Joy to the World

One of my favorite songs around Christmas time is Joy to the World.  I can’t help but belt out the words to this song when singing with others at church or when I’m driving by myself and listening to the radio!

I want to share a few things you might not know about this song.  Joy to the World wasn’t written as a Christmas carol.  In fact, in its original form it had nothing to do with Christmas.  Yet today, it’s one of the most popular and recognizable Christmas songs!  The song is sometimes referred to as an “accidental classic.”

Isaac Watts, the author of Joy to the World, was one of the great hymn writers in church history.  He wrote one of his most famous hymns by accident. In 1719, Watts published a book of poems in which each poem was based on a psalm. But rather than just translate the original Old Testament texts, he adjusted them to refer more specifically to the work of Jesus as it had been revealed in the New Testament.

One of those poems was an adaptation of Psalm 98. Watts interpreted the psalm as a celebration of Jesus’s role as King of both his church and the whole world. More than a century later, the second half of this poem was slightly adapted and set to music to give us what has become one of the most famous of all Christmas carols:


Joy to the world, the Lord is come;

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare him room

And heaven and nature sing! And heaven and nature sing!

And heaven . . . and heaven . . . and nature sing.


Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

Repeat the sounding joy! Repeat the sounding joy!

Repeat . . . repeat . . . the sounding joy!


 He rules the world with truth and grace

And makes the nations prove

The glories of his righteousness

And wonders of his love! And wonders of his love!

And wonders . . . wonders . . . of his love!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about this Christmas song.  As you hear and/or sing Joy to the World during this Christmas season, be encouraged to know our Savior came as a baby in a manger and He will be coming back as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New year!


– Mike

Holiday Hours at MAF HQ

Mission Aviation Fellowship wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! While you celebrate with your friends and families we will be celebrating with ours. Headquarters in Nampa will be closed the following days to observe these national holidays:

Christmas Eve: December 24th

Christmas Day: December 25th

New Year’s Eve: December 31st

New Years Day: January 1st

Mission2Serve – Haiti 2018

My heart was able to see, what my mind could not have imagined…

When I share with others now about MAF, I know firsthand what I am sharing; whereas before I could only share stories of what I had heard. Oct. 2018, I had the awesome privilege of being a part of a twelve-person team, which only God could have put together, to serve MAF in Haiti.

Arriving in Port Au Prince, we were met by David Carwell, program manager of the MAF office in Haiti, who skillfully guided us through customs and mountains of red tape. Upon leaving the airport, we observed sights and sounds I was not prepared for and traffic that would challenge the most experienced commuter driver, putting him in cold sweats of fear! After uncurling from a fetal position and opening my eyes, we arrived at our living quarters, which to my amazement, was a very nice guest house bearing the African name of Karibuni. Operated by former African missionaries, we had the feeling of love and protection by, what felt like, a host of angels in charge of caring for all of us!


Serving MAF at the hanger in Port Au Prince was what I expected. The team performed maintenance and construction jobs that would rival any construction company in the US. (Did I mention God put this team together?) We had the privilege of meeting David Carwell’s fellow pilots, Dave Simon and Dave Harms (asking to speak to pilot Dave was always interesting). Pilot John Gorenflo, on loan from headquarters, was filling in to support the undermanned staff (a huge prayer concern). Working with the Haitian support staff at the hanger was a blessing in itself, but meeting the families of the Dave’s was an unexpected joy! Always nice to see in person, those whom we have been praying for on the prayer cards.

At this point, our trip had met our expectations.  We knew of the poverty in Haiti. However, the  poverty in Port Au Prince was unusually bad, so we thought, for being the capitol city. Keep in mind Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.  If the trip would have ended here, it would have been a good trip; we would have served MAF and all went home satisfied with what we had accomplished, but… God was not finished with our hearts!

Through the Holy Spirits leading, Alexis Adams and David Carwell, (I’m sure many others) orchestrated a trip to Jeremie, Haiti, that had the potential to be life changing, or a complete swing and miss; God threw us a softball and it was up to us.

Haiti Bible Mission (HBM) is one of the organizations MAF serves in Haiti and of course only one of the hundreds of organizations served around the world by MAF. Located eight hours southwest by car, it is only a forty minute flight with a Caravan (how many times have we heard similar stories like this around the world.) We were able to go with HBM on their weekly food distribution and witness the faces of the people receiving the food. This was humbling, to say the least. Before I continue, let me remind you there is no electricity, running water and no sewer system where we were going. HBM also supports a school for grades K-6. We were able to visit that school by riding in a truck as far as we could travel and then walking the rest of the way. The trek took us down a trail to a river that can only be crossed by foot and then back up the other side to where the school stands. Every student and teacher has to make this trek every day! The only time school is canceled is when the current is too strong. This only touches the surface of what HBM does for the Lord.








I had mentioned earlier the sights and sounds and smells of Port Au Prince that caught me off guard; it wasn’t possible for my western mind to ever imagine what was waiting for us in downtown Jeremie. Let me just say Haitians are a proud people that have survived unbearable poverty, for generations, that humbled me to the core of my soul; and I can’t wait to go back!

This article is not about my weak stomach. It is about that boy or girl who every day walks for miles just for the privilege to attend school. It’s about the mother who treks through the jungle every week for food to keep her family from starving. This article is about, none of these things happening without the support of MAF!

My heart saw what my mind could never comprehend! My prayer is to keep serving the Lord through MAF! These vision trips are where the stories we hear at the yearly Advocate Summit come alive. I honestly feel every MAF Advocate should go on a vision trip. God Bless!

Click HERE to watch a short video of the team’s time in Haiti!

~ Mark Turpin, MAF Advocate

Accessing MAF Media!

Over the past 70+ years, as MAF serves throughout the world, we gathered large amounts of media to tell the story of God’s work in isolated places. To better equip you as an Advocate, we created a specific Advocate Wing  Here is the link to Bynder.  Email your Regional Manager to receive your new username and password.

Summit 2019 – Change the Ending

Mark your calendars and make your plans! Summit 2019 planning has begun. Starting Wednesday, June 12th, and ending the evening of Friday, June 14th. The Advocate Wing Leadership Team are creating an agenda of exciting speakers and great discussion on how God uses MAF and you to Change the Ending isolated people.

Encouragement From a Fellow Advocate

Hello fellow Advocates! When I was asked to share a story this month I had to really try my best to pick only one. There are so many wonderful things I’ve experienced through MAF. I have had the privilege to meet so many, many awesome people and places I’ve had the joy of visiting.

One memory that stands out to me is dinner with our missionary team in Mozambique.  We shared the different places we’ve lived,  our home countries,  customs and favorite foods from those places. We talked about how beautiful the landscapes were and what different animals live there.  We described the weather and seasons,  economics and politics, what church denomination we grew up in and our family backgrounds.  Everyone had very different experiences, even those who grew up in America!

That night, as I laid in bed I listened to hear a monkey troop (I had been waiting all week to find one), I started thinking about the conversations we had earlier in the evening.  Everyone was from different places with vastly different upbringings, languages and customs, yet we were together in Africa. Even though we all attended different churches with had different ways of understanding God’s Word, we had one focus: sharing the love of Christ!

I had to giggle to myself,  “God, only You could take a group of people who would never have anything in common and bring them together to do something as awesome as this!”

Be encouraged! God is on the move and He’s using the most unlikely, misfit group of people to bring the most unlikely, misfit group of lost children back into the fold!

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

~ Melissa Hillard, MAF Music Ambassador from Island, KY

New Arrivals! Up-Cycled Jewelry

Advocate Michele Turpin has combined her creative gifting with her passion for the ministry of MAF! Take a look at some of the available jewelry pieces she created out of pieces from PK-MEZ, a Cessna 206 that served from 1982 to 1996 in Papua. These up-cycled jewelry pieces will soon be available in the MAF gift shop. Below is a list of the prices, including special pricing for MAF Advocates!

Please note that not all styles are pictured below. 

Up-Cycled Jewelry Prices

Cuff Bracelets: $20.00 retail and $16.00 MAF Advocate, Staff, and Volunteer

Necklace Pendants: $10.00 retail and $7.50 MAF Advocate, Staff, and Volunteer

Earrings: $15.00 retail and $11.25 MAF Advocate, Staff, and Volunteer

Cuff Links: $15.00 retail and $11.25 MAF Advocate, Staff, and Volunteer

Why Chad?

For several years I felt a deep burden in my heart as I have labored to be a MAF Advocate. Many times, while frustrated and discouraged, I sought advisory council as well as submitting to prayer. As I view, read and follow the various MAF programs and the world-wide partners they support, I see gifted people actually living scripture. The Lord has shown each of them their own calling and they humbly and purposefully submitted to His will. Each one, unconditionally using their gifts provided by our Lord (1 Peter 4:10), serves in a manner glorifying the LORD. Yet in every way, I see a populace that appears self-absorbed and agenda-driven. Initially, my response was to become more assertive and to try my own thought-out strategies, only to have my opinions repeatedly rejected. Fortunately, the Lord stepped in and encouraged my focus to shift to seeking His Word. Within that search I came upon the following scriptures:

Proverbs 16:1 “The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.”

Psalms 37:23 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.”

Proverbs 19:21 “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel that will stand.”

Proverbs 20:24 “A man’s steps are of the LORD; how then can a man understand his own way?”

Jeremiah 10:23 “O LORD, I know the way of man is not of himself, it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

These verses gave me pause and caused me to bore even deeper into His Word, seeking wisdom and guidance to do His will and not my own. Then out of the blue, an opportunity came via Golden Hills Community Church, a long time MAF-I supporter. For 18 years, Golden Hills has sent a dental team to reach and care for the most isolated people in Chad, Africa. I was asked to tag along with their team. The opportunity was to travel with their team to N’Djamena, capital of Chad, spending a day and a half assisting the dental team in their preparations to go east. After this, I would be on my own to observe MAF-I without any clear personal agenda. At the end of our time in Chad, I would return with the dental team to the U.S. But as I focused on the aforementioned verses, I found a deep peace and stepped out in faith. The decision found me leaving the U.S., “fully packed only to return fully equipped”.

I had no specific agenda for this trip. My desire was to better understand the inner workings between MAF and their supporting partner organizations. In stepping out of my comfort zone, I placed myself entirely in the hands of the Lord to guide my steps. Each day was a highlight which will now better equip me to serve our Lord and represent MAF. I now feel through the challenges of this vision trip, I gained practical experience.  I have seen how MAF and our diverse partners operate in sync which is an excellent example of how this model could impact lives abroad and at home (Acts 1:8).  I no longer see myself as” just” an Advocate, but rather one who could mobilize the body of Christ as noted in Matthew 28:19 the Great Commission, 1 Corinthians 12 and Acts 1:8. This approach better positions me to help others seek out their own calling using their gifts for the glory of the Lord. Simply put, I wish only to mirror what I see MAF and our partners executing daily, unifying all our efforts to ultimately each doing our part to fulfill Revelations 7:9 “when that great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language stand before the throne of the Lamb”.

Each day there were highlights. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be Wednesday, November 14th. It is this brief moment that the above scriptures were displayed by MAF-I and their partners. The photo above shows Fred the self-proclaimed “red-headed Veterinarian”;  Ted of PIONEERS, who digs wells along the routes traveled by local nomads; Scott of TEAM, who stores barrels of fuel for MAF-I plus visits outlying villages educating local tribal people on hygiene, health practices, drainage and sewage; and me, an inquisitive advocate who also was blessed by the moment.

Please join me and come to the table!

~ Rich MacStay, Ministry Advocate

Purposeful Pauses

I worked for 34 years in federal civil service.  The first four years I worked in personnel, so I always had holidays off.  I took it for granted.  Then I became an air traffic controller and my world changed in a myriad of ways.  One was, we worked holidays.  No traditional family gatherings, just “turn right, turn left, climb and maintain…”.  

Thus I have great empathy for all those who work and serve on Holidays.  I think first of our military, then the many facets of first responders and law enforcement, followed by medical and other folks who give up their family time so that we are safe or are available should a crisis hit.  Think about it, there are a lot of these people.

This year, as I am starting my second year as an advocate, I include MAF personnel in those thoughts.  I know every effort is made for our folks near and far to have family holiday time.  Yet, a large part of our mission is just like the first responders here in the US.  In many cases with no backup.  It’s what we do to love on people who know little or nothing about who Love is.  

The Wichita Advocate Wing is pressing pause for a few weeks to catch our breath, regroup for the new year and enjoy the season.  It is a pause with intention.  We already have some events and engagements in process for 2019, but for now, we pause.

My prayer is that all of our MAFers far and wide can do the same to some degree.  Pray for peace, order, and protection in all our locations.  Pray that rest and breath will permeate this season, even as we serve.

Merry Christmas!  May you have a purposeful pause. 


~By Nancy Cullen, MAF Advocate in Wichita, KS