Missionary internship program provides mentorship and mission field experience

By July 6, 2023

International (MNN) — Are you considering whether you’re called to full-time missions work in another country? If so, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) invites you to join their internship program, Waypoints!

A small group of MAF interns travels together to one of the ministry’s overseas bases. There, they spend four weeks being mentored in missionary aviation life and help with remote outreach opportunities.

Eric Kellerer, MAF’s Director of Waypoints says, “It’s really designed to begin thinking about a long-term calling.”


(Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

Before MAF interns go to the mission field, they spend eight weeks preparing. “They join together with usually about 10 others that are going on this internship and they learn to [deal with] conflict,” says Kellerer.

“What do they do when they have interpersonal conflicts on the field? What will they do when they don’t know how to get food in a different language? We process through lots of different questions like that and they try to think ahead about what that will be like. Then we prepare them to actually go onto the field.”

On the mission field, a mentor couple walks alongside the interns as they learn the local language, culture, and challenges.

From there, Kellerer says, “We usually go out into some of the far reaches where Mission Aviation Fellowship flies on a regular basis, and these are to the most isolated people groups…. [But] instead of going by air, we go by foot or boat or bus or van or horseback, depending on the country. It’s not an easy journey.

“For example, on a recent trip to Lesotho, our interns hiked for eight hours into a village. At the end of that time, they spent two days ministering alongside of some pastors and some nurses that were working in the village in this remote area. Then after two days, an MAF airplane came into that landing strip and picked them up and took them back to the capitol.

(Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)

“Now the flight back was only about 35 minutes long. But the interns then will forever understand how important that tool of ministry the airplane is in that region. If we just flew in, they would be thinking, ‘Wow, this was a nice flight, very pretty, beautiful flight, very nice village.’ But they would not understand how remote and isolated those families are — and there are about 9,000 people that live within a two hour walk of that village.”

Interns also interact with local missionary families, see what life is like for spouses and children, and work with other ministries MAF partners with.

Ultimately, the Waypoints internship program was created to prepare potential missionaries in practical ways, dispel myths about missions work, and hopefully refine interns’ sense of calling from the Lord to become full-time missionaries.

“We looked at many of the reasons why people left the field early…and we said some of those are very legitimate, very noble reasons to come home to your home country,” says Kellerer. “But some of the reasons were really things that, if we had actually invested in their lives, we could help them to actually have longer terms of service there.”

If you’re interested in learning more about a Waypoints internship, contact MAF here!

“Is God inviting you to be part of this Great Commission in different cultures and different lands outside of your comfort zone?” Kellerer asks. “Is He inviting you into that experience to be sent?”









Header photo shows a view of Papua, Indonesia from the window of an MAF plane. (Photo courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship)