Media & Press Resources

Subject Matter Experts

MAF staff work around the world and are knowledgeable in many areas. To speak with staff about the following subjects, please contact Brad Hoaglun at (208) 498-0795 or

Aviation · Missions Work · Disaster Response and Relief Work · Distance Education for Pastoral Training · New Technologies for Sharing the Gospel · the Church in Africa, Indonesia, and/or Latin America · Nate Saint, Betty Greene, and Early Missionary Aviators

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Latest News

Mission Aviation Fellowship breaks ground for new facility

Facility to serve as gathering place for those in training, on overseas break

NAMPA, Idaho – Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a nonprofit global Christian organization, today broke ground on a new 8,000-square-foot facility at their U.S. headquarters located at the Nampa Airport.

The facility will serve as a gathering place for MAF employees who are in Nampa for training, families serving overseas that are on break, and local staff. The building will include meeting rooms, an activity room, library and study, computer stations, a large kitchen and dining area for 45 people, and a teen and children’s center. It will also include an outdoor patio with grills.

“When we moved to this site 13 years ago we envisioned a campus that not only included our administrative building and aircraft hangar used for maintenance and training, but would also function as a full service location for missionary families who are here for training or on a break from overseas service,” said David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF.

“Each year we host several hundred people for training and meetings. Most of them are families and they can often be here for extended periods of time as they prepare for overseas service. This family center, as we call it, will allow a separate location for study, a place for kids to have activities other than in an apartment, and for people to gather in their down time,” said Holsten. “We are very grateful that through the generous donations of many people, organizations, and churches, this building will become a reality in 2020.”

The two-story, 8,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in late spring of 2020 at a cost of $1.7 million. The project contractor is Mussell Construction and the architect is Network Architects.

Besides the administrative and hangar building, the 19-acre compound now contains six one-to-three-bedroom duplexes and triplexes with an adjoining playground, a maintenance building, and a shower/laundry building that serves the RV park used by volunteers.

The fundraising campaign that will fund the construction of the family center facility was also used for the purchase of five aircraft for overseas work, the construction of three duplexes already built and two more that will be built in the near future. It also funded the construction of the maintenance building and expansion of the RV park.

David Holsten, MAF president and CEO appeared on KBXL 94.1 "The Voice" on November 7 on the Live Morning Drive with Doug Hardy. He discussed the new Family Center that recently broke ground on the MAF campus in Nampa, Idaho as well as other activities going on with MAF-US around the world.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Responds to Second Mozambique Cyclone

April 29, 2019 – Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), operating as Ambassador Aviation in Mozambique, is once again conducting aerial assessments to determine what aid is needed in northern Mozambique areas hit by Cyclone Kenneth on April 25. MAF conducted similar assessment flights when Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique farther south five weeks ago.

The Nampa, Idaho-based Christian aviation organization began conducting assessment flights on Saturday, April 27. While the assessment team noted the cyclone created a narrow band of destruction, they described it as “horrific damage with many villages flattened by the storm.”

The flight team observed significant damage on the island of Matemo, the mainland costal area directly west of Matemo, and the area of Mucojo farther north. In these areas they observed villages entirely flattened. In some areas, the location of homes was only discernable because of the visible grid of pathways left behind.

While additional flights were planned for Sunday, persistent rain prevented assessment and relief flights. Cyclone Kenneth is now a tropical storm with significant rain. MAF did have a relief flight reach the island of Ibo on Monday with tarps and food.

Permission is given to use the low-res photographs provided by MAF with a tag of “Courtesy of Mission Aviation Fellowship” or something similar.



LAKELAND, Florida – Operating the world’s largest fleet of aircraft used for non-profit humanitarian work in some of the most isolated regions of the world, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is no stranger to the demands of being prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

That preparedness was put to the test in 2018 as MAF responded to five different disasters with earthquakes in Papua New Guinea and Haiti, an earthquake with a tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, and an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One aircraft used by MAF in disaster response as well as regular missionary aviation work is the Quest Kodiak. The airplane was developed by Quest Aircraft Company specifically for missionary aviation work and can land on short, rugged airstrips in mountain and jungle areas while carrying a significant payload.

A Quest Kodiak used in the Hurricane Matthew disaster response in Haiti will on display in the Southeast Exhibit Area, Lot 1, on Doolittle Road.

Through virtual reality, visitors to the MAF booth can fly on the Kodiak for an intense, jungle location landing. The flight features a hooking approach onto a one-way, 12 percent sloped, unimproved dirt and grass mountain airstrip in Papua, Indonesia.

MAF’s new president and CEO, David Holsten, will be at the display on Tuesday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to noon. Holsten was installed as president in 2018 and is a 17-year MAF pilot/mechanic veteran who served in Indonesia.

“I look forward to meeting with people at Sun ‘n Fun and talking about the aircraft we use to reach isolated people around the world. There are many unique challenges to the areas we fly, which are some of the most remote places on the planet,” said Holsten. “Aviation gives people and communities access to medical care, education, community development, and the message of the gospel that changes their lives for the better.”

