Haiti (MNN) — Mission Aviation Fellowship is bringing some much-needed airstrip upgrades to parts of Haiti. In La Source, MAF opened a new airstrip in January, which was used for evacuations during Haiti’s unrest in February. The airstrip was generously sponsored by Pastor Carl Harris and the First Baptist Church in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
“Well, we’re really excited. We’ve been operating in Haiti for over 30 years and we’ve been able to see a number of new airstrips developed, but it’s been since 2010 since we’ve opened a new one. We’re just really excited about reaching the isolated people on the western end of the island of La Gonave,” says David Carwell, MAF’s program manager in Haiti.
MAF pilots transport medicine, relief aid, humanitarian resources, and opportunities for the ultimate hope to remote areas. Prior to the recent opening of the MAF airstrip, the only airstrip on La Gonave was in the coastal town of Anse-a-Galets.
“That was opened…about 1990 by another mission organization. It really opened up the development of the town of Anse-a-Galets. That’s where the only hospital is on the island. Approximately…more than a hundred thousand people live on this island. It’s just been a very isolated place over the years. Kind of a forgotten area,” Carwell describes.
Carwell says World Vision built a clinic in La Source some years ago. Since the clinic was never able to be staffed, no doctors have been present in the community. The structure of the clinic exists but is mainly used as a dispensary for medicine.
Airstrip Connects the Church
Furthermore, some churches in the area have been isolated from the outside world. Carwell says he hopes the airstrip in La Source will change this and help the community flourish.
“We have our sights on a couple of other places in Haiti as well. We’ve had difficulty in getting airstrips approved…But right now I think we have a window of…We’re going to be looking at an airstrip in the northwest…and there’s a hospital there that has a need for air support.”
MAF also hopes to relocate a functional airstrip, that is in a major northwest town, from a high-risk area to a better place of operation. Currently, this particular airstrip has roads crossing it.
Pray MAF would be able to improve other airstrips as well as add more in Haiti. Pray for the churches and pastors in La Source to be strengthened and encouraged. Also, pray for the MAF pilots working in Haiti. Finally, ask God to use MAF to bring His ultimate hope to the region.