New, larger aircraft paves way for crucial work in Central Asia

By July 27, 2005

Central Asia (MNN) — Obstacles are becoming open doors in Central Asia as God works through the use of the airplane.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is sending a new, larger passenger aircraft to an area of the world that has great needs, both physically and spiritually.

MAF President Kevin Swanson says, “It’s destined for Central Asia, to a country that has been rather difficult for Christian missionaries to get into in the past. And we’ve found that through the use of aviation, we’ve been welcomed into this country, and it’s turning out to be quite a blessing as we support people that are doing medical and humanitarian and educational work, and it’s an opportunity to bring the Gospel to a rather dark corner of the world.”

The Central Asian country that the plane is destined for needs the service of air transport. It’s a rugged country with high mountains and a lack of infrastructure for road travel, making it dangerous and difficult to get around, especially to remote areas where needs are great. This new aircraft will be a great benefit to those who are trying to meet the needs of people throughout the country. It also uses jet fuel, which is more readily available and less expensive.

Swanson says, “Primarily it will be transporting people. Transportation in Central Asia is very dangerous, and many of the workers that we transport couldn’t go to the places that they serve without the use of the aircraft.”

The area of the world where this new plane is being sent is considered a closed-access area. It’s an area that is quite anti-Christian. So how did MAF get access? Swanson says, “Even things that are seen as obstacles can become open doors when God is working in it.”

The airplane is a strategic tool for ministry and Swanson explains what’s driving this opportunity: “When somebody like MAF comes in and can provide services so that doctors, nurses, midwives, can live and serve out in these remote areas, the government welcomes that, because they see how it’s an immediate help to the people in their country.”

Pray that God will use MAF’s strategic flights to help meet needs and share the Gospel in Central Asia where it’s been restricted for many years. Pray for the safety and encouragement of pilots and their families working and living in an environment that’s not very safe.

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