USA (MNN) — God’s Kingdom is advancing in this world. His will and mission are being carried out by His people to make His name famous, and His son Jesus Christ known from the cities and streets to the jungles and villages. The spiritual discipline of sacrifice, whether it be the sacrifice of your time, talent, or treasures, helps you engage in God’s Great Commission for our world.
Mission Aviation Fellowship has an opportunity for you to give generously to some very specific needs on the Lord’s mission field, through their Future Generations Campaign.
The Future Generations Campaign kicked off today, and there are three main branches of the campaign: new ministries and initiatives, new aircraft, and campus expansion.
We spoke with MAF’s President and CEO John Boyd who shared the ministry pulse behind the Future Generations Campaign.
“We have called it the Future Generations Campaign simply because we’re looking strategically at the future of the ministry of Mission Aviation Fellowship. So future generations really does describe what our hearts and thinking is as we prepare for the future and what we believe God is positioning MAF to be doing — to reach out to those remote and isolated people with the Gospel of Jesus.”
New aircraft funding
The first leg of designated funding would cover two new airplanes for Mission Aviation Fellowship’s work in Indonesia and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. One would be an amphibious cessna caravan, and the other would be a cessna grand caravan.
Boyd explains these new planes are vital to the continuation of their ministry. “Both aircraft are going to be replacing rather old airplanes we’ve had in our fleet for a long time that are due for retirement. So it’s part of our plan to go to God’s people and raise the funds so we can replace these two aircraft which, by the way, are critically needed in both those countries.”
Indonesia lies within the 10/40 Window, and 63 percent of the population is completely unreached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the overwhelming majority of the population professes as Christian, but according to The Joshua Project, only 19 percent are evangelical.
Both of these countries have unique ministry needs, and MAF works in both to further God’s Word in their most remote regions. But they can’t continue without the proper planes and equipment. This campaign would meet the need.
New ministries and initiatives funding
Boyd shares, “The new ministries and initiatives part of the Future Generations Campaign has to do with us preparing ourselves so we can respond to new ministry opportunities that present themselves. For example, to have the funding in play so we can work in new regions that open up to us like Nepal.”
As an aviation and technologies ministry, MAF also needs funding available to explore new technology opportunities and other ministry models.
“MAF is a global ministry and we have a large reach, but we also have to be very conscious of emergent software and what could help us do things better. We’ve couched it in the new ministries and initiatives fund, and it’s probably going to be one of the most important components of the three-tier fund.”
Campus expansion funding
MAF’s current headquarters are in Nampa, Idaho. They relocated from Southern California in 2006, and Boyd says, “There were plans in place at the time to add additional facilities.That time is definitely now. The original plans of 11-12 years ago that we were looking at actually had us building extra mission housing units, which we haven’t done at this point.”
One purpose behind expanding the MAF campus is to better support and refresh missionary families, whether in training or on furlough.
“We have, as you can imagine, a huge amount of our families come back through this facility during furlough times. They need to be retrained, and there needs to be lots of work done to help them readjust to the United States before we send them back to the field of service.
“We really want to make it a community where our missionaries can interact and feel safe and recover and rest and recharge and connect with one another again. Because when you come back from a field service with MAF, it’s three and a half years overseas and six months back. It’s really important that we have these facilities so we can work with our people and give them that oasis.”
Boyd continues, another goal is “really wanting to build the campus out so we have, for example, a children’s playground. We have nothing at the moment where our mission kids…have anywhere to play. So we really want to have that, and we would love a nice outdoor area with lots of grass and picnic tables.”
Future Generations Campaign progress
The fundraising goal for the Future Generations Campaign is $21 million. MAF has already started the ‘silent phase’ of their fundraising, going to affinity donors already connected with MAF.
“I’m very thankful to God and the donors for this silent phase where, to date, we’ve almost raised $10 million towards the campaign. So the ultimate goal in the next three years is we need to raise the additional $11 million, making the $21 million.”
Boyd has faith that God will move in powerful ways over the next few years.
“I guess you could say we’re really going full-steam now to go to our friends and supporters and prayer partners, and we know God can bring this. Quite frankly, the size of the vision is just restricted I guess by our faith factor! And we know the Lord is going to do this.”
The ‘why’ of it all
Ultimately, Mission Aviation Fellowship has a very unique ministry niche in — you guessed it — aviation. Boyd says the heartbeat of the ministry and how the Lord has led them is the ‘why’ behind it all.
“The inspiration for what we do day-by-day and the fact that we’re going into this campaign is really based on the fact that our mission statement has MAF sharing the love of Jesus Christ to remote and isolated people….
“That is the foundation and the bedrock of why we do what we do each day.
“That’s why we have over 130 aircraft in 37 countries.
“That’s why we have dedicated missionaries who are willing to go and serve with their families in very challenging regions of the world and restricted access countries too.
“And that’s why we have faithful, loyal donors who understand that our heart is about being obedient to the Great Commission and going and taking that cup of cold water to the least of those and being able to go and make disciples.”
Boyd emphasizes, “That drives everything we do at MAF, and based on that, we have sought Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the direction for the future of the ministry. Just these three components — the new aircraft, the new ministries and initiatives, and the campus expansion — all form part of what we believe God is calling us to be doing for the future, so we can be prepared and go into the rest of the world, because it is a hurting world and we see that and we want to be prepared for it.”
Want to get involved?
Any funds donated are going to very concrete and mobilizing ways for MAF to continue their Kingdom work.
“It’s really tangible. I know there are so many needs out there for valuable missions and ministries and churches, and we’re just one voice. But we know that God has a plan for Mission Aviation Fellowship. The tangible expression of those listening in terms of praying for the campaign, praying for our mission-folk and, where able, to be able to gift towards the ministry,” says Boyd.
“Any gift brings us closer to the goal, and so it’s one of those things that I often say to my children. I say, ‘It’s not the size of the gift, it’s the heart and why you’re giving.’”