That’s right! You can now order your supply of 2019 MAF calendars by completing our Resource Order form HERE.
We are excited to announce the dates for 2019’s Advocate Summit! Pull out your calendars and mark June 12th through the 14th. We will start the Summit off Wednesday evening with a Welcome Dinner and pack the next two days full of fantastic speakers! We look forward to seeing you there!
From August 28 – October 31, 2018, a special promotion is running for the MAF Visa Credit Card.
For every credit card approved, MAF will receive $100 instead of the usual $50. In addition, the credit card applicant will receive a $30 Amazon Gift Card!
Promotions like this are only run once a year, and this is a very generous opportunity.
If anyone asks you about the credit card over these next two months, please tell them about the special promotion.
There will be info on our website (https://www.maf.org/ways-to-give/maf-visa) and Holly has small flyers if you have anyone you want to give them to.
Please let Holly know if you have any questions or concerns.
“I think it’s going to rain”. “It’s raining”. “The rain just stopped”. “I think it’s going to rain again”. “It’s raining”. . . . Even though this was a frequent conversation, nothing dampened the mood or spirit of those attending the Rockford event in July. Just prior to AirVenture in Oshkosh, MAF partnered with Red Brick Church of Stillman Valley, IL and Code 1 Aviation at the Rockford, IL airport.
John Hook, an MAF missionary and Mobilizer, had been featured, by way of videos, this past year at the church’s AWANA mission emphasis nights. This gathering was a way for the AWANA kids (and parents) to meet John and Nancy, ride in the Kodiak and have a greater exposure to missions. The weather threatened a possible cancellation of the event, but didn’t succeed! By the end of the day, all scheduled flights were completed and over 60 children were able to take an airplane ride!
The event concluded with a short time of singing and the pastor of the church giving a short message explaining the ministry of MAF and challenging everyone to diligently seek where the Lord might have them serve in missions. Oh, and there were plenty of Chick-fil-A sandwiches provided for everyone!
In addition to the Kodiak and new amphibious Caravan (along with MAF staff and Advocate Clyde Ericson) being there, our new Virtual Reality (VR) experience made its debut and was a huge success! We now have several Oculus Go headsets to show a 360⁰ video of an MAF flight in Lesotho. Viewers can be transported inside and outside of a Cessna 206 and listen to a narration for a full sensory experience! You will definitely be hearing more about VR as we develop additional videos.
This summer, we had four churches “pilot” our new MAF Vacation Bible School (VBS) curriculum. These churches provided valuable feedback for us to make improvements to the program. One of the churches, Cole Community Church (CCC), is located in Boise. About 400 kids attended their VBS! Cole allowed us to attend and view their VBS throughout the entire week (June 25th-29th). We had the wonderful opportunity to take photos (see below) and videos of the VBS getting firsthand input from the leaders and teachers. The team at CCC was fantastic to partner with!
Here are the next steps for our VBS program:
- Make changes/improvements to our VBS program based on surveys/feedback from “pilot churches”
- Publish more songs (kids love singing!)
- Create a pre-school curriculum
- Develop packaging for our VBS starter kit
- Create a VBS microsite
- Plan promotion strategy
Based on the feedback we’ve received and the amount of work/time it will take to update our VBS program, we’ve decided to move the launch date to the fall of 2019. We continue to be excited to share mission aviation with kids around the country!
Why We Pray
By Nancy Cullen, Advocate Wichita, KS
I am a private pilot who recently had an in-flight emergency while pilot in command of my single-engine airplane. The details of that situation can be read at this link:
Emergency situations occur in the United States National Airspace System fairly often. Most of the time, air traffic control:
- provides the priority handling along with whatever information and assistance the pilot requests,
- the airplane lands “without incident”
- the situation is summarized in an entry into the facility daily log, noted with an “E” in the margin
…and life goes on
On the pilot side, depending on the nature of the emergency and type of flight, once on the ground – life goes on. Part 135 and 121 operations may have a few more hoops to jump through to satisfy company and FAA questions and standards. This goes with the territory of providing passenger services for hire. Part 91 simply deal with the cause and move on. In my case, replacing a cracked #1 cylinder – checkbook is still recovering!
