Haiti (MNN) — With government officials, church and mission leaders, and relief workers on hand, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) will celebrate a milestone in Haiti in a special ceremony tomorrow afternoon.
President of MAF John Boyd says they'll be celebrating, "25 years of service to the Haitian people and MAF being in Haiti. And I get the joy of speaking at the celebration tomorrow and on Wednesday. It's going to be prayerfully a time that the Lord is glorified."
MAF began operating in Haiti in 1986, serving missions and relief agencies in remote areas of the country. Poor infrastructure has plagued Haiti's development and causes non-profit organizations serving there to seek alternative transportation. A trip that might take eight hours or longer over rough, unsafe roads can be reduced to 25 minutes aboard an MAF plane.
Greg and Barb Van Schoyck, missionaries serving in Pignon with the Haitian American Friendship Foundation, noted how MAF has enabled them to minister more effectively.
"Flying with MAF gives us the opportunity to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us. Trucks are expensive, and the roads take their toll," Greg said. "Long drives over terrible roads batter not only our trucks, but our bodies as well. It didn't take long to determine that flying is more cost effective for us in the long run."
Following the massive earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010, MAF's knowledge of country and expertise in transportation, communication, and disaster response positioned the organization to effectively serve the scores of humanitarian and medical aid groups that descended upon Port-au-Prince. It is that longevity within Haiti that has endeared MAF to local church leaders, medical groups, and government officials.
Over the past two years, MAF has played a critical role in efforts to halt the spread of cholera in Haiti. MAF has assisted Samaritan's Purse, Operation Blessing, Medical Teams International, and other groups by transporting medical teams, equipment, and supplies.
Boyd says the work in Haiti is still huge. "In Haiti today, there [are] still 490,000 internally displaced people. So we're still supporting the earthquake rebuilding effort." They're flying food, medical supplies, doctors, and pastors into the region.
Boyd says the celebration will begin at their hanger in Port-au-Prince. He's asking you to pray. "Pray for MAF globally. Pray for the celebration. Pray for those who attend the celebrations. Pray for those who don't know Jesus, that something will catch their mind, catch their spirit, and that they would start to seek God."
Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf.org ) has a singular mission: to share the Gospel through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed. Serving in 32 countries with a fleet of 142 planes, MAF supports the efforts of some 1,500 Christian and relief organizations.
A significant part of this global network, MAF-US is headquartered in Nampa, Idaho. In addition to its aviation services, MAF-US also provides communications and learning technologies to support the work of hundreds of Christian, mission and humanitarian organizations throughout Africa, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America.