The Advocate Wing Welcomes a NEW Regional Manager!

Craig with his wife, Cherry, and grandson, Asher!

I was born in famous Kalamazoo, Michigan to parents who loved the Lord. Dad taught music at the Christian School and in Church while mom, with the tougher job, raised two rambunctious boys. Later, we moved to Grand Rapids to attend high school and college. My wife, Cherry (like the fruit as she says), and I dated in high school and college and later found each other and married. I received two step-children in the bargain and later a fantastic son and daughter-in-law and four wonderful grandchildren. My mother passed away quite young and my father later remarried and now both 91 year-old dad and my new mom are doing great. My older brother Steve is doing well, too.

My Mission Aviation Fellowship journey began when I decided to take flying lessons. Two of the five instructors I had during my training were young men building time to fly for MAF, Pete Neal and Ricky Lundholm. Both had a heart for the Lord and were excited to begin their mission work. I caught their enthusiasm and decided to forgo some flying and get onboard with MAF, too.

I later met Dave McCLeery and John Lemmon and they cemented my appreciation and admiration for MAF. Dave took me under his wing and encouraged me to join the Advocate Wing team and the whole thing really came together during trips to Advocate Summits and Ecuador.

I am truly blessed to step into the Regional Manager position for the Northeast United States. The territory has many remarkable Advocates and I am excited to support them and grow the Advocate Team so we can support Mission Aviation Fellowship worldwide!


~ Craig Talsma

Finnish Connections

Finland is a country in Northern Europe about the size of California but with a population of about 5 ½ million people.  A portion of the country is above the Arctic Circle. This leads to some very long winters where the days may only get 2 to 3 hours of light. The summer is much different with the night not going dark.  Farmers even plowing their fields at 1 AM.  The people in this land take their summer very seriously and almost all businesses shut down and everyone goes on vacation for one week.  It’s a time of celebration with festivals all over the country.

The Finnish Pentecostal Church takes advantage of this time and holds its church convention for those who wish to attend.  It has become not just speaking sessions and church services with guest speakers from all over the world but also a time to camp, visit, and fellowship with others.  Many Fins look forward to this time as a reunion to meet up with friends and family.  Needless to say it’s a big deal and has grown to around 30,000 people attending over this one week period.  It reminds me of going to Oshkosh as there are campers all over the grass and small tents pitched besides their vehicles.  The large tents that are erected to host the vendors and food suppliers range from 2000 square feet to the largest seating around 6000 people.

Last week, while my wife and I were on vacation in Finland, we were walking through the Mission tent that she said looked like an MAF display.  With anticipation I walked over to introduce myself and was greeted with warmth and enthusiasm by Laura Suomi and Seppo Rikkinen.  Laura handles the communications and fundraising in Finland for MAF and Seppo is a very committed Advocate that dedicates much of his time to come out for many such events.  We connected right away and they began to share their approach that they use to get peoples interest, as well as some of their struggles.  Some of which are similar to ours and others different.  One of the struggles Laura was sharing was the fact that many of the people in this culture are reluctant to step out of their comfort zone and commit to assisting with running a display where they would need to talk to others.

Laura said there were supposed to be six people serving that day but only Seppo showed up.  I told them I would come the next day and partner with them.  I don’t speak Finnish but I was excited to be a part of the team!  The best part was to see how things were handled differently in this culture.  Seppo, on his own, built a fairly elaborate flight simulator he set up for people of all ages.  The simulator had people huddled around waiting to get a chance to land and watch their friends’ crash land.  While their parents were waiting on their children the Advocates got a chance to share MAF.

I walked away encouraged and inspired on how MAF brings people together from all over the word, even in a Mission tent in central Finland.

~Jon Smalldridge

So California


Launching: MAF Teacher Project!

Advocates—at our Advocate Wing Summit in Nampa, ID in June we heard from Ministry Partnership one of the reasons many missionary pilot families leave the field is lack of quality education (ie. Teachers) for their children.

Click HERE to hear more from Dave Blomberg, Director of Ministry Partnership.

This summer we are launching the MAF Teacher Project—an initiative to make Advocates aware of the critical need for teachers and funding for teachers on MAF fields (click HERE to order the Teacher Project flyer).

