MAF opens new outreach in Russia

By April 12, 2006

Russia (MNN) — Mission Aviation Fellowship has been working in Russia since the early 1990’s. Because of various reasons MAF hasn’t been able to expand in that country, which has many inaccessible cities and villages across 11 time zones. However, because of a unique situation they are now expanding.

MAF’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Bochman has had expanding into Siberia on his mind for a long time. “Every time we’ve looked and every place we’ve looked it just seemed that God wasn’t opening the door, but then this past year God raised up an national pilot with a burden for missionary aviation. And, the area that the Lord has placed on all of our hearts is Krasnoyarsk in central Siberia.”

Bochman says it’s a combination of ministry outreaches. “It’s kind of be there, provide medical evacuation or other supply line services as well as direct support for the missionaries that are deployed in all these remove villages.”

While these areas were once serviced by air traffic during the communist days, they no long have that access. Bochman is praying about these unique people. “They’re forgotten people. They’re people that are not on the main radar of the movers and shakers of Russia, but the people still live there and certainly they’re not forgotten by God.”

This new program is completely Russian, says Bochman. “It needs to be Russian. There’s no way that we would be able to gain permission as foreigners to fly as pilots, so we need to be in a support role because of the limitations of the authorities.”

They also plan to establish a Russian Christian Aviation Association. It’s an interest group and outreach to Russian aviators. A newsletter has been started. Pray that God would use this as a way to bring Russian pilots to Christ.

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