CFC Events Update

Hello Advocates,

The time for Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) events is drawing near!

For those of you new to the CFC, this is an opportunity for MAF to raise funds from federal employees. Military, postal workers, and any other federal employees are able to make donations to charity through payroll deduction through the Combined Federal Campaign. MAF is one of the approved charities for receiving these donations.

The main way we are able to let federal employees know about MAF is through special CFC events. Usually, we are invited to put up a table display at hundreds of events around the country. Typically we are able to attend between 15-35 events per year because of Advocates like you.

So how does it work? When I get invited to an event, I look to see if there are any advocates located nearby. If you are near an event, I will reach out to you by email or phone to see if you are available. If you ARE, I will send you a package with all of the materials that you will need for your display and to give out to visitors. You will not need to use your own advocate materials for these events.

If you would like to see the CFC training video to get a better picture of what these events involve, send me an email at

My goal is for MAF to be present at 36 CFC events across the country between August and January. I look forward to partnering with you to share about MAF with government employees!

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or ideas!

Holly Syreen

Estate Planning Seminar Pastor’s Handbook

Did you know that 6 out of 10 Americans who pass away have not prepared a valid will or trust to ensure that their wishes will be carried out and their loved ones will be cared for? That’s a staggering statistic that MAF wants to help change!

By partnering with local churches, MAF offers a free estate planning seminar to congregations. Each individual or family who attends will be provided a will or trust at no cost, if they choose to receive this service. It would cost a church well over $10,000 per year to offer this service to their members, but by partnering with MAF, there is no cost to the church. One of the great benefits of these seminars is that people who have never considered leaving an end-of-life gift to their church or other ministries are presented with this option. As a result, many seminar participants make a bequest that will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God long after they are gone.

We’ve recently created a new resource called the Estate Planning Seminar Pastor’s Handbook to help promote this service to pastors and their Elders/Deacons. To request your copy of the booklet, please visit our Resource Order form in the Intranet and fill out the FORM. You can also reach out to Aaron Bear ( with any questions on how the program works.


Doni Otremba is our newest addition to the Ministry Awareness team as the Volunteer Manager, filling the role previously held by longtime superstar, Becky Lee!  Doni is a Nampa native, and comes to us with 10+ years of leadership and training experience in the corporate world, including DIRECTV,, and Optum Idaho. The Lord began opening doors for her to make a career change beginning in late 2017, and Doni and her family are completely delighted that she is now with MAF!

Doni and her husband, Paul, met at NNU, and have been married for 12 years, and have two hilarious and fantastic children, Vivian (6) and Tom (2). She is an NNU Alum, and attends Nampa First Church of the Nazarene with her family, including Parents Bruce & Bette Moore, Uncle Tom Dale, and Uncle/Aunt Ben & Janell Moore.

The Volunteer Ministry at MAF is alive and thriving! Doni’s first few weeks on the job have consisted of beginning to get to know some of our 120+ local volunteers. Some of these volunteers live in the area and gift their time and talents to MAF throughout the year, while others are traveling groups of volunteers who travel around the country in their RV’s and work  on-site for a few weeks or months at a time.  What a gift to MAF each and every volunteer is.  We are currently using volunteers to assist with everything from document shredding, giving personalized tours of MAF, building essential machine parts in the hangar, to going on short term international missions projects!  If you have not volunteered with MAF before, or it’s been awhile since you have been here and you’d like to come connect with Doni and see what the current or upcoming needs are, please send an email to

Presidential Farewell

Very dear MAF colleagues,

Jesus stood before His disciples 2000 years ago and told them that the power of the Holy Spirit would enable them to accomplish an astonishing mission – to reach the ends of the earth with the message of the Gospel. One of the most amazing things in the history of the Church is happening now: Christians are working together. God is raising up partnerships, coalitions, networks and movements. We as MAF, have been and are, part of His Great Commission to accomplish that astonishing mission.


The following are some words from the Lausanne Global Summit I was privileged to attend in 2010.

The cross must be central to our lives and our message. By all available means and at the earliest possible time (no date is given) that every person will have the opportunity to hear, and not only to hear in some casual or superficial way, but to hear as to understand and, by God’s grace, receive the good news.

