Ministry Spotlight: Kayla Harder

Kayla Harder sensed God’s call on her life to be a missionary at the age of seven. But it wasn’t until she was 16 and “co-piloted” a small aircraft with a friend’s dad in Florida that she discovered a love of flying and the avenue by which she would serve as a missionary.

Kayla Harder. Photo by Paul O’Brien.

Kayla learned about MAF from her grandmother, who told her, “You can become a missionary pilot!”

“She connected the dots for me,” said Kayla.

That connection eventually led her to a degree in aviation technology in San Diego. She then returned to Florida to spend two years as a flight instructor.

Kayla was accepted as an MAF pilot in January 2017. Now she’s preparing for her ministry in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Part of that preparation involves visiting churches and searching for the people God is calling to serve on her team––as prayer and financial partners.

Having flown in California, Kayla was used to flying over mountains, not through the valleys. But during her technical evaluation flight with MAF, her instructors kept telling her she could “get closer and still have safe margins.”

“It totally pushed my little comfort zone that I’d built over the years,” said Kayla. “I loved it!”

“I love big clouds and I love big mountains and I love big rocks … I’m a small person, and it gives me this perspective, reminds me how small I am in the grand scheme of things.”
Kayla’s enthusiasm bubbles over like a runaway train, one that’s sure of its destination. She talks about the deep resoluteness in her soul that has never wavered, even when she’s had to work harder, being a female pilot, to prove herself.

For someone who’s life is “up in the air,” 24-year-old Kayla is firmly grounded. She knows where her strength lies and the focus she’ll need once she gets to Indonesia.
“My own personal impact with people depends on my being intentional with Him,” said Kayla.

“Since I was born, He has been preparing me for this. He’s also been preparing people to join my team. I can invite them to partner with me in sharing Christ’s love in Indonesia, and encourage them in their journey with God.”

Is God calling you to partner with Kayla in her ministry to the people of Kalimantan? To join Kayla’s team or to find out more, visit

This story was featured in FlightWatch magazine. To read the full issue, click here:

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