo and passengers, and reduce its operating costs—so that ultimately even more isolated people will be reached with the love of Jesus Christ.
And the KODIAK for ADSE is just one example.
As MAF celebrates 60 years of serving in Indonesia, supporters like you provided another new KODIAK to the Papuan program. The KODIAKs are already opening doors there. The airplanes are helping missionaries reach new villages deep in the mountains and are reinvigorating older ministries on this vast island.
The KODIAK was designed by Quest Aircraft Company with the specific needs of missionary aviation in mind. This powerful airplane can take off and land on essentially the same airstrips as a smaller Cessna 206 while carrying a much larger payload, and potentially cutting travel time drastically.
“The KODIAKs carry two or three times the load, more safely than our other planes … more safely, more quickly, and with much greater comfort,” said David Holsten, MAF regional director of Indonesia.
This is but one of many airplanes you helped add to the MAF fleet around the world. A Pilatus PC-12 also recently arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With the rising cost of aviation gasoline (avgas) and stricter regulations, these fleet upgrades could not have come at a better time. In some places the cost of avgas is $21 per gallon—both the Quest KODIAKs and the Pilatus PC-12 run on the much less expensive Jet A fuel.
The PC-12 is a Swiss-made airplane that can carry up to nine passengers or a 3,500 pound payload. It has an average cruise speed of about 310 miles per hour and can fly at altitudes up to 30,000 feet. While the PC-12 cannot land on the short runways used by 206s and KODIAKs, it is ideal for serving longer airstrips like those found in the DRC.
The PC-12 in the MAF DRC program was quickly put to work fighting an Ebola outbreak in that country, among other things. This aircraft will serve medical teams, church leaders, and nongovernmental organization (NGO) workers—allowing them to more quickly navigate this vast country which is roughly the size of continental Europe.
MAF’s partners are helping to breathe new life into historic MAF bases around the world through the provision of these aircraft. Because of this partnership, these programs are seeing an increase in the capacity with which they are able to serve isolated people. The Kalimantan program eagerly awaits the arrival of the first KODIAK floatplane to be added to MAF’s fleet, while the Mozambique program still seeks funding for a Cessna Caravan in order to reach more people in that country with God’s love.
The arrival of these airplanes around the world greatly expands MAF’s ministry, from MAF programs in Africa and Indonesia to affiliate programs like Alas de Socorro in Ecuador. Soon a sleek, new KODIAK will fly above the same jungles over which a small, yellow Piper Family Cruiser, piloted by Nate Saint, soared decades before. The new airplane will carry the same hope as the old: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.