Missionary aviators are helping nationals minister in Borneo, Indonesia

By January 23, 2006

Indonesia (MNN) — While Mission Aviation Fellowship has been working in Indonesia for more than 40 years, there is still much work to be done. According to MAF’s Chief Operating Office Dave Bochman says, “There are a lot of remote peoples yet and people that are largely forgotten. And, there’s a huge need for air transportation because the infrastructure just has not been developed. It’s such a rugged country.”

Because they’ve worked on the island of Borneo so long, the ministry has come full circle as they’re now assisting national Christians as they continue church planting work. “There are places where the national church deploys church planters into remote areas and they have many of the same needs that the foreign missionaries had.”

That’s why MAF is expanding their work into the nomadic Punan people, says Bochman. “And, the people are primarily hunters and gatherers. When you have a hunter/gatherer type culture you need a lot of area in order to find enough food to sustain yourself and so that automatically puts them away from civilization.”

That why Bochman says MAF has opened an airstrip to help a Punan and national Christian worker. He says the government is paying for most of the expense. “That’s wonderful because the hunters and gatherers don’t have much cash. It doesn’t require a large amount of subsidy from donated funds from the outside. It also gives us an opportunity as believers to show with our lives, actions and our words what it means to be a Christian.”

Abandoned lumber company roads were cleared off and converted into air strips.

Pray for the nationals working there that they’ll be effective in communicating the Gospel.

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