Delivering God’s Grace

I flew MAF airplanes to deliver rice, water, medicine, generators, live calves, snakes, pigs, butchered beef, live chickens, metal roofing, nails, lumber, oil, gasoline, pencils, paper, books, mail, clothes, engineers, nurses, dentists, doctors and, oh yeah, bibles, pastors, preachers and teachers.

Mission Aviation Fellowship delivering supplies in EcuadorAt home base, hangar-helpers stuffed it all into the airplane for me. After landing in the jungle, however, I untied the baggage inside the cabin and hauled it out. Then I moved around the airplane to the pod, knelt in the mud and unloaded a few hundred pounds of cargo.

Next I interviewed new passengers, weighed their baggage and cargo and calculated if everything fit. If it did, I loaded and tied it down, then pointed the people to their seats. If it didn’t fit, I started negotiations––in everyone’s second language. Then I buckled all passengers in, gave the safety briefing, did a quick walk-around the airplane and climbed into my seat. By this point I was hot, sweaty and tired, so to get a break, I repositioned the airplane––at another airstrip––and did it all again.

They called me a missionary pilot, but sometimes I felt my real job was cargo handler. I drove a flying delivery truck, hauling whatever form of God’s grace best advanced His Kingdom––whether food and supplies, medicine or missionaries.

Today I still deliver God’s cargo, but not with an airplane. Instead I write for MAF’s Learning Technologies division (MAF-LT) and deliver Good News with digital technology.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Learning Technologies

Phil Manning compiled 40 pounds of Christian training material onto one USB data stick

For example, We in MAF-LT used digital technology to assemble the world’s largest collection of Russian Christian material. Then we delivered 50,000 DVD disks and 200,000 downloads. We dispatch Christian education via text messages to cell phones in remote––or unsympathetic––areas. Our division trains Bible schools how to deliver courses to students all over South America via the Internet. We send USB data sticks containing entire Bible courses to pastors deep in the African bush. They study using solar-powered laptop computers. We even show seminaries in the Middle East how to deliver resources to pastors-in-training who have no other access to Christian education.

With MAF-Learning Technologies, just like the rest of MAF, I get to deliver God’s transforming grace to isolated people with whatever vehicle He puts into my hands. Now, I just use a smaller “truck.” Much smaller.

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