MAF VBS Update!

Everybody Oughta Know!

Here are some exciting updates about our MAF Vacation Bible School (VBS).  Our curriculum offers a unique combination of personal Bible learning for elementary school-aged children along with an introduction to the world of mission aviation.

Here’s what’s been happening and what’s next in regards to our VBS:

Phase 1 – accomplishments since the start of our project:

  • Entire curriculum written from scratch – Betty Saunders
  • 2 original songs created – “Everybody Oughta Know” and “With All Your Heart”
  • Existing MAF videos edited/repurposed, 2 sing-a-long videos created – Paul O’Brien
  • Main stage sets built
  • Curriculum reviewed and proofed – Chris Burgess
  • Photo/video shoot of sets and characters – Paul O’Brien, Will White, Cindy Green
  • VBS logo and many resources created
  • Manuals formatted and designed – Clayton Borah, Alex
  • VBS starter kit created
  • 4 churches piloted the VBS (photos from Cole Community Church’s VBS are below)

Phase 2 – started October 1, 2018.  Here are some of our ideas and tasks to make the VBS even better:

  • Create 3 more songs
  • Create videos with hand motions
  • Revise the VBS logo
  • Rewrite some of the content to focus on learning who Jesus is
  • Simplify our current starter kit
  • Packaging for the VBS kit and resources
  • Build a pre-school curriculum
  • Create a VBS microsite

New Timeline

As of today, we are moving our launch of the MAF VBS to the end of 2019 to give us time to finish the many tasks which are part of phase 2.  We want this project to be done with excellence!  With that being said, here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Creating a VBS program takes a lot of time, talent and collaboration.
  • We’re on to something that could have great impact in the lives of kids and their future.
  • Teaching kids about missions and MAF is exciting and rewarding!

If you have any questions about our VBS program, please email me at  Thanks!



Sharing MAF with Children

“Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD…” Psalm 127:3

 My husband and I do not have children of our own.  There are a variety of reasons, and we are at peace with the way things are.  However, that does not mean children are not a part of our lives.  David teaches, our friends have kids and we have nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.   Of course, children are a part of the Kingdom life of our church.

None-the-less, my interaction with kids is limited.  So, when I was asked to do a MAF presentation to the children in our church, my first internal reaction was “What? Me? Seriously?”  I am more comfortable taking on a skeptical group of pilots!  That was not always the case.  It was a learned skill.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”   and “In my weakness is His strength made known, so I glory in my weakness” .  So, I said “why not?”, with the caveat that our wonderful children’s pastor would mentor me as I prepared and be with me as I presented.

On the day, I had set up a table in the lobby with MAF materials for parents to take.  After we prayed for the children in the main service, as they were filing out to go to children’s church, I told the parents about the materials so they could be prepared to interact with their children at home.

The group ranged from three to ten years old and totaled fifteen.  I used Jonathan Smith’s video “Reach” an intro.   Since he was a teen when this was produced, it spoke to a younger age group.  All of them were fascinated by the video.  Having met Tim and Sandra while in Sentani last December, I could share with the kids what it was like there.

We then did an “around the world with MAF” trip using a world map with cute push pin airplanes.  The kids helped find six of the countries in the world MAF serves.  We discussed what isolated means.  I was amazed at the insight of the children.

Since we live in Wichita, KS, where Cessna is part of our DNA, it was easy to talk about the airplanes.  We did a visual with a one-gallon gas having them guess how many cans of gas it takes to fill a Grand Caravan, how much the fuel costs, and how far the airplane could fly without stopping.  Children’s church is using this as a reference point for a missions fundraiser!

Next, we built airplanes from the balsa wood kits MAF provides.  We had a couple of aircraft incidents – one repaired with glue – the other was sent to the accident investigators for analysis.

The kids took home their airplanes along with an age-appropriate activity book provided my MAF.

It was a great experience for me and for the kids too!  I do not plan to become a children’s pastor but it is good to know I can speak to all ages of God’s children when called upon.

MAF has wonderful resources for children.  I encourage you to find opportunities to reach out to all ages.

By Nancy Cullen, MAF Advocate in Wichita, KS

Apps Can Open Opportunities

Are you looking for ways to discover new Ministry Opportunities? (Of course you are!) Then check out SocialFlight.  SocialFlight is a free mobile app and website providing a map or list view of thousands of aviation events: Fly-ins, air shows, pancake breakfasts, conventions, and much more. You can join for free or just view as a guest – it’s easy! If you see an event of interest, just click on the event and you will get more info – including the name and contact information of the event organizer.

Earl Beasley, one of our Advocate Team Leaders, used SocialFlight and found an Aviation Career Day at an airport within 100 miles of his home. He contacted the event’s organizer, told him about MAF. Shortly thereafter, Earl and Advocate Clyde Ericson were at the event sharing MAF and possible careers in mission aviation with many of the attendees!