However, I got to thinking about our brothers and sisters flying “where no one else dares to go”. Having worked as an international liaison for the FAA in my former life, I am aware of the ICAO standards for emergency handling. They are almost identical to the USA’s but are “recommended” standards. Countries may or may not adopt these standards. I am also aware of the extent to which they are adopted, particularly for general or private aviation varies greatly.
In my case, I am a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) only pilot. I may or may not file a flight plan or even tell anyone where I am or where I am going. Whether or not I file, once away from the airport traffic advisory area, I ALWAYS have the frequency tuned in for the facility whose airspace I am traversing. There are three reasons:
1) I like the “company”
2) I may want to request flight following at some point
3) In case there is an emergency – this was the first time I had needed this one!
In the case of our MAF pilots, they may or may not have:
- an immediate response to a mayday call with all information needed at the ready
- the choice of several paved runways within a few miles
- friendly terrain
- a friendly city-based fixed based operator to pick you up
- a comfortable pilot lounge with wifi and cool water waiting
- cell reception
- a certified maintenance facility at hand
- the ability to get parts overnight
This is not meant to be critical, but to simply to state another reality isolated places present to our mission. Yes, there are isolated places in the United States NAS, but even in those places, there is help. Someone is looking for you.
I have had the opportunity to see up close the ways in which MAF mitigates the risks. There are internal flight following protocols, robust no-nonsense maintenance processes, and stiff pilot training. Most of all there is prayer.
The morning of my flight my mother had a prompting to pray especially for my flight, as did a pastor friend. Of course, I had prayed and had gone through all the needed safety checks. Yet, the crack formed.
So, my dear Advocates, when the prayer lists come out, look them over and pray. When you see an airplane on the ground or in the air, pray. Speak a verse of Psalm 91 over operations: “He gives His angels charge over thee to keep thee in ALL (even isolated places) thy ways”. Pray dear ones!
I am grateful for the ATC help, the folks at the airport and for my training, but I am ever so grateful for prayer, those who listened and responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the watching angels and the superintendence of our loving Heavenly Father.
Dear MAF Family,
Greetings from Nampa. I’ve been in my new role for about 6 weeks, and want to share a few things as this journey begins. Before doing that, though, please allow me to express our family’s appreciation to all of you who have been praying for us, and have sought to encourage and support us during this time of significant transition. We have felt the love!
On Monday, July 16, I had the opportunity to address our HQ staff in Nampa. It was my intent to speak to all of the MAF family, not just those who were physically present, so we have both audio and video recordings available. The address was my attempt to help set appropriate expectations as I communicated my perspective on MAF’s ministry. As it’s a product of both my own experience overseas and the new lenses though which I now view our ministry, that perspective will continue to evolve.
MAF’s work is complex, global, and missional, so it naturally follows that we are going to routinely face difficulties. That reality can feel like a crisis at times, but we know from the Bible that God uses challenges to grow us into who He wants us to become. I also believe the Bible clearly teaches that we can count on our Lord to provide both wisdom (James 1:5) and peace (Phil 4:6-7) as we navigate the unknowns that lie before us. That’s where I want to be … seeking Him.
On July 18 and 19, I asked a group of MAF leaders to join me at an offsite strategic direction retreat facilitated by an executive coach that I have been working with for the last six months. This was the first step of a process that will extend into next year as we build a more comprehensive strategic plan for MAF’s future. My hope and prayer going into this time together was that the Lord would give us clarity, wisdom, and unity as we sought to discern the priorities we believe are most deserving of our attention. Input has been received through a lot of channels over the last couple of years, both in areas that we can improve and exciting opportunities that lie before us. That input clearly influenced what each person brought to the discussion. Those leaders represented you well. We identified key priorities but did not attempt to flesh out all they will require of us. That will be part of a more extensive process that lies ahead, and will involve a larger part of the organization.
We came out of our retreat agreeing that, at this time, we need to be focusing our attention on the following areas:
- Clarity of mission
- Our MAF culture
- Our human resources
- Our structure and systems
Much could be said about the above areas and the process that lies ahead of us, but that is for another time. We are just beginning, but this is the direction we believe we need to be heading. Please cover all of it with prayer! May we be sensitive to the Lord’s leading, and may we bring great glory to Him on this journey.