Another MAF veteran pilot, John Hook, will be conducting a forum on short field take offs and landings on Wednesday, April 3 at 9 a.m. in CFAA classroom #2. Hook will hold a second forum on mountain flying on Friday, April 5 at 9 a.m. in CFAA classroom #3.

Hook was recognized in 2018 by the Federal Aviation Administration with the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of flying as a “Master Pilot.”

MAF pilot Will White, who flew in Haiti for 20 years, will also be at the booth to talk about the non-profit humanitarian work conducted by the organization in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eurasia.



The MAF Kodiak unloads rice and other supplies at Dame Marie in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew. (Photo courtesy MAF)

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee – If bush-flying into a rugged, jungle location sounds exciting to you, this weekend you can experience the next best thing! Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a Christian mission and disaster response organization, invites the public to an open house on Saturday, March 30 at Collegedale Municipal Airport. An MAF Kodiak airplane, specially designed for mission and relief work and used in response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, will be on display and available for rides. A Cessna 206 used on the mission field will also be on display and available for photo opportunities.

The free open house runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A presentation at 10:30 a.m. by a veteran MAF couple serving in south central Asia will provide an inside look at MAF work in a challenging environment. David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF and a 17-year pilot/mechanic veteran in Indonesia will share at 1 p.m. and other MAF experiences will be also shared by speakers at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Food can be purchased from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Greg’s Sandwich Works food trailer.

The MAF event takes place on the north end of the Collegedale airport runway and attendees need to go to 4639 McDonald Road, Apison, TN when accessing the north end. Parking directions will be provided at that location along with access to the hangar.

“I am very excited to be in the Chattanooga area and let people know how MAF is using aircraft to reach isolated people around the world. In many cases, a 15-minute MAF flight will save more than an entire day of walking, often in treacherous conditions,” said David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF. “Our use of aviation for these remote communities provides them with access to medical care, education, community development, and most importantly to us, the opportunity to respond to the gospel.”

Airplane rides on the Kodiak are being offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for $50 per person. Seats can be reserved online at

Besides presentations and photo opportunities, attendees can experience a free, dramatic mountain landing using virtual reality with a hooking approach in a Kodiak airplane onto a one-way, 12 percent sloped, unimproved dirt and grass mountain airstrip in Papua, Indonesia. The Kodiak was developed by Quest Aircraft Company specifically for missionary aviation work and able to land on short, rugged airstrips in mountain and jungle areas while carrying a significant payload.

With more than 125 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America, MAF operates the world’s largest fleet of aircraft used for non-profit humanitarian work.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Responds to Mozambique Disaster

Above: Aerial survey photos of highways and roads around Beira.

March 19, 2019 – Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), operating as Ambassador Aviation in Mozambique, is responding to a humanitarian crisis caused by Cyclone Idai, which struck Mozambique March 14. The Nampa, Idaho-based Christian aviation organization has been conducting assessment flights and working with Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) and other non-government organizations (NGOs) in coordinating rescue and relief efforts.

Flight surveys reveal significant damage to the EN6 roadway, a major highway between Beira and Chimoio, with entire sections washed out by flood water, and other roadways under water and bridges damaged or gone. 

Additional flight surveys going south into the Buzi River basin show the area has deep and widespread flooding with entire buildings under water and people stranded on rooftops surrounded by water. 

MAF pilot and disaster response team member Rick Emenaker reported on what he saw on the survey flight.

“It was a heartbreaking flight today as we flew over many miles of flooded land in the Buzi River basin.  We saw many people stranded on roof tops surrounded by kilometers of water.  It was difficult to comprehend and think about that probably many have perished.  A number of villages were completely buried in the flood waters.  The magnitude of this disaster is hard to comprehend, and we are glad we can be here to help.  Please keep the people of Mozambique in prayer as they struggle with this difficult situation that has no short-term end in sight,” said Emenaker.

Information from the aerial surveys is shared with INGC and other NGOs to coordinate relief efforts. Mercy Air, a helicopter operation, is coordinating with MAF and distributing boxes of high-energy biscuits in areas completely cut off by flooding.  The food is being provided by the World Food Program (WFP).

MAF’s Cessna Grand Caravan (C208) will continue to be used for survey flights throughout the week as INGC and WFP ask for additional information. The fixed-wing aircraft may also be utilized as an air bridge to bring in bulk supplies and fuel for distribution, as well as relief worker rotations.

Above: Photos are food drop positioning by Mercy Air and evacuation planning. Photos are low-res due to satellite upload limits. Permission is given to use photos with acknowledgement they are from Mission Aviation Fellowship. Thank you.



Above: Supplies are being loaded into a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan at the Port-au-Prince airport in Haiti. (Photo courtesy MAF)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Feb. 22, 2019 – Family members of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) pilots and mechanics are returning to their homes in Haiti. The nine family members were evacuated February 14 as violence in the country escalated.

Three members of MAF, joined by two pilot/mechanics from the Disaster Response team from MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, and a skeleton local crew remained at the Port-au-Prince airport during the unrest. The team continued to fly stranded missionaries, aid workers, and others from outlying areas to the airport in Port-au-Prince. Since February 11, MAF had 38 flights that evacuated 136 people, while also providing medical and other flight services.