 I remain absolutely convinced that MAF remains part of our Lord’s plan to achieve His Great Commission. We have striven to maintain the centrality of Christ front and center in all we do.  We seek with heartfelt sincerity to reach out to and give every person that opportunity to hear.


My involvement with MAF goes back 28 years.  Never dreaming, when I volunteered to be what today we call Ministry Advocates, that I would soon sense and heed the call to ‘serve’ with this astonishing ministry. Two and a half years ago when I felt it was time to begin working with our Board on my transition, did I think that the day to step down would be upon me so jolly quickly! My departure from MAF was a very clear decision I had to make.  It was and is the right decision for MAF and for me. The decision was made after much prayer and seeking God’s peace.


I know there are constant and ongoing challenges we face all over our MAF world. Many, many times we have felt that we simply don’t have enough people or money or experience to reach God’s goal.  I want to remind us to see what God has already done in preparation for MAF to continue serving where He leads us to serve. Look at the words of Jonathan in Samuel 14:6  The Lord is not restrained to save by many or by a few. In fact, it seems that most of the time God prefers to save with a ‘few.’  In that way He gets all the glory as it’s not all about us and what we are doing.

I feel so very privileged and humbled to have served these past 10 ½ years as President/CEO.  I have seen our mighty God work in the most amazing ways and can say with somewhat forceful confidence, He has the plan, He is guiding, He is with us.


At the stroke of midnight on July 15th the mantle of leadership of MAF US will transition to David Holsten and I would ask you to pray with me.

Please pray for the wisdom and courage that will be needed during this time of deep change in leadership.

Pray for David and Dan , Gene, Barb and Joe, your ELT, they will be dealing with so many competing priorities.

Pray for God to surround and protect all of MAF as strategic planning meetings will soon be taking place.

Pray for our Board, we are richly blessed to have such a gifted, experienced and  committed group of talented men and women who most certainly do give of their time and talents to serve alongside us.

Pray that God’s will, will be done through His plan for MAF and that God’s word will indeed be above all things.


Thank you all, for the amazing journey we have been on together, what a journey it has been.


I take this opportunity to simply say ‘sorry’ to any of you dear ones who through my actions or inaction, feel I have hurt you in any way.  It was always my desire to do the best I could, given the parameters of my ‘human-ness, quirks and idiosyncrasies’ (of which I know, there are many!!)  May your forgiveness and grace glorify our Lord.

As I write, I am unsure what the future holds for me but I keep having to remind myself as I remind each of us, our great God and Savior deserves all glory and honor and so we should invest all our strength and wisdom to proclaim His word to all of the world and to see sinners fully surrender to the Lordship of Christ.

Although this is my last day in the office I do remain available to David and our Board as the transition continues through September.

With rather misty and a tad tear filled eyes, I sign off one last time but with sincere and heartfelt thanks to our Lord for each of you, wherever in our MAF world you may be serving.






AOPA Event Update

Sunshine, mild temperatures and a neon sunset capped off an extraordinary first day during the AOPA Fly-In at Montana’s Missoula International Airport, June 15 and 16. Advocate Mike Roark flew his retired MAF plane Cessna 185 to Missoula from Bremerton, WA for the event.  Accompanying Mike were Advocate Bruce Earley and his son Douglas.  Susan Davis joined the crew.  In addition to Mike, pilots flew about 300 airplanes to the northern Rockies in western Montana. About 4,000 pilots and aviation enthusiasts attended educational seminars and short takeoff and landing and water-bombing demonstrations under ideal conditions as the fly-in opened on Friday.

A low-pressure system spinning in from the Pacific brought a steady, cold rain to the second day fly-in and attendance dropped to about 2,500 people, filling the indoor exhibit hall and education forums.

Due to the weather, the team asked the organizers to set up the display table inside the exhibit hall.  With Missoula getting 10% of their annual rainfall on Saturday, it pushed people inside and a lot of meaningful conversations were had.

With all the precipitation, the “parking lot” (aka dirt field) was a mess!  Mike Roark scouted the best route to avoid getting the rental car stuck!