This past month I had the privilege of traveling to Oshkosh to work alongside of our team at EAA AirVenture. This provided a wonderful opportunity for me to interact with a number of other aviation organizations and businesses that we rely upon to do what we do. We officially received our new amphibious Caravan that will be deployed to Papua next year, and we hosted a donor event with some very faithful supporters of MAF. These folks love MAF and the ministry that we’re able to do when they partner with us. It was such a blessing for me to be a part of Oshkosh, and I’m so impressed by the great team who diligently worked together to pull it all off.
I love this ministry and what God is allowing us to be a part of! You have my gratitude and admiration for the part that you play. When you are faithful to God, He is glorified. May His favor rest upon us!
President & CEO
Where can you find over 600,000 people and more than 10,000 aircraft? Oshkosh AirVenture! This year, MAF joined some 800 vendors at the Wittman Regional Airport on July 23rd to kick off Oshkosh AirVenture 2018. The week brought good conversations and a lot of opportunities to share the Gospel and how God is working through MAF.
The MAF tent had a new feature drawing kids of all ages: Virtual Reality! We offered people the opportunity to take a flight on an MAF aircraft in Lesotho with pastors on board headed to a remote village. Our simulator also offered visitors the chance to land an MAF Kodiak on an airstrip in Indonesia. Even David Holsten, our new CEO and President took part in the fun!
This year, MAF had the opportunity to partner with Wipaire, Inc. Wipaire, Inc. displayed our newest amphibious Caravan at their exhibit and hosted a press conference to commemorate their 100th set of 8750 Wipeline floats. Those floats just happen to be on our aircraft! Praise God! CEO David Holsten and Aviation Resource Director, Dave Rask both spoke on behalf of MAF providing the opportunity for even more ears to hear the good work God is doing through mission aviation.
Have you considered joining the MAF Oshkosh team? MAF brings together many departments to make this event a success. From Ministry Awareness to Mobilizers and Pre-fielders, we all work together to raise awareness and connect aviation enthusiasts with a higher calling. If you’re interested in being a part of the team, email Alexis at email@example.com. Those on the team are responsible for their transportation to and from Oshkosh but MASA (Mission Aviation Support Association) partners with MAF to make our presence at this event possible. They supply meals, housing, and local transportation.
This year was the perfect combination of hard work, teamwork, and encouraging fellowship. Please continue to pray along with our team the seeds planted during this event will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom.
Check out this VIDEO of David Holsten interviewing Events Coordinator, Alexis Adams, at this years Oshkosh event!
Four for Ecuador
Erick and Joanna Paradizo to raise twins in the ‘Republic of the Equator’
BY TRAVIS K. KIRCHER
Of all the days on all the calendars in all the world, it just had to be April Fool’s Day.
When 23-year-old Erick Paradizo was coming to the United States for the first time, he barely knew English. Though he could recite a smattering of English words – “just the basics” – he felt much more comfortable conversing in his native Spanish.
But the language wasn’t the only thing about to change. It was 2010, and Erick was leaving his friends, his family and his native Puerto Rico behind to embark in a new life in a new city. The Music City. And with few friends in Nashville and little knowledge of the culture, Erick truly was entering a new and challenging world.
And he was doing it on April Fool’s Day.
“I had no idea about April Fool’s,” Erick said. “Because we don’t have April Fool’s Day in Puerto Rico.”
But the pilot on Erick’s connecting flight from Atlanta to Nashville knew all about April Fool’s Day – and he wasn’t about to let a good pseudo-holiday go to waste.
“So I got on the airplane, and I’m already nervous,” Erick said. “I’ve never been on the airlines. I’m nervous that the flight attendants will not know Spanish and I will not know what to say to them.”
“I jump on the airplane and am ready to go. But as soon as they close the door on the airplane, the pilot, he gets on the intercom and says, ‘Thank you for flying on Delta Airlines with destination to New York City!’ And I freaked out! I was like, ‘No way! No! I got on the wrong airplane!’”