“We became concerned as the violence continued, and as a precaution we had our MAF expat staff families evacuate the country,” said David Holsten, president and CEO of Mission Aviation Fellowship. “Our partners in mission work have also been evacuating their people as local travel had become too precarious. While we believe it is safe for family members to return, we will continue to keep a close watch on the situation in Haiti.”

David Carwell, program manager for MAF in Haiti, said, “We ask for prayer for all the people in Haiti. Daily life has been severely interrupted, including the supply chain for goods that people rely on daily. Without refrigeration and other amenities that we take for granted in the U.S., people’s lives in Haiti are greatly impacted. The violence has made it very difficult for stores to open and for people to even attend church.”

Mission Aviation Fellowship has operated in Haiti since 1986. The Christian ministry organization maintains a permanent base in Port-au-Prince with four airplanes capable of taking off and landing at short, rugged airstrips. With the help of a mission group, MAF opened a new airstrip at La Source on the island of La Gonave in January.

Mission Aviation Fellowship Ebola Relief Efforts Continue Despite Temporary Relocation

Vaccines, supplies, medical providers still reaching destinations in Democratic Republic of the Congo via MAF

Above: Ebola vaccines are unloaded from a Mission Aviation Fellowship airplane in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as healthcare workers attempt to curb the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. (photo by David Petersen, Mission Aviation Fellowship)

NYANKUNDE, Democratic Republic of the Congo – January 9, 2019 - Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), headquartered in Nampa, Idaho has been transporting vaccines, medical personnel and supplies, and sanitation equipment into the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since early August to stem an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).

MAF staff in Nyankunde (nee-ahn-kun’-dee) have temporarily relocated their operations to Uganda due to a positive test of the EVD in the Nyankunde hospital in late December. They expect to return later in January if it is determined to be an isolated EVD case.

Emergency relief flights by MAF are continuing from other airstrips until they can resume using their Nyankunde base.  Since August 7 this Christian aviation ministry has conducted 24 Ebola-related flights with 99 passengers and nearly eight tons (7,211 kgs) of cargo.

Jon Cadd, MAF program manager for East DRC, said the temporary relocation has created some logistical challenges to their aviation operations, but they will continue to respond to the crisis. “MAF has been responding to Ebola outbreaks for many years and has a wealth of experience in this area. We have an Ebola Pathogen Management Plan we follow to protect staff and minimize the risk of transmitting the virus.  We know that Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids or from eating infected bush meat and contacting fluids from infected animals.  We use strict protocols for handling patient samples that we deliver for testing and to clean our aircraft to keep staff and passengers safe.”

Due to the vast distance to reach remote villages, jungle terrain that makes overland travel difficult, and areas prone to communal violence in one of the country’s most populated provinces, air travel provided by MAF is one of the quickest and most efficient means of delivering supplies and people to Ebola-impacted areas.

The DRC, along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other medical groups, is battling this most recent outbreak of the EVD located in the northeast part of the country.  According to the WHO, the number of deaths has reach 377 out of 625 reported cases for this outbreak.  This is the ninth outbreak of the EVD in the DRC since the discovery of the disease in 1976.

MAF and Medair Sign Collaboration Agreement

LAUSANNE, Switzerland - November 19, 2018 - International emergency relief and recovery organization Medair and Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) have signed a formal agreement to continue working closely together during emergency responses and ongoing humanitarian operations.

The partnership between MAF and Medair enables the rapid delivery of life-saving relief, such as health care and safe drinking water, to vulnerable people affected by crisis or conflict.
"Without MAF's air support, it would be impossible for Medair to reach out to the most vulnerable people in very remote and hard-to-reach areas," recounts David Verboom, Medair's CEO. The formal agreement allows Medair and MAF to coordinate a response within 24 hours of a large natural disaster or declared emergency.

David Holsten, president and CEO of MAF in the USA, echoes that sentiment. "Throughout MAF's history, partnership has been a centerpiece of our efforts to reach those who are isolated and hurting with the life-changing love of Christ. Our ongoing relationship with Medair during times of crisis enables us to serve together in a strong and collaborative manner."

When Super Typhoon Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong, hit the northeast coast of the Philippines on September 15, Medair and MAF rapidly mobilised their emergency response teams. The MAF team conducted aerial surveys of the affected areas and reported to Medair on the needs of coastal and remote communities that seemed to be among the most severely hit, and where no one else was helping. The people who lived there were extremely isolated and relief could only get to them by air or boat. MAF organised essential helicopter flights within days of the disaster to enable Medair to deliver food and shelter supplies to more than 500 families.

Although the formal agreement to collaborate during disasters was signed recently, the partnership is a long-standing one. Together with MEDAF (Médicaments pour L'Afrique), and YWAM (Youth With A Mission), MAF founded Medair in 1989, giving it the mandate to provide emergency aid quickly. A few years later, Medair became independent of its three founding organizations, and it has continued to partner with MAF ever since.

For almost thirty years, Medair and MAF have worked together in multiple emergency and crisis situations in countries such as Haiti, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Nepal. In South Sudan, a country with only 300 kilometres of paved roads and a seven-month rainy season that turns dirt roads into muddy rivers, MAF flies almost weekly to Medair's project sites. These flights transport Medair personnel and cargo, ranging from emergency nutrition supplies, medicines, water filters, and bikes for community outreach workers to team office and food supplies.

