International (MNN) — Are you a teacher? Have you ever wanted to roll up your sleeves and get involved in missions in a practical way? Then Brian Behal might have just the thing for you.
Behal works with Mission Aviation Fellowship in their mobilization department. His job is to find workers willing to go and provide practical help to missions fields all over the world.
“We used to be called Recruiting, and some of us within the department agitated to change the name to Mobilization, because Recruiting has the sense of bringing people in, while Mobilization has the idea of sending people out,” he says.
Changing the name of a department is a small shift, but Mission Aviation Fellowship has seen much larger moves over the decades as their ministry has grown. Behal should know; he’s been a part of the organization since ‘93.
Once, Mission Aviation Fellowship accomplished their work with 15 pilots, but now, 83 men and women work in the skies for the organization. They’re also working in several creative access countries that cannot be discussed openly.
As their mission grows, so does their team. They need pilots and mechanics, but they also need teachers.
But why would an organization that primarily focuses on flying resources and workers in and out of mission fields need teachers? First of all, many of Mission Aviation Fellowship’s on the ground partners are missionary families who want their kids to get a good education.
“We have the ability to help staff some of the missionary kids’ schools all around the world, so we have need for, typically, elementary school teachers, but sometimes it’s middle school or even high school,” Behal says.
Second, the fact that teachers seem out of place in an aviation-based organization is exactly why they’re so hard to come by.
“I tell people, ‘I don’t look for pilots, they find me, and I look for mechanics, but I’ll drive across the country looking for a teacher.’”
Every six months or so, Mission Aviation Fellowship assesses what workers they have and what workers they need in their various fields.
“Our biggest fields right now are in Indonesia in the country of Papua. We’re also in Kalimantan. We also have large needs in Africa, particularly the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
The DRC is especially critical because of an ongoing ebola crisis in the area where Mission Aviation Fellowship’s team has been working. Workers have to serve from Uganda for a 21 day incubation period to end before they can live in DRC again.
They’re also starting several new programs in creative access areas.
“There was a study done probably 20 years ago called Operation Access where we went around and interviewed different mission organizations saying ‘If we could provide logistical air service, where would you go? What’s keeping you from getting into these places?’” Behal says. “From that study we’ve identified a few places.”
Pray. Consider. Go.
“Pray that God would raise up people who want to be sent. We are a sending organization, and if I was thirty years younger I would join again and go out to work in some of these countries that I can’t talk about publicly because there’s some fantastic ministry taking place, and God is really doing some exciting things.”
Behal says Mission Aviation Fellowship’s work is making a tangible difference as communities around the world see the impact of Christ’s love and power through the Gospel in their lives.
(Header photo of residents of the isolated village of Esrotnamba in Papua, Indoensia, load bark aboard an MAF floatplane. The bark will be sold to help build the economy of the village. Photo by Mark and Kelly Hewes) Photo and caption courtesy of MAF.