Everyone else on the plane laughed at what was, to them, a bit of lopsided humor. But not Erick. He didn’t know English. He didn’t know it was a joke. What was meant as a throwaway April Fool’s gag turned into a major worry that snowballed in Erick’s mind as the flight wore on. He couldn’t go to New York City. He was supposed to land in Nashville! How was he going to find his way around New York City, with its screeching taxis, its cold, grey skyscrapers and the garish lights? At least in Nashville, he had a handful of Puerto-Rican friends who were ready to meet him with a place to stay. How would he ever get there?
When the plane landed in Nashville, Erick disembarked, the most dejected passenger on the flight.
“I start looking around, and I’m like, ‘Whoa…this is weird! Everything in the airport says Nashville, Tennessee! Why does it say Nashville? I thought we were in New York City!’” Erick laughed. “That’s when I learned that they do April Fool’s in the United States!”
Re-energized, Erick took the first steps on his new plan to move to the States and learn English. His plan to become an airline pilot and travel the world.
But although Erick didn’t know it yet, his plans were about to hit a brick wall. Alcoholism, unemployment and depression were going to lead him down a different road. Erick was about to find God in Nashville – and he would soon realize that God’s plans are much, much better.
Erick admits that, growing up in Puerto Rico, alcoholism had always been in the backdrop of his family life.
“My dad struggled with alcohol,” he said. “It was very difficult living at home with a father who was very verbally abusive to us. He would come drunk and just say many rude things to us. Anyway, I grew up being very introverted because of that.”
That said, he also recalls fond memories of his father.
“My dad had an auto body shop, and we would go there and paint cars, and sand the cars and fix them,” he said. “Since I was a kid, I had been doing that with my dad. We would also build and fly remote control airplanes on the weekends. He taught me how to work really hard. That was one of the good things that he taught me.”
Religion had little place in his family. Although he was born into a “Catholic home,” Erick said they had “no real knowledge of the love of Christ,” and by the time he was 10, their family had completely abandoned church.
“As a Catholic, I remember us believing in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying for us on the Cross,” he said. “But the thing about being a Catholic that I remember is that I never had a relationship with Christ. They taught me to pray the Lord’s Prayer – and that was all I prayed my whole life. It was nothing that I would be like, ‘God, please help me to do this,’ or anything like that. I never had a relationship with Christ.”
“If, back then, you asked me the question, ‘Will you go to Heaven?’, I would probably say yes, because I would think at that time that you go to Heaven just by being a good person,” he added. “And I believe a lot of people think that today: Just because you’re good you can go to Heaven. Of course, I was wrong.”
Flying with gramps
Religion may not have been a big part of Erick’s life, but aviation was. Erick’s grandfather was a private pilot, and together, Erick and his grandfather would take to the skies over Puerto Rico in a Cessna 150.
“That’s what I was doing every Sunday,” Erick said. “My grandfather would pick me up and take me out flying. He would let me fly the airplane. That was a cool thing. I was just, like, five or six years old, and he would let me fly the airplane.”
“We never flew to any other airports to land,” he said. “We actually just flew around the area. He likes to take pictures so we would go over my aunt’s house, or the other side of the island, and he would take some pictures or fly around the house. We would just go and see the coast. It was really beautiful.”
Erick would go on to pursue his pilot’s license. The only thing that would spoil flying for him would be bouts of motion sickness that would persistently plague him – all the way up to his private pilot checkride. Erick says the day of his checkride was particularly hot and bumpy.
“Halfway down the flight, I got very, very sick,” he laughed. “And I told the examiner, ‘Can you take the controls?’ He said, ‘Sure. Why?’ I said, ‘I need to throw up.’ And he said, ‘Oh! Okay!’ So I took the bag, threw up in the bag, closed the bag, put it on the side and said, ‘I have the flight controls.’ And I finished the test, passed my private pilot certificate, and I continued flying after that.”
“I overcame,” he added. “I overcame that motion sickness. I never got sick after that.”
Later, as a flight instructor, Erick would go on to share this story with students who needed a confidence boost, or who faced similar challenges.
Erick knew what he wanted to do: become an airline pilot. But he had a lot of work to do. He started by getting an Aviation Management degree at the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, while at the same time earning his instrument rating at Isla Grande flight school, a Part 61-type school in Puerto Rico. That’s when he knew he needed to move to the United States.