"We are grateful to play a role in the life-saving mission of Medair. They are a true partner in reaching the isolated and hurting people of the world," says Dave Fyock, CEO of MAF International, based in the UK.

David Verboom and Dave Fyock met last week to discuss future collaborative opportunities.

Group Uses Airplanes to Help Quake & Tsunami Victims

Mission Aviation Fellowship providing aid in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Above: School children are evacuated from Palu.

PALU, Indonesia – Oct. 4, 2018 – Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is providing disaster relief flights to facilitate aid efforts on Sulawesi Island, Indonesia, following a deadly earthquake and tsunami on Sept. 28, 2018.

“MAF is working in partnership with Ethnos360 Aviation and Helivida,” said John Woodberry, MAF’s global director of Disaster Response. “We’ve put together a collaborative team operating two Kodiak airplanes and one helicopter, which gives us the ability to reach the towns that have seen destruction as well as the more remote areas where people are suffering.”

MAF is a Christian non-profit that uses its fleet of 128 airplanes to help those living in the most isolated parts of the world, giving the residents of those areas a chance for a better life. When natural disasters strike, MAF’s experienced disaster response teams are able to mobilize quickly, providing air transportation, VSAT communication systems, and logistics expertise so that help can reach those in need.

According to data released Oct. 3 by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance,1,407 people died when a 7.4 earthquake shook Sulawesi Island, triggering a tsunami that devastated the city of Palu and areas nearby. More than 65,000 houses have been damaged and 71,000 displaced people are sheltering at 141 evacuation sites.

“Our folks at the site are seeing houses that have crumbled, huge boats stranded on land by the tsunami, and some areas near the shore that have been wiped clean of any structures,” Woodberry said. As aftershocks continue in the area, many people are sleeping outside.

The MAF team arrived in Palu on Tuesday and immediately set to work.

“Some of our first flights were to evacuate school children from Palu back to their homes in the Ampana area,” said Woodberry. “They had been waiting at the hangar for a couple days before we even arrived. They were hungry, so we fed them as well. We’ve also been flying in personnel from other relief agencies that are arriving to help.”

Since a lot of communication infrastructure has been damaged by the quake, MAF has set up a VSAT communication system at the Palu airport. This allows aid agencies to communicate with their teams in other places.

For more than 60 years, MAF has been providing flight services in what is now the country of Indonesia. The organization has 150 staff and 15 airplanes at seven permanent bases across the vast island nation.

“Our personnel know the local language and culture, which is a big help in a disaster situation. It allows us work more effectively, so those who need help get it sooner,” said Woodberry.

MAF receives the majority of its funding from donors who support its mission. Those wishing to contribute to this disaster response effort are invited to visit

Mission Aviation Fellowship was founded in 1945 by WWII pilots who had a vision for how aviation could be used to spread the gospel. Since that time MAF has grown to a global family of organizations serving in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America. The ministry’s recent work includes helping combat an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), providing food and other necessities for thousands of refugees in the DRC, and supporting the work of missionaries, evangelists, and Bible translators around the world. MAF’s U.S. headquarters is in Nampa, Idaho.

Note to Editors: To arrange an interview with Woodberry, contact Chris Burgess,, 208-498-0786 (desk) or 208-391-9976 (mobile).

Holsten Installed as President of Mission Aviation Fellowship

September 14, 2018 David Holsten

NAMPA, Idaho – David Holsten, a veteran missionary pilot-mechanic and former regional director of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Indonesia, was inaugurated as the organization’s ninth president and CEO in a Friday morning ceremony at MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.

MAF is a Christian non-profit ministry that uses airplanes and other technologies to share the gospel and make life better for those living in isolated parts of the world. Globally, MAF supports some 2,000 churches, mission groups, medical organizations, relief agencies, and development groups working in remote areas of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America.

The inauguration service was conducted by Robert Swanson, chair of the MAF board of directors. Swanson is former managing shareholder of Sacramento law firm Boutin Jones, Inc. MAF board member Montie Ralstin, Jr., pastor of Discovery Church in Boise, officiated at a Communion ceremony during the inauguration.  

“David brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and understanding to the role of president and CEO,” said Swanson. “MAF is a unique organization, and God has uniquely prepared him to lead this organization.”

Holsten said he is humbled by the opportunity to step into this new role and looks forward to working alongside those who help MAF impact some of the world’s most isolated people.

“MAF’s ministry provides a very tangible picture of the gospel, in that we are offering something that is deeply needed to those who could never provide it for themselves,” said Holsten. “We will continue to prioritize the centrality of Christ in MAF’s ministry. It will only be through His blessing and sustaining grace that we are able to do what He has called us to do.”

John Boyd, outgoing president and CEO, was recognized for his 20-plus years of service at MAF, including 10 years leading the organization. During Boyd’s tenure, MAF replaced a significant number of its aircraft with turbine-engine Kodiaks, expanded its disaster response work, and began an expansion of its Nampa campus, all with the purpose of demonstrating and proclaiming the love of Jesus to isolated people.

