Aviation ministry begins new chapter

By September 25, 2006

USA (MNN) — Since 1980 Mission Aviation Fellowship called Southern California home. But, that’s all changed. The high cost of living and a need to expand their ministry to reach the unreached forced MAF to seek a home elsewhere. In July, MAF began moving into their new headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.

Over the weekend thousands of people from all over the country and around the world packed the newly constructed office building and hanger facility for the official dedication.

The day began with worship and a challenge from retired president Max Meyers. He told the standing room only crowd that he’s concerned about the future. With increasing amounts of hatred for the west in areas they need to go, it’s going take ingenuity to make sure every tribe and tongue hears the Gospel.

MAF President Kevin Swanson says today’s world is different that it was 30 years ago. “The world we’re living in today doesn’t welcome us. It doesn’t welcome the Gospel nearly as much as it did 20 or 30 years ago. And, we’re having to do things in terms of security training for our people and things we’ve never had to do before because of that fact. But, that doesn’t make the call any less vital.”

MAF projects a savings of between $800,000 to $1-million a year, which translates into more ministry, Swanson says. “One of our typical flight programs overseas, would run between $400,000 and $500,000 a year. So, we could conceivably start one or two new MAF flight programs overseas with the first year savings.”

Board meeting completed just prior to the dedication confirms that, says Swanson. “We’ve just been meeting with our regional directors who are will us right now and that has been reaffirmed. The need is out there. The need is great.

The newly constructed buildings are just the first of a five phase $19-million campus that will also include apartments, maintenance building and RV park for volunteers who would like to assist MAF reach the unreached.

While the task seems great, Swanson say MAF is ready for the challenge. “As God has given us a much bigger facility here we know that is for growth and we are anticipating that we’re going to be training more people, prepare more aircraft, send more technicians out into the world today.”

Prayer, funding and volunteer support is still needed for the remainder of the project.

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