I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  John 15:1-2

I enjoy gardening.  There is little that refreshes me more than grabbing my iPhone, donning my Bluetooth headset (it keeps my ears ready for flying), putting on a podcast or some tunes and heading outside.  Recently I was listening to a teaching on the above verses, that helped me.  In the past when I read these verses, I have generally inwardly cringed – just a bit, as I pictured the Father coming at me with a pair of punning shears!  Yes, I know it is for my own good, and yes I know the Father loves me, but still….I didn’t mean to….

However, the teaching adjusted my perspective in that the vine being addressed was not a bad vine.

  • It was not in trouble.
  • The Vinedresser was not mad at the vine.
  • It had done nothing wrong.


In fact,  the vine had flourished doing what it was designed to do and doing it well.  But, it had reached its potential in its current state.  The Father wanted it to go to a higher level of producing because He knew the vine had much more potential, but it needed a change.  It needed to be refreshed.

People going about their Father’s business are no different.  Believers of all flavors, maturity, and levels of willingness generally want to do the right thing and be productive.  Of course, there is a fair amount of stumbling, unintentional error and yes, occasional out and out rebellion (ever have a “fit of carnality”?  No need to raise hands!)

Yet there come times when we get restless and uneasy.  It could be a need for correction, but it may simply be a time for some reshaping of our branches or even (gulp) a transplant.  As I was approaching retirement eligibility as an air traffic controller,  it was hard.  I loved my job.  I mean what is better than getting to tell pilots what to do for eight hours a day!  And they, with few exceptions, had to comply.  Heady stuff.  More than that I knew it was where the Lord had placed me.  Then came the scratching way down deep inside.  Oh no….

Practical matters aside (we had planned and prepared for this time), I knew this season was coming to a close.  So the papers went in and I stepped down from a career that was perfect and satisfying.


The Signs Are There

Stephen Mansfield is an author, speaker, and consultant who specializes in leadership transitions.  In the latter, his experience comes from years of dealing with leadership who crashed and burned, taking down or severely damaging families, organizations, and businesses they were charged with stewarding.  Dealing with these realities, he came to see there are 10 warning signs of impending crashes. The first one is a leader being “out of season”.  Stephen says, “It’s the first sign of a leadership crash,” and describes it as that feeling where “you know that you’re not where you’re supposed to be.”

I am encouraged that MAF Leadership has discerned well ahead of any danger of this happening.  The Holy Spirit “tells us things to come” (John 16:13) and how to avoid pitfalls – when we listen.  My heart rejoices that MAF is an organization that closely listens to Father!



This is not just a leadership thing.  This is what I was feeling as a child of the Most High, as retirement from ATC approached.  But I also see this applying to organizations.  How many organizations and business are no longer around because they missed a “pruning” season?  A reshaping, casting off ways that are no longer viable to make room for fresh growth and fruit bearing?

I had also written in the last Connect (to read the article please click HERE) about the transition MAF is going through.  The incoming CEO, David Holstein recently sent out a video recently (click HERE to view video) speaking of change and transition.  The reality is, for MAF:

  • Leadership is transitioning,
  • the MAF fleet is transitioning,
  • navigation tools are transitioning,
  • personnel are moving out, in and re-positioning.

It is all quite unsettling, is it not?  In the back of our minds, there can be a lurking “did we miss it?” Did we do something wrong?”  “Things have worked well before, what is going on?”  The answer in the case of MAF is not necessarily about discipline or correction.  Given the heart of this organization and its people, it is more likely that that the very fruitful MAF family is being prepared to bear much MORE fruit!  Wow, MORE FRUIT for the Kingdom.  Yes, please Lord, send me!

As I returned from my first advocate summit in June, I am humbled to be a voice for those who have borne so much fruit – many at great cost. We honor them, build on their vision and move forward.  To think the Father is leading, guiding and, yes, trimming us up for an even more fruitful time gives me great peace – I say bring on the shears!”

By Advocate Nancy Cullen

Wichita, KS


Advocate Summit 2018 Resources

If you were unable to attend Advocate Summit 2018, please click HERE to access resources shared with the attendees.  These are PowerPoint presentations, printed materials and other resources from the speakers. We are working on getting the videos of each speaker edited.