Check out SocialFlight (make sure it is the aviation related app and not the one to gain Instagram followers!) and check it often to find possible Ministry Opportunities near you!




2019 Calendar Reminder

Don’t forget to order your 2019 MAF calendars to hand out! Click HERE to find our resource order form.

Additionally, we would like to encourage you to quickly spot check the calendars you have received to ensure there are no printing errors. We have had one calendar returned to us with several months missing and other months duplicated inadvertently. To ensure there are no other misprints handed out, please quickly review yours.

Tammie Jo Shults Shares at the President and Board Summit

Tammie Jo Shults, Commercial Airline Captain and Retired Naval Aviator shared at the President and Board Summit in September.  At the Summit Tammie describes how God used her to safely landed a Boeing 737-700 earlier this year after the aircraft suffered an engine failure and uncontrolled decompression.  A video recording of Tammie’s session is on Bynder and you can click on this link to view it. Due to contract restrictions we can only allow other MAF staff to view it, which means you will need a log in for Bynder. Please reach out to Martinah at if you need a Bynder login.

Tammie Jo Shults was born in New Mexico, where she frequently watched Air Force jets flying above her family’s ranch. This early interest in flying led to Tammie Jo becoming one of the first female F/A-18 Hornet pilots in the United States Navy, after overcoming several obstacles due to her gender.

After concluding her Navy career, she became a pilot for Southwest Airlines. Tammie Jo’s incredible history and talent received wide acclaim on April 17, 2018, after she successfully landed a Southwest Boeing 737 after an engine failure and decompression, saving 143 passengers.

Tammie Jo and her husband Dean live in Texas, and both Tammie Jo and Dean enjoy piloting planes for Southwest Airlines. They have two children and are committed to leading a faithful life. In Tammie Jo’s spare time, she teaches Sunday school at her church and volunteers at a school focusing on at-risk youth.

The Bergstazer Furlough

Dennis and Rose Bergstrazer recently returned to Indonesia from furlough.  Here is a summary of the Ministry Partnership portion of their furlough along with an incredible video.

 Driving over 27,000 miles from coast to coast and from Canada to the Gulf Coast in six months allowed us to enjoy the rich diversity of 32 states of the USA, many of these states more than once.  In nearly every one of these states we relished in the company and encouragement of our supporting churches, family and friends. 

 A common theme we felt was how well our supporters identified with us and our ministry in Papua.  We gained 26 new supporters along the way with 11 who increased their support.  I believed our furlough video, which we shared with each of our churches and supporters, helped to show a little of where we live and what we do.

 In the 10 minute video, I tried to convey the challenge of taking the gospel to the interior of Papua.  Because of its dense jungles and towering mountains with few roads many people live in remote isolated areas around the island, places that are just hard to get to.

 In the video, you will see a glacier, unique being that it’s just 300 miles south of the equator.  We live 20 miles from the coast at 100 feet above sea level, but can see the glacier on a clear day at 15,000 feet 40 miles to the north.   Many of my flights take me to the left or right of the glacier, crossing the range and then landing at airstrips on the other side between 5,000 and 8,700 feet.

 Another thing I tried to convey in the video, is how God has blessed our mission work.  Imagine as you watch, 60 years ago nearly all of these interior tribal groups were unknown to the outside world, and vice versa.  They lived in primitive conditions.  And now today, about 60 years later, just in the area that I fly, we have about 490 churches, and 130,000 church members who worship our Lord in the same way you do. 

 To describe the history of MAF and missions in Papua, I divided these 60 years up into three 20 year periods.  In the first 20 year period, I included some original video footage, somewhat poor quality, of those early pioneer days.  You will see a man in a white t-shirt holding a cane.  This is pioneer missionary Bill Cutts.  He and his wife, Gracie made first contacts and opened up the area where I now fly among the Moni tribe.  They served here for 38 years.  Bill was crippled from birth.  A book was written about their ministry called, “Weak Thing in Moni Land”.  I now fly for their son John Cutts, who has taken on his parent’s ministry.

 Toward the end of the video you will see a book case, at our MAF headquarters base in Sentani, filled with translations of the Bible or portions of scriptures.  Truly, a challenge to taking the gospel to Papua has been because of the over 260 languages you will find here.  But, God has continued to bless His work in overcoming this barrier as well. 

 At the very end of the video, you will see the celebration of the completion of the Old Testament in the Hupla language at a village called Soba, just south of Wamena.  My family and I also joined in the celebration of completing a Hupla translation, but that was twenty four years ago for the New Testament.  We thank God for those He has gifted in continuing this translation work.

 As we prayed with our supporters, we felt so blessed and honored to have partners who pray for us, and sacrificially give toward our ministry support in building the Kingdom of God in Papua.

 Here is the link to the video.