“It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve the Lord through this highly impactful ministry,” said Boyd. “We’ve seen God use MAF for His purposes and His glory, and this next season in MAF’s history will, I believe, be more impactful and far reaching in obedience to His Great Commission. 

Following the inauguration, MAF dedicated its newest airplane—an amphibious Cessna Caravan, which will soon be serving isolated communities along the rivers of Papua, Indonesia.

“This aircraft will transport everything from school supplies to medicine to Bibles and solar panels,” said Holsten. “It may carry medical personnel or government workers offering essential services, or evangelists and missionaries ministering to the spiritual needs of these remote communities. Many times it will be the only viable link to the outside world for critical medical flights, and will be the only amphibious airplane operating in all of Papua.”

Holsten and his wife, Natalie, joined MAF in 2000. They were assigned to Indonesia, where Holsten served in a variety of roles, including pilot-mechanic, chief pilot, and program manager before becoming the regional director for Indonesia in 2014. In that position he oversaw MAF operations in Papua, Kalimantan, and Aceh, Indonesia. MAF has 150 staff and 15 airplanes at seven bases across the vast island nation.

Holsten grew up in Colorado and Georgia. He received a B.S. in Missionary Aviation Technology from Moody Aviation and holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine rating, as well as an airframe and power plant mechanic’s license. He and his family relocated to Nampa in June 2018. An expanded bio is available at

Mission Aviation Fellowship ( was founded in 1945 by WWII pilots who had a vision for how aviation could be used to spread the gospel. Since that time MAF has grown to a global family of organizations working in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America. The ministry’s recent work includes helping combat an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), providing food and other necessities for thousands of refugees in the DRC, and supporting the work of missionaries, evangelists, and Bible translators around the world. MAF’s U.S. headquarters is in Nampa, Idaho.

MAF assisting in fight against latest Ebola Outbreak

Nineteen people have died and 39 more are infected from the latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the World Health Organization (WHO). News outlets report that 393 people identified as contacts of Ebola patients are being followed up with, yet information about the outbreak in Bikoro, Iboko, and Wangata health zones in Equateur province is still limited.*

In response to the outbreak, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has completed flights for a major medical organization to the affected area from the capital city of Kinshasa. No other organizations have requested flights yet, and at this point it’s not known to what extent MAF will be involved. An MAF Caravan and PC12 aircraft have both been used to fly to the airport at Mbandaka, which is 315 nautical miles (NM) northeast of Kinshasa.

The MAF Disaster Response Team is monitoring events closely to determine if they need to move additional staff or aircraft into place for a larger response.

Please pray for the Congolese people who have lost loved ones, and for others who might be affected by this most recent outbreak of this deadly disease.

MAF is a global agency that has been operating in the DRC since 1961. Serving with seven aircraft from bases in Nyankunde, Bunia, Lubumbashi, and Kinshasa, MAF supports the work of medical teams, mission groups, development agencies and others seeking to share the gospel and improve conditions in isolated parts of the DRC. Worldwide, MAF serves in 37 countries with more than 125 airplanes.

*Source: Reuters

Refugee Crisis Escalates In Eastern DRC

Refugee camps are without supplies, MAF provides food for those fleeing violence

BUNIA, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where two makeshift refugee camps have sprung up.

According to Jon Cadd, program manager with Christian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in eastern DRC, the camps lack enough food and shelter for all the refugees. A small group of local Christians is attempting to feed the hungry, and MAF has provided rice, beans, maize meal, and cooking oil, but it’s just a drop in the bucket.

“There are over 100,000 IDPs (internally displaced people) in Bunia now,” said Cadd. “The big humanitarian organizations are still assessing the situation and organizing things to come, so there is still no food coming into the camp other than what the Bunia Christians are giving out. Today there were two bags of rice at the storage tent when we got there. We were able to purchase a 300-liter cooking pot at the market along with 30 more bags of rice to keep them going.”

Shelter for the displaced Congolese people is also in short supply. MAF reports refugees are constructing tent frames by tying together stalks of thick grass, but the camps have run out of tarps for the makeshift shelters, leaving thousands of people exposed to the rainy-season weather.

The crisis is expected to grow as people in eastern DRC are forced to flee their homes and villages. The MAF team heard of 41 civilians killed along the Lake Albert shoreline north of Tchomia. Many people are trying to flee by boat to Uganda, but this week one of the overloaded boats capsized and 10 people drowned.

Cadd said some of the refugees who reach Bunia are injured but medical care is not available. “There is a tent where the wounded are being placed but no medical work is going on and it’s hot beyond reason and feels very unhealthy. We saw people with machete wounds to the head, including a one-year-old who was cut across the face … and a little eight- or nine- year-old girl cut across the back of her neck.”

These injured families had not eaten in four days, so the MAF team decided to do a little extra for them.

