AirVenture show exceeds expectations

By August 3, 2009

(MNN) — The presence of Mission Aviation Fellowship at AirVenture, the world’s
largest air show, not only allowed the ministry to share its mission with a new
audience but provided an opportunity to communicate its vision for the future.

Concluding yesterday, the event took place in Oshkosh, Wisconsin,
and was attended by hundreds of thousands interested in aviation.

MAF has always participated in the air show, but the
organization's presence was greater this year due to the event’s "Fly4Life"
theme. The theme focused on public benefit aviation, with a whole section
devoted to missionary aviation.

MAF looked forward to the air show for a year, excited about
the opportunity to share its mission with a new audience.

"We bathed this week in prayer for months and months. God gave
us this opportunity to share with those we would never normally encounter," said John Boyd,
president of MAF. Boyd said the number of people encountered far exceeded his
expectations, as did the questions they asked about the ministry.

In addition to providing access to a new audience, Boyd said the
show enabled MAF to showcase the future of missionary aviation.

"It's a great opportunity not only to share with tens of
thousands of people what God is doing through MAF, but to tell folk about this
great new season of mission aviation as we transition to using this wonderful aircraft
called the Kodiak," he said.

With the Kodiak,
MAF will spend less money on scarce and expensive "avgas" or aviation gasoline,
as the new aircraft uses cheaper and more easily-available jet fuel. Boyd said MAF
just received its second Kodiak
plane, and a third is on the way. By the end of the year MAF will have five new
Kodiaks to help further the spread
of the Gospel.

Boyd said the highlight of the show for him was on Thursday
morning while he was walking in AeroShell

"I saw the new AirBus A380—a 550 passenger jet liner—and I
thought to myself, "Wow, Lord. If I could just have one of those, what we could
do at MAF!'"

Boyd said he then saw the MAF
and realized what could be done with the small plane in areas the
huge jet liner would never be able to go. "We are able to use the tools that
God is giving us in these smaller aircraft to get out into the most remot and
farthest corners of the earth. And that’s exactly what the Great Commission
calls us to do."

With this new season at MAF, Boyd said the ministry is still
in need of more people to  serve in remote
areas where isolation and poverty are facts of life. He asked for people to
consider partnering with the ministry in some way, whether financially or by
giving of their time.

Prayer is also important. Boyd seeks prayer for discernment,
wisdom, and courage for the ministry and its leaders during difficult financial
times. Pray also for renewed passion for those involved in the ministry as they
wait on the Lord’s leading.

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