For Advocate Summit 2018, we asked MAF-US field staff from around the world to share their “why”.  Why do they serve with MAF? Why do they stay in the most isolated places on earth to serve?  Those videos can be viewed below.

Why Videos













Chance Encounter on Sinful Sunday

Chance Encounter on Sinful Sunday
How a rainy afternoon on a Kentucky airstrip reminded me that God is still in control.

As I write this, it’s been 10 days since the end of the annual Advocates Summit that took place at MAF Headquarters in Nampa.

It’s been 10 days since I’ve had Dutch Brothers coffee – an Idaho staple – and advocate Paul Pfluger convinced me to drink the caffeine-infused “Annihilator.” I’m STILL climbing the walls and chewing small pieces of bark, by the way.

It’s been 10 days since I ambushed Gene Jordan with a camera in the MAF chapel and snapped a surprise selfie. As I walked away, savoring how the camera captured the surprised look on Gene’s face, Gene may have said something like, “That better not end up on Facebook!” I posted it anyway.

It’s been 10 days since I told advocate Craig Talsma that he HAS to start listening to Dr. Albert Mohler’s “The Briefing” on a daily basis because it’s one of the coolest podcasts out there. (It’s been TWO days since he admitted I was right, by the way.)

And it’s been 10 days since Mike Snodgrass challenged us all by asking why we’re doing any of this, to begin with.


“What’s your Why?”

That was the theme of this year’s Summit, and as the two days went by (three if you count the fried chicken dinner we had on Wednesday night), we heard from people on-site at MAF US Headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, and from missionary families – live and recorded – out in the field. From Jeremy and Jodie Toews, Brad and Rebecca Hopkins and Kayla Harder in Kalimantan, to Daniel and Kacy Bristol in Papua, to Chad and Jamie Dimon in Nyankunde, they opened their hearts and shared the reasons that drove them to the uttermost ends of the earth.

Some responses were heartwarming. Others were convicting. Others were humorous.

Some answers came unexpected and unbidden. On Thursday, when two dismantled Cessna 185s arrived at MAF Headquarters (they had been shipped from Kalimantan, Indonesia, several weeks earlier), Larry Whiting became unexpectedly emotional when he remembered one of the reasons he spent roughly 30 years of flying in Indonesia: namely a boy he watched grow up into a man who chose to follow Christ in Kalimantan.

“The guys in the village he went to tried to kill him on more than one occasion,” Whiting said, his voice cracking and his eyes tearing up. “He’s now retired, but he loves evangelism so much he’s moved upstream to another village and he’s working today there.”

So what was MY why?

Full disclosure: During the two-day Summit, I didn’t take many notes (Translation: I didn’t take ANY notes). But at the very end of the Summit, when Mike Snodgrass challenged us to come up with three reasons WHY we were volunteering for MAF – and to WRITE. THEM. DOWN. – I knew it was time to set the video camera aside and grab my new, MAF-branded ballpoint pen.

Here are the answers I came up with, taken word-for-word from my workbook:

  • I want to serve Jesus because of all that He’s done for me – and because serving Him is the only worthwhile thing that matters.
  • I love airplanes and aviation – and I love that they can be used to serve Jesus.
  • I love telling stories using print, online and video mediums.

The latter, I felt, summed up my value to MAF. As far as aviation goes, my knowledge is rudimentary at best. At the moment, I’m just a student pilot – one who will hopefully have my PPL ticket by the time the next newsletter comes out. I’m not mechanically inclined. I don’t know any other languages. I have no short- or long-term mission trip experience.

I’m just am an amateur journalist who shoots and edits amateur videos and writes articles for the CONNECT newsletter.

I have to admit, hearing other advocates give testimonies at the Summit about churches they’d spoken at, hangars they’d manned booths in, individuals they’d witnessed to, it made me rethink my approach. They were telling the MAF story to people who’d never heard it before. I was preaching to the choir.

“It’s as simple as just wearing your MAF gear,” advocate Paul Pfluger said (I’m paraphrasing). “I  can’t tell you the number of people who’ve asked me about MAF just from seeing my t-shirt!”