“We got 10 tarps, five local cooking stoves called babulas, some pots, plates and cups, as well as food, and were able to give it to them personally so they didn’t have to wait in the long lines. When you can’t help everyone it feels like the little we are doing is useless in the scheme of things. But as it rained in the evening, we knew that at least 10 more families were not out in the rain and had food to eat,” said Cadd.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is frequently troubled by violence. According to The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in January 2018 more than 4.5 million people were displaced inside the country. Lack of roads and infrastructure, as well as political uncertainty, contribute to the insecurity.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a global agency that has been operating in the DRC since 1961. Serving with seven aircraft from bases in Nyankunde, Bunia, Lubumbashi, and Kinshasa, MAF supports the work of medical teams, mission groups, development agencies and others seeking to share the gospel and improve conditions in isolated parts of the DRC. Worldwide, MAF serves in 37 countries with more than 125 airplanes.

Refugee Crisis In Eastern DRC

MAF provides food for those fleeing violence

A resurgence of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where a makeshift refugee camp has sprung up.

According to Jon Cadd, East DRC program manager with Mission Aviation Fellowship, “There are now 44,397 people registered at the camp with more coming all the time. There are so many people they are starting another camp outside of town to the north.”

In addition, many refugees are staying with family and friends in Bunia and nearby. The mother of one MAF staff member has 32 relatives staying in her small house. Cadd said that a local Congolese Christian volunteer group is trying to help with food and clothing for the refugees, but they are unable to meet the needs. Cooking pots and food preparation items are scarce. The camp has also run out of the tarps that people use to construct makeshift tents.

MAF’s Disaster Response department has allocated funds to provide food for the refugee camp. On Wednesday, March 7, MAF conducted three flights for people wanting to leave the area, and returned to Bunia with rice, maize meal, beans, and oil. In Bunia they purchased 1,200 plates and 1,150 cups. MAF is partnering with the Christian volunteer group mentioned above—operated by Rev. Bingi—to distribute the food and supplies.

“They were down to their last bag of rice and last six bags of maize meal,” said Cadd. “It felt like we were able to really make a difference in these peoples’ lives. But it is still a drop in the bucket for the 45,000 people there and the rest that are with family and friends.”

Please join MAF as we pray for the people affected by this crisis. Pray that this rounds of violence in EDR will cease. Pray for solutions to the issues underlying the crisis.

MAF disaster relief work continues following second major earthquake in PNG

MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea – March 7, 2018 – Shortly after midnight on March 7, 2018, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea, just 19 miles southwest of the epicenter of last week’s 7.5 quake.

Mission Aviation Fellowship continues to provide radio communication as well as airplane transportation to remote areas that have been devastated by the disaster. MAF has been delivering food, water, tarps (for shelter), and other necessary supplies, as well as conducting medical evacuations. MAF staff in PNG report …

  • Approximately 1,400 people are camped at the Dodomona airstrip with another 100 expected to arrive in the next day or so.
  • Extreme caution needs to be taken near the riverbanks due to the risk of mudslides and flooding.
  • Two community houses in Dodomona, which could host 150 people each, collapsed. Thankfully no one was injured.
  • In the Dodomona/Fuma area, the river is full of mud. Thousands of logs are holding it back, but if the logs give way then the village of Fuma may be at risk.
  • More houses are reported to have fallen down in Muluma and Bosavi, with more landslides. Many people are coming to Muluma from the villages, so it is becoming a camp for people looking for food and water.

Thank you for praying for healing in Papua New Guinea.

MAF Mobilizes Disaster Response Team Following Earthquake in PNG

PNG Landslides After quake

MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea – Feb. 27, 2018 — Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has mobilized its disaster response team to provide assistance following a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Monday morning, Feb. 26, the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) experienced a 7.5 earthquake that caused many landslides and damaged roads, structures, power lines and communication systems. The ground continues to shake from powerful aftershocks.

Mission Aviation Fellowship and its associated ministry, Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF), have been serving the people of PNG since the early 1950s from bases at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Kawito, Kiunga (Rumginae), Madang, Tari, Wewak, and Telefomin/Tabubil. MAF operates flight services to remote and isolated communities, while CRMF provides radio communication, computing, solar lighting, digital audio bibles and other technology services.

Following the quake, MAF has received many requests for medical evacuation flights. MAF has also been doing fly-overs to check on remote communities, and on Tuesday, Feb. 28, carried PNG disaster officials on an extensive aerial survey.

While telephones are not working in many places, the CRMF’s radio network is still up and running and people can use it to call for medical assistance. The MAF/CRMF team is also passing along information about problems such as damaged air strips, road closures, and damage to clinics, schools and other important buildings.

MAF’s 150 staff in PNG are safe. Some MAF facilities and houses experienced minor damage, such as broken dishes and damage to water systems.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a global family of organizations that uses aviation and technology to share the gospel and make life better for people in remote parts of the Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. In times of crisis, MAF’s disaster response team can mobilize quickly so that aid gets to those in need. Most recently, MAF has responded to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and earthquakes that devastated Nepal in 2015.

Conjoined twins survive ‘miracle birth’ and separation in the heart of Africa

Mission Aviation Fellowship plays a key role

Left: The conjoined twins before surgery. Right: Their parents hold the twins after successful surgery to separate them. Photos by Jaclyn Reierson, MAF.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo — Oct. 16, 2017 — A pair of conjoined twins, who against all odds were born naturally in the remote village of Muzombo, western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have survived following an epic 870-mile round trip to be separated.

