Growth seen even in short period of time since headquarters move.

By October 31, 2006

International (MNN) — It’s been less than three months since Mission Aviation Fellowship moved their headquarters from Redlands, California to Nampa, Idaho.

Kevin Swanson, president of MAF, says he can hardly believe it’s only been that long. He’s amazed at how quickly they’ve transitioned into the new facilities and even more amazed to see great growth already. The new facilities include a large office building with meeting rooms and space to grow, and they also have a large double-bay hangar for training, maintenance and preparing aircraft and pilots for the field.

It didn’t take long for MAF to begin utilizing the new facilities, and Swanson says that’s because MAF’s vision is clear. “We take very seriously the support that we provide here is keeping 200 missionary families with MAF around the world, over 50 aircraft in multiple different countries serving the Lord, and it’s imperative that we do our work here on this end so that they can get the Gospel to those people that are living beyond the normal modes of transportation and communication. And I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised because our staff just is a tremendous group of people and they did a great job getting us settled in here.”

There’s much work to be done, and Swanson says MAF is working to prepare for that. “One of our regular prayers here at MAF is that God would send more laborers into His harvest field,” says Swanson regarding a commissioning service for five new MAF pilot/mechanics and their families. “It’s always exciting to have that time of reflection and celebration and thanking God for the good folks He has brought our way. Honestly, we could place twice that many today for the needs we see around the world right now.”

The recently Operation ACCESS! study is a first step in addressing some of those needs. The study, initiated 5 years ago, sought to identify people still not reached and to identify barriers to Gospel outreach throughout the globe. The Operation ACCESS! summit meeting held two weeks ago brought together about 12 different mission organizations working all over the world. Swanson says the goal was to foster greater partnerships and discuss ways to work together to overcome the barriers.

Swanson says, “I believe that partnerships are going to be one of the key relationships as MAF and other organizations move forward in this world today. None of us can do it alone, and I’m just excited to see more people being willing to work together…And I believe the Lord is most pleased as His people work in unity and harmony with one another, and we’re seeing more of that happen.”

The move to Idaho and the way God worked to take them there, Swanson believes, is just one step to help MAF move to the next level in partnering and cooperation with other organizations with similar goals. It’s just exciting to be a part of that kind of work, says Swanson, and part of the ongoing work to accomplish what God has in store, “We want to be well prepared here for what God has for us to do. And if we see a significant increase in the work that MAF needs to do, the number of people that we train and prepare and send and support, we want to be fully prepared to do that. I believe this facility here gives us the basis for doing that.”

With the encouraging and speedy transition to the new headquarters, Swanson says he anticipates a year that continues to surprise them, “It’s probably going to be a year full of surprises. We are not the ones writing the script, God is. But we want to be well prepared to be responsive as He directs, as He leads, as He guides. So I think it’ll be an exciting time for us.”

Continue to pray for MAF pilots as they fly in some of the harshest conditions around the world. Pray for expenses relating to the move and God’s continued provision to finish the facility.

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