“How does that work?” I asked. “I wear my MAF stuff all the time, and nobody ever asks me anything.”


The trip home from Nampa to Louisville gave me lots of time for introspection.

I’ve often said  the MAF Advocates Summit is a lot like those old Zig Ziglar business seminars: you walk out of it energized, inspired and ready to get to work.

The word in the back of my mind was “intentional.” “Intentional” is a buzzword these days – and for good reason. We need to be intentional in what we do: intentional about our prayer lives, intentional about our Bible reading and intentional about how we look for ways to build God’s kingdom. As for me, I wasn’t just going to be intentional about my work for MAF, but also for any way God might choose to use me.

I had a brief layover in Dallas, but it wasn’t long before I was ready to board American Airlines Flight 5992, from DFW to SDF, the final leg of my trip back to Louisville. It was Saturday afternoon. As I waited at the gate, they began boarding for passengers with special needs. I saw a boy – probably about 10 or 11 – walk by himself and disappear down the corridor that led into the plane. He looked miserable.

About 15 minutes later, I was among one of the last groups to board. As an airline passenger, I love window seats. In fact, for the life of me, I can’t understand people who prefer aisle seats – or worse – pick window seats, only to shut the windows. In my book, those people need to be incarcerated.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered that my seat was all the way in the back, in an aisle. Next to me was the boy, alone, looking sad as ever. And instead of a window, there was only a curved wall where the window should have been.

I tried to mask my disappointment as I sat down, awkwardly. Then my sense of purpose kicked in. I may not like the circumstances, but God had placed me here for a reason. This kid looked sad and dejected, and maybe God wanted me to be a light to him. Maybe God placed me here at this moment to cheer him up.

“How ya doin?” I asked, holding out my hand and smiling. “I’m Travis.”

He looked pitiful as he shook my hand, grumbled his name and looked away.

I tried again.

“Where are you from?”

The kid grumbled again.

No matter. I was going to cheer this kid up. Somehow I was going to be a blessing. I was being intentional. God had put me next to this kid for a reason, and I was going to be a light and a witness–

“Excuse me sir?” It was the stewardess. “I apologize sir, but we’re going to have to move you. The plane can’t take off unless we have someone sitting in the window seat next to the emergency exit. I’m really sorry for the inconvenience.”

I can’t say I was upset. But I didn’t understand what God was doing. I was supposed to be a blessing to this kid. I was being intentional.

So instead, I sat next to a girl who unfortunately had no interest in talking to me.

I never saw that kid again.


The next morning, I was not being intentional.

It was Sunday, and I had planned on going to the 9 a.m. church service, but it was already 7:30 and I didn’t even hear the alarm go off. Not getting home until midnight the night before, after six hours on a commercial airline flight will do that to you.

I did manage to make it to my 10:45 Adult Bible Fellowship class (which is the same thing as a Sunday School class, but if my church called it “Sunday School” we wouldn’t have the cool “ABF” acronym).

Then it was on to Sinful Sunday.

Sinful Sunday is an annual fly-in that takes place at Lee Bottom airfield (64I), a 4,000-foot grass strip in nearby Hanover, Indiana. Hosted by the Bluegrass Chapter of Women in Aviation, it features $5 hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as $5 ice cream sundaes. Proceeds go toward the local WIA chapter.

(They call it “Sinful Sunday” because they’re feeding you ice cream, NOT because they’re sacrificing goats or anything.)

After church, I ran home changed into shorts,  a t-shirt and donned my MAF cap. (I wish I could say I did it because I was prepping for a ministry opportunity, but really I did it just because it is a cool hat.)

Admittedly, it’s not as awesome to drive to a fly-in as it is to fly to a fly-in, but I had no access to a plane Sunday afternoon. Usually, a flight in a Cessna 172 from my home airport, Bowman Field (KLOU), to Lee Bottom takes about 20 minutes. It takes about an hour to drive that distance.

By the time I arrived, the event was wrapping up. Rain was in the air, and encroaching storm clouds had chased away most of the pilots who had been there earlier in the day. All of my friends from the flight school had already left.