Our GOAL is to raise $50,000 USD for the 2019-2020 school year to help keep teachers on the field.

We would also love to RECRUIT more teachers!

Check out this Video about how Teachers impact MAF ministry:

To give to this project click here:

We invite you to use your voice and influence to SHARE the Teacher Project!


At the Advocate Wing Summit, Advocate John Pipkin from South Carolina pledged the first $1,000 toward our $50k goal and challenged each Advocate to participate and invest in Teachers for MAF!

If you have any questions or suggestions on how to promote this, please do not hesitate to contact your Team Leader or Regional Manager.

Below is a sample email you are welcome to edit and personalize to share MAF’s Teacher Project with others:


I’m an Advocate for Mission Aviation Fellowship and I would like to share a new project we are promoting to invest in Teachers for MAF.

Teachers are invaluable to MAF’s ministry and their investment in missionary kids is greatly appreciated. Not only do they provide quality education, but they also play a key role in helping keep missionary families on the field. 

I hope you’ll take a moment to watch this video to see the importance of their ministry and the impact on our MAF families. MAF Teachers are a Big Deal

I’ve also attached a project overview that further explains why MAF teachers are needed and why raising financial support can be a challenge in a short window of time. If you want to learn more or have any questions, please let me know. If you are interested in investing in this project, you can donate here.

Thank you for your investment in MAF’s worldwide ministry!

Introducing the Whites

As a new Mobilizer, I wanted to introduce myself and our family.  We are Will and Julie White. We have been serving with MAF for 23 years as a pilot/mechanic family.  Our first assignment was in Suriname, South America in 1997.  With the nationalization of the program in 2000, MAF moved us to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  We served in Haiti for 15 years.  Both of our children (William & Abby) grew up in Haiti and still consider it “home”.  In 2015, we felt the Lord leading us to transition to MAF headquarters in Idaho.  For three years, I worked in the hangar, getting planes ready for overseas service and doing maintenance on planes that had been on the field, but needed more work than what the field staff had time or tooling to accomplish.  I also had the opportunity to do some flying.  Both taking aircraft to various airshows and flying overseas with Disaster Response.

In the process of working airshows and events for MAF, the Lord started to nudge me in a totally new and unexpected direction.  I became aware of the opportunity to work with the Mobilization department.  Working in the hangar with a great team who worked well together, I was reluctant to make a move.   Flying and maintaining airplanes was what I loved to do.  After much prayer and the Lord’s guiding, I moved into Mobilization Jan 1, 2019.

Since the moment I made the difficult decision to move departments, I have felt God’s peace and have thoroughly enjoyed working with new people joining MAF.  Unbeknownst to me, part of that time at airshows and events was getting me ready for Mobilization.  One key factor was working with and getting to know many of you in the Advocate Wing.  At events, I saw firsthand what a blessing and resource Advocates are to MAF.  I want to develop that within the Mobilization department also.  In the short time since joining Mobilization, I have had the opportunity to work with several Advocates at Mobilization events.  Without your partnership, I know the time and resources spent would not have been as productive.  I am thankful for each and every one of you!

The first step in the process is better communication with Mobilizers and Advocates.  That being said, I am assigning you some homework! Your Regional Managers have agreed to give anyone who does them an all-expense paid vacation to the Caribbean*.  (*Not exactly…..but you can go on a Mission2Serve trip to Haiti…paid for by you).

  1. Email the Mobilizer (not sure who that is? Check out the below image!) in your area and see how you can partner with them in the coming months.
  2. Communicate with your Mobilizer about events, career fairs or conferences you have coming up.



Everyone in Mobilization is looking forward to developing a stronger working relationship with all of you.

Until next time,

Will White


Click HERE to listen to Will White’s session at this year’s Advocate Summit!

Julie, Will, William, and Abby White

Celebrating Our Advocates!

Each year, during the Advocate Summit, the MAF HQ staff have the opportunity to publicly recognize and celebrate the ministry of our Advocates. We specifically celebrate individuals who’ve served as Advocates for 5 and 10 years.  This year, seven out of the 18 (13 