“If I want to be in the airlines, I need to know English,” he said. “And I didn’t know English. So I decided, ‘You know what? I need to come to America.’ And that’s when I came here.” Which brings us, again, to April Fool’s Day.
A girl with a mission
In Tacoma, Washington, a little girl named Joanna Richard had experienced a very different childhood. “I was raised in a Christian home,” Joanna said. “My dad was a really strong believer. Yeah, I really loved growing up in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a beautiful place.”
From her birth, through childhood, church and Bible studies were a major part of Joanna’s family life.
“I really felt like I had a personal relationship with Jesus from a really young age,” she said. “It was really real. That was a blessing for sure.”
That relationship caused her to cast her eyes overseas. After high school, she joined the Youth With a Mission Discipleship Training School and went on mission trips to Thailand and Malaysia.
“I felt more at-home in these other cultures than I did in the States,” she said. “It just – being overseas, whether it was Thailand or Malaysia, it really made me come alive, spiritually and as a person. It just felt really, really right.”
An ambitious missionary – even at 19 years old – Joanna said she was ready to take risks, and let her leaders know about it during a mission trip in Asia.
“I actually had made plans to relocate on a long-term basis to Cambodia,” she said. “I had arranged my train ticket up to Cambodia, and arranged a placed to stay and secured funds for it. So I told my YWAM leaders. Mind you, I was, like, 19 at the time. The trip I was on was only supposed to be two months. They said they’d pray about it, and then they turned around and said, ‘You know, we actually can’t allow you to do that. That would be a liability for us.’”
“So anyway, it didn’t work out,” she laughed. “But to me that just shows – I don’t know, it’s hard to explain – that just the passion for reaching out to someone from a different culture for the Lord…it really was just very strong.”
But Joanna admits that passion was about to flicker.
After Joanna graduated from high school, she moved with her parents to Boise, Idaho, where they retired and she started going to college.
“I got sidetracked,” she admitted. She became a musician, got her Associate’s Degree and began teaching music at the School of Rock in the Boise area. She dropped out of church. She had a band, and she had boyfriend who had a band. She played the piano, the guitar, the ukulele and became a singer / songwriter.
“I could hold my own in Boise,” she laughed. “In Nashville, not so much. Nashville is a really tough place to play music. But in Boise I did alright.”
“That was really fun – a super-fun time in my life,” she said. “But I’d sort of been walking away from the Lord at the same time. My spiritual life had been waning.”
Meanwhile, Erick was having a hard time adjusting to life in the States. Although he was slowly learning English and working on his commercial pilot rating, depression was taking him on a downward spiral.
“By 2012, I pretty much hit the bottom of my life there,” he said. “I was very depressed. It’s kind of strange, because my whole life, I’ve been kind of depressed and I think it’s because of the way I was spoken to when I was a kid. I really felt like I was just very isolated and that I wasn’t worthy of life.”
That depression led him to alcoholism.
“I was very much drunk every day,” he said. “I lost my job at the airport. I was working for Delta, on the ramp. I was parking the airplanes and towing the airplanes out of the international airport. I loved that job, because it just made me really proud.”
“I was messed up,” he summarizes.
Then he thought of the one person in the United States who really cared about him: Steven Sevits.
Steven Sevits was his former supervisor. When Erick first came to Nashville, he started working as a maintenance technician for Vanderbilt Properties – essentially fixing and restoring apartments when tenants moved out.
While Erick was working for him, Steve had done something no supervisor had ever done for him before. He prayed for him.
“Like when he would see me, and I was down, or some situation was happening to me, he would always lay hands on me and pray,” Erick recalled. “Honestly, I had never seen somebody doing that for me. Nobody ever prayed for me before. And I remembered that. When I was hitting the bottom of my life, I remembered him. I remembered that person who really cared for me and loved me – even when I was messed up.”
So Erick called Steve. And Steve had a simple answer for him.
“He told me, ‘Hey, you know what? How about you coming to my home every night and reading the Bible and eat with my family?’” Erick said. “And I thought to myself, ‘Well, I’ve been trying everything I can to stop drinking and stop being depressed. Yeah, sure, I can try something new.’”
Erick said it was the start of “something beautiful.”
