From Piper planes to Kodiaks

By July 24, 2009

USA (MNN) — The last week of July not only means there's only one  month
of summer left, but it also means it's time for the Oshkosh Air Show or AirVenture, the world's
biggest general aviation air show.

Mission Aviation has been attending the show for years. Gene
Jordan, a missionary with MAF since 1977, said MAF has had a booth there each year,
which "makes our presence as missionary aviators known to the aviation

However, this year MAF will have even more of a presence at
the show.

AirVenture was started by the Experimental Aviation
Association (EAA), and each year EAA features a different theme in aviation.

"This year, one of the themes is public benefit
aviation, or how airplanes are used for good," Jordan said. This theme highlights
both humanitarian and missionary aviation, and a 40 x 40 foot tent will
feature displays by MAF and other agencies.

"Our theme is 'Fly for Life.' The public benefit organizations
‘fly for life' when providing their services ," Jordan said. "We fly
for life, too–not only physical life, but eternal life as well."

Outside of the MAF tent, the organization's new Kodiak plane is on display. Under one of
its wings, Steve Saint's Piper PA14 will be featured, which is a replica of the
plane his dad, Nate Saint, flew for MAF before he was martyred.

Jordan said the Piper represents Nate's sacrifice and how it
opened MAF's ministry to the public and encouraged many young people to serve. On
the other hand, the Kodiak
represents the present and the future of MAF.

"So our prayer would be that we're able to share with
many, many people that MAF's reason for being–to share God with people who are
remotely scattered around this world–has really not changed from the Piper
days to the Kodiak days," Jordan said.

Held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, AirVenture will begin July 27
and continue through August 2.

The air show has taken place for about 50 years and has
grown from several pilots getting together to swap stories, to 20,000 planes and
10,000 RVs for the week of the show. Every day, pilots fly their planes over the
event, showing off the "latest and greatest" in aviation.

"It's kind of like heaven for a pilot," Jordan

With all these pilots gathered in one place, MAF sees it as
a great opportunity to "let people know airplanes are being used to build
a church around the world," Jordan said.

Every year, MAF has the opportunity to recruit young
people interested in flying for them. They also meet people who
support their ministry and have a chance to thank them face to face.

But this year, with their display, they will be able to share
their mission and passion with even more people.

Jordan said MAF and the other mission aviation ministries
who will be at the show are "all together in doing what God is doing
throughout the world."

MAF hopes the public benefit theme can be included at
AirVenture for years to come.

Pray that many will catch MAF's vision, that more pilots and supporters will be recruited so the ministry can continue serving in
remote areas where the Gospel has yet to be shared.

If you are interested in visiting the air show, go to MAF's Web site for more information:

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