Originally, I had big plans for what I was going to do. I was going to shoot some still pictures. Maybe get some video. At least meet up with some friends. Now all I wanted to do was scarf down a hot dog and some chips and scram before the weather hit.

“Are you from MAF??????”

The question came from a wide-eyed young woman who noticed my MAF hat as I was loading potato chips onto my plate.

I stammered.

“Actually, I’m just a volunteer, I’m –“ then I recovered. “YES I AM.”

She was incredulous.

“I actually thought about flying for MAF!”

The silence was so piercing you could almost hear the ketchup congealing on my hot dog.

“You need to meet the president of our local Women in Aviation chapter!” she continued.

A few minutes later, I was shaking hands with another, middle-aged woman.

“We would love to have you bring an MAF booth to our Women in Aviation Career Day event in October!” she said. “Do you have a business card?”

I did not. I was not being intentional. It seemed like a half-mile dash back to my car to retrieve my MAF advocate business cards and brochures, but I returned a few moments later. I took down their names and numbers. I promised to be there in October.

A few minutes later, the storms rolled in and we all went home.

On the drive home, I was excited. Potato chips flew everywhere. In the 20 minutes or so I had been there, I had only managed to accomplish one thing: I had somehow managed to ACCIDENTALLY STUMBLE INTO an MAF ministry opportunity. I had met two women who were interested in MAF, and now I had the chance to share MAF with several more in October.

As the rain poured down and my windshield wipers streaked, it seemed to me less and less likely that today’s meeting had been a simple coincidence. I don’t think it was by coincidence that, months earlier, I had shot a video of pilot Kayla Harder sharing her testimony – a video that would be perfect to show at a WIA Career Day event.

The more I thought about it, I – and the two women I met – had been at exactly the right place, at the right time.

Sometimes the most important thing isn’t that we’re intentional. Sometimes the only important thing is that He is.

TRAVIS K. KIRCHER is an advocate for MAF. He can be reached at











MAF President Introduction

After 17 years of service with MAF in Indonesia, David and Natalie Holsten have transitioned to the U.S. David will begin to serve as MAF’s President and CEO on July 16.  Looking back on their time in Indonesia, David and Natalie are grateful for the relationships they had with both nationals and teammates, and the opportunities they had to show God’s love to others, especially those living in isolated areas. Their first 10 years in Indonesia were in the province of Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and for the last 7 years, they lived in the province of Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya. Throughout this time David served in a variety of roles within the organization.

David shares, “Throughout our time with MAF we have faced numerous challenges, but we have also been blessed to see the hand of God clearly displayed. It has been so rewarding to be part of a work that provides a service to others that is critically needed. It is our desire to not only be a part of addressing the significant physical needs of others but to also be a part of impacting them spiritually, helping them grow in their walk with the Lord. We want the message of the Gospel to be clearly displayed in what we do.” Hebrews 6:10 is a verse David turns to when faced with demanding challenges. “In the midst of difficulties, it is encouraging for me to remember that the Lord will not forget our efforts to minister to others.”

Natalie has had involvement in a variety of ministry during their time in Indonesia, including kids clubs, leading small group Bible studies with Indonesians, teaching high school English, and mentoring a group of high school Papuan girls. While she misses living in Indonesia, she is excited to be involved at MAF headquarters. “Our time overseas has taught me so much about the goodness of God, and His faithfulness. Zephaniah 3:17 has been a special verse for me this past term. It says, ‘The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’”

David was raised in a Christian family on a farm in northeast Colorado and lived as a teen in Savannah, Georgia. He became a Christian at an early age and was nurtured in his faith through his family, his church, and youth group involvement. 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 an airframe and power plant mechanic’s license. Prior to joining MAF, he worked as a flight instructor with Moody Aviation for two years.

Natalie was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She credits a strong Christian heritage and her grandfather as the instruments that led her to Christ at the age of 11. Natalie says, “My interest in missions grew through volunteer work at my grandfather’s inner-city church and through a mission trip when I was 15.” Natalie received a B.A. in English from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. After finishing college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Tennessee. David and Natalie met in high school, dated long distance during college and married in June 1996.

Click the link to view a message from David Holsten to our Advocates!