“Because his family pretty much welcomed me at their home,” he said. “Every night they would cook food for me, and after that, all of us would be at the table reading the Bible. We started from the very beginning. We started in Genesis. I just wanted to know who was this God that really cared for you and loved you.”
He was still an unbeliever. He was still drinking. He was still doing his own thing. So what Steve did next completely floored Erick.
“One night, they decided to tell me they wanted me to come and live with them,” Erick said.
The decision was a no-brainer for Erick, who was living in an unstable environment at the time. He moved in with the Sevits family the next day, bringing only one bag.
“It was really cool, because I got to see how they live for Christ,” Erick said. “I got to see that. They were Christ to me at all times. It was not like they were hiding who they were. They were like that all the time.”
Those new and improved living conditions were also a challenge for Erick for one simple reason: Erick didn’t like kids. And the Sevits family had three, ages 10, 8, and 18 months.
“I was like, ‘There are three kids and they’re driving me crazy!’” Erick laughed. “Believe it or not, I fell in love with those kids.”
Then came the moment the Holy Spirit wore down Erick’s defenses and finally broke into his heart.
“A month after moved in with them, I was on my knees giving my heart to Christ and surrendering everything I have,” he said.
Erick says the change in his life was undeniable.
“He completely set me free from alcohol that very same night,” he said. “That was six years ago, and I have not drank since then.”
God was also about to replace Erick’s plans with His own. Erick was about to get a new plan, and a new mission.
“In 2013, I was really crying out to the Lord,” Erick said. “I really knew I had a purpose now in life – I knew I had a calling – but I didn’t know what that call was.” The answer came while Erick was driving home from work late one night.
“I remember telling the Lord, ‘Lord, whatever you call me to do, I will, I will do. I will give up everything if I have to, just to follow you. What do you want me to do?’” Erick recalled. “That’s when I heard the Lord calling me to missions.” Not just missions, but mission aviation. Erick says he didn’t really know what the term meant, but a quick Google search led him to Mission Aviation Fellowship.
“I was like, ‘Wow! Yeah! This is what I was made for! This is exactly it!’”
Four for Ecuador
At the same time, God was moving in Joanna’s heart as well.
“My spiritual life had been waning,” Joanna said. “But the Lord pursued me all the way through that time of wandering — and when the time was right, He brought me back to Himself.”
She moved to Nashville to live with her older sister, Mary, whom she regards as her “spiritual parent.”
“I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m ready to go back to church and get some discipling,’” Joanna said. “Mary had a great church community out here.”
In fact, Joanna started to go to the same church Erick was attending.
“I think his first, like, memory of me really was at a New Year’s Eve party at our church, because I was playing some music in front of everybody,” she laughed and asked Erick. “Who did you think I was? Carly Rae Jepsen?”
“I thought she looked like a musician that I like,” Erick replied, laughing.
The pair was married in 2016. Soon, they will be headed to Ecuador. Erick will serve as a pilot-mechanic, while Joanna plans to use her musical talents in worship. They are currently in the midst of fundraising.
TO DONATE TO THE PARADIZO FAMILY, CLICK HERE.
But it won’t be just them going. Joanna is pregnant.
“The main thing to pray about is to pray for our babies and this pregnancy,” she said. “Because it’s twins and it’s a really high-risk pregnancy, so we’ve been running into complications. I actually have to be admitted into the hospital for eight weeks so that the babies can be monitored.”
Erick agrees, adding – in perfect English – that they are hoping to make a real difference in Ecuador.
“We want to be there right now, because we know that they have such a need for help,” he said. “But we know that it’s not all up to us to fill the gap. We know the Lord is at work.”
And so it is that the man who thought he didn’t like children has already fallen in love with two before they are even born.
The Good Lord does have a sense of humor. And it’s not even April Fool’s.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Just before this was written, Joanna Paradizo was admitted into the hospital for the eight-week observation period before the scheduled arrival of her babies. Please keep her, Erick and the children in your prayers.
TRAVIS K. KIRCHER is a ministry advocate for MAF. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What impact does the Advocate Wing ministry have? It is through your continued completion of the Ministry Opportunity Reports we track the exposure and impact you are having on behalf of MAF as a ministry Advocate! Each month, we process your reports and gain valuable information on the important work you are doing! Keep it up!
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