Anick and Destin, two baby girls who were born naturally at 37 weeks on August 23, 2017, endured an incredible journey across gruelling terrain, and are now being monitored at Vanga Evangelical Hospital, under the care of Dr. Junior Mudji.

Dr. Mudji first met the twins on August 30 when they arrived at Vanga Hospital with their mother Claudine Mukhena and father Zaiko Munzadi at just one week old. The family had travelled for 15 hours through the jungle on the back of a motorcycle, the twins wrapped in a blanket. Their village is so remote hospital staff hadn’t even heard of it.

Seperated Twins

Without the equipment or expertise to carry out the complex separation surgery in Vanga’s small hospital, Dr. Mudji contacted a team of volunteer surgeons in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, who perform operations on children born with deformities.

Concerned that the fragile newborns would not survive another long and difficult journey, Dr. Mudji’s team contacted Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a non-profit Christian aviation organization operating in remote regions of the world, including the DRC. MAF regularly flies to Vanga, delivering medical equipment and personnel to the hospital using small Cessna and Pilatus aircraft that are designed to land and take off in very remote and challenging terrain. Dr. Mudji was delighted to learn that MAF could provide an emergency flight for the family.

“When we landed in Vanga on September 2, about 200 people were waiting at the airstrip, swarming around the mom with the babies in her arms,” said MAF pilot Brett Reierson. “The doctor was leading her toward the airplane while people crowded around her, calling out, shouting, and trying to take pictures. We got her into the plane as quickly as possible!”

The 1.5-hour journey to Kinshasa aboard the airplane saved the family more than 14 hours on treacherous roads. When they arrived in the capital, a medic collected the patients from the aircraft and rushed them to a Kinshasa clinic where a successful separation surgery was performed by a team of volunteer surgeons.

Almost one month later, MAF Pilot Nick Frey flew the family back to Vanga, and the twins and mother were re-admitted to Vanga Hospital on Saturday, October 7. The family will be monitored for several weeks before facing the gruelling overland journey back to their remote village.

Dr. Mudji, who is delighted the babies have survived said, “Thirty-seven-week-old, conjoined twins born naturally - it’s unheard of! When I was told MAF could help… it was great news for us.” The twins were joined at the naval and shared some intestines.

Pilot Brett Reierson said, “The natural delivery of conjoined twins would be rare enough in a Western hospital. But for a mom and her babies to survive this type of birth in such a remote setting, and then the long and difficult journey across the jungle to be separated – it’s unbelievable! It was a privilege to be part of their story and see yet another example of how God is using MAF to bring hope to the most remote places of the DRC.”

Mission Aviation Fellowship—a global family of organizations—operates a fleet of some 130 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Since 1945, MAF has enabled the work of churches, relief organizations, missionaries, medical teams, development agencies, and others working to share God’s love and make life better for those who live in the most isolated parts of the world. In recent years, MAF has responded to disasters in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, in Nepal following two deadly earthquakes in 2015, and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Hurricane Maria Leaves Destruction Across The Caribbean, Mission Aviation Fellowship Providing Assistance

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Sept. 21, 2017

Hurricane Maria has ripped apart homes and caused destruction across Dominica, Barbuda, and other islands already reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma earlier this month. As families in the Caribbean struggle to recover, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has staff on the ground and in the air providing assistance.

“MAF is working with Samaritan’s Purse (SP) to survey the needs and bring help to the islands that have been torn apart by hurricanes Maria and Irma,” said John Woodberry, global manager of disaster response for MAF.

“On Wednesday we flew an MAF airplane to Dominica and so much there has been destroyed. About 75 percent of the houses are missing roofs. Dominica has mountains and rivers which caused horrendous flash flooding as Hurricane Maria passed over, so I saw warehouses that were just obliterated,” Woodberry said. “People were pulling things out of the rubble. Everything is chaotic.”

At the airport in Dominica, the team met Roosevelt Skerrit, the prime minister of Dominica, who asked for assistance for his country at this critical time.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a Christian mission and aid organization that uses airplanes and other technologies to reach the most isolated places of the world with God’s love. Disaster response is one of MAF’s areas of expertise. In times of crisis, the organization’s experienced personnel provide air transportation, communication systems, and logistics support so that disaster response teams can effectively aid the suffering.

MAF staff have been providing logistics support at a staging area established by SP in Puerto Rico. A second MAF team had been working out of Sint Maarten with an airplane to provide aerial surveys of hurricane damage from Hurricane Irma and meet other needs. Following Hurricane Maria, that team Wednesday moved its base to Antigua and Thursday completed an aerial survey of damage to Barbuda, and worked on repairing generators in Barbuda.

According to Woodberry, a crew from SP is expected to arrive in Dominica with relief supplies within the next day or so, though much is in flux. SP will provide tarps for shelter, as well as food, water purification units, hygiene kits, and other supplies.

MAF is also planning to deploy a GATR satellite communication system to Dominica to help get communications up and running on the island.

Mission Aviation Fellowship—a global family of organizations—operates a fleet of some 130 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Since 1945, MAF has enabled the work of churches, relief organizations, missionaries, medical teams, development agencies, and others working to share God’s love and make life better for those who live in the most isolated parts of the world. In recent years, MAF has responded to disasters in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, in Nepal following two deadly earthquakes in 2015, and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Photos by John Woodberry.

MAF Disaster Response Personnel At Work In St. Maarten

St. Maarten – Sept. 13, 2017

MAF disaster response staff are on the ground in St. Maarten, an island nation in the Caribbean that has been devastated by Hurricane Irma. They are assessing the situation to determine how MAF can use its aviation and communication services to best help those in need. An airplane from MAF-Suriname is headed to St. Maarten to join the relief efforts aiding islands in the area.

Photos by John Woodberry.

MAF’s John Boyd Awarded Honorary Doctorate from NNU

NAMPA, Idaho – Sept. 13, 2017

John Boyd

NAMPA, Idaho – John Boyd, president and CEO of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), has been honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) for his life of service to others. Boyd received the degree Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a ceremony at NNU’s Brandt Center.

“Compassion doesn’t happen just in ministry, but anywhere people are responsive to God's plan. In John Boyd’s case, God interrupted his corporate life and set him on a path of service and a path of compassion toward the lost and isolated,” said Joel Pearsall, president of NNU. “John's service to, and leadership of, Mission Aviation Fellowship reflects his faithfulness to God’s call. In conferring this degree, NNU recognizes this faithfulness, service and compassion. With this degree, we are proud to make John one of our alumni and to claim him as one of our own.”

MAF-US is a non-profit Christian ministry organization that operates in 17 countries of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America with a fleet of 51 aircraft. MAF provides aviation and technology services so that missionaries, development agencies, medical teams, churches, and disaster response organizations can work in the most remote parts of the world. MAF also provides emergency medical evacuations and disaster response assistance.

Boyd was born in Scotland and raised in Rhodesia—the country now known as Zimbabwe. After a successful corporate career, Boyd put his pilot skills to work by joining MAF as a missionary pilot. Boyd and his family served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and Lesotho.

In 2000, Boyd was appointed chief executive officer of MAF-South Africa. Three years later, Boyd and his family moved to the MAF-US headquarters, where he served as vice president of Ministry Advancement. In January 2008, the board of directors of MAF-US appointed Boyd as its president and CEO.

For Boyd, a key focus has been following Christ’s example of demonstration and proclamation.

“Not only did Jesus preach, he also healed the sick and reached out to the hurting, showing his love in tangible ways. And we are called to ‘go and do likewise,’” Boyd said. That is why MAF supports not just Christian organizations, but other groups working to make life better for isolated people.

Under Boyd’s leadership, MAF has upgraded its fleet, replacing many of the smaller aircraft with KODIAKs, a larger and more efficient plane. The organization also began expanding its Nampa campus to better support training and build stronger community among its missionary staff who often stay on-site. MAF has also been a key player in numerous disaster response efforts, including the Haiti earthquake response in 2010, Nepal earthquake response in 2015, and Hurricane Matthew response in 2016.

According to Dr. Eric Kellerer, director of NNU’s Doceō Center, “John has given all of his energy and all of his time to one passion—reaching the most remote people on planet earth with love and compassion. The full impact he has had on the very poorest people in the world may never be known in our lifetime.”

Northwest Nazarene University, a Christian comprehensive university, offers more than 60 areas of study, 18 master's degrees in seven different disciplines and two doctoral degrees. In addition to its 90-acre campus located in Nampa, Idaho, the university offers programs online as well as in Idaho Falls and in cooperation with programs in 35 countries. Founded in 1913, the University serves over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 6,000 continuing education students and over 2,000 high school students through the concurrent credit program.

Following Hurricane Irma, MAF Conducts Survey Flight in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Sept. 8, 2017

This morning the MAF team in Haiti completed an aerial survey over the northern part of the country, which was hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. Although they observed water in some fields and other places it shouldn’t have been, the team saw little damage.

John Munsell, acting program manager for MAF in Haiti, said, “I have lived and flown in Haiti for 20 years and have completed many survey flights over this area, so I feel that I know this area well. In my opinion, the condition of these areas is what I would expect after a heavy rain. In all of our flying, I didn't see any trees down, roofs off, or major roads blocked.”

An MAF pilot shared, “I was part of the assessment flight following Hurricane Matthew [in 2016], and I was grateful to see the stark contrast between the damage from the two storms. Though some places saw flooding, it was localized and the waters have quickly receded. All roads appeared to be open to traffic and houses have their roofs intact. The seas along the northern coast were still violent from Cap Haitian westward, but to the east, had calmed.”

The photos from the aerial survey are being geo-tagged and shared with other NGOs so that they might use them in their own relief efforts.

Please join us in praising God for Haiti’s protection from this storm, and pray for those in Irma’s path as the hurricane moves north. As Hurricane Jose blows into the region, pray that the many islands and people in the Caribbean may be spared further harm.

MAF in the News

Here are featured articles and videos reported by outside news organizations giving their perspective on the worldwide impact of Mission Aviation Fellowship.



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