MAF Annual Pumpkin Perforation Party

Earlier this week, MAF Headquarters had the annual Pumpkin Perforation Party and the Ministry Awareness Department brought it! Check out the pictures below to see our MAF inspired creation. This design is a reminder that while we do planes it is only through prayers, the gifts given, and the countless hours of people who serve that we are able to impact the lives of so many around the world.

Susan Davis (Regional Manager – West), Doni Otremba (Volunteer Manager), Mike Snodgrass (Director), Paul Pfluger (Advocate and Volunteer), Martinah Brown (Admin Assistant), and Alexis Adams (Events Manager), (Missing: Holly Syreen – Giving Programs Coordinator).

MAF Battery Carts: Gerald’s Creation Outperforms Commercial Products and Saves MAF Money

Gerald with John Boyd at the 2018 Advocate Summit being celebrated for his 10 years as a Ministry Advocate with MAF!

For the past couple years, MAF alum, volunteer, and advocate Gerald Defoe has been researching and fabricating battery carts for MAF use.


“His cart is the best I’ve ever seen, certainly way better than commercial carts costing much more,” said Dave Rask, director of Aviation Resources. He explained MAF uses battery carts to start turbine airplanes at our bases. The carts are very powerful and their batteries last about seven years, compared to two years for airplane batteries, which are very expensive. The carts save MAF a lot of money.



One of Gerald’s battery carts

Says Dave, “Gerald has done an amazing job of researching the best batteries to use and the best charger to maintain them perfectly so they will have a long life. He has very carefully designed it to maximize the current available to the starter. A recent upgrade actually incorporates a raspberry pi computer in each cart that will put the carts online so their health can be monitored from anywhere in the world. Very cool.”

Everyday Ways to Share MAF

When I think of one of our Advocates in the Southern Region, who is 82, three verses immediately come to mind:

·         Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

·         And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good. 2 Thess 3:13

·         Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Romans 12:11

 As MAF Advocates, we can get discouraged when we do not have a scheduled ministry opportunity, an invitation from a church or an airshow or missions event to attend to share about MAF. 

If there is no venue to share about MAF, it seems there is no ministry opportunity.  We often don’t realize our gracious Father often puts opportunities to share MAF right into our everyday lives, but we haven’t taken a moment to recognize and seize the opportunity! What inspires me about this Advocate’s example is even at almost 82, with increasingly limited energy and access to events or venues, he still faithfully and steadfastly shares about MAF wherever he goes in his everyday life!

 Check out these clever everyday ways to share MAF:

PUBLIC NOTARY: While getting some documents notarized, I had the opportunity to share MAF with the notary. I gave her Spring 2018 Flight Watch, No One is Beyond Reach Brochure and 2017 Statistics Sheet.

HOSPITAL WORKERS:  I had an appointment at Mayo.  While there, I had the opportunity, to share MAF and provide literature (2018 calendar and Flightwatch) with two strong Christian ladies who work there. I have visited with one of them before. I asked for their prayer for our work.  

SHOE REPAIR: While consulting on repairs for my walking shoes, I was able to share MAF with him and within earshot of others in the shop working and waiting to be serviced. Left Spring 2018 Flight Watch and Reaching Isolated brochure. To my surprise, when I went to pick up my shoes I learned there was no charge. A customer had overheard our conversation and paid for the repairs.

BARBER SHOP:  Tony works at Naval Base Mayport barber shop and is my barber. I have shared MAF work with him, especially work in Ecuador, and MAF materials. I have shared the Paradizo’s ministry efforts through their prayer letters and he has committed to be in prayer for them. On this visit, I shared Spring 2018 Flight Watch. Tony is originally from Puerto Rico as is Erik Paradizo.  

 WIFE’S DOCTOR:  While visiting one of my wife’s doctors at Mayo, I’ve had a chance to talk to her about MAF and our work. She has shown interest in it and from time to time I share FlightWatches and other MAF literature with her. On this visit, she had a nurse practitioner with her who listened with interest to my conversation.

BANK TELLER: While visiting a bank on business, I had the opportunity to briefly talk to Mr. Hershey about the work MAF does and left No One is Beyond brochure, an issue of Flight Watch and a copy of the operational statistics sheet. 

MAYO CLINIC: I visited the Mayo Clinic for consultation and had the opportunity to talk to a very pleasant Mayo patient services person. She is a believer and had the opportunity to share what we do. I left 2018 Calendar and a Flight Watch. I also asked her to pray for MAF and our work and to pass what left, when finished, to another believer that works with her and with whom have shared MAF before.  

PRIMARY CARE DOCTOR: During a routinely scheduled visit with a primary care doctor, I shared the 2018 MAF calendar and Flight Watch.

DERMATOLOGIST: During a routinely scheduled visit with my dermatologist, I shared the 2018 MAF calendar and Flight Watch.  He quickly looked through both documents and took them when he left the consultation room. 

 By Dina Parris, Advocate Wing Regional Manager in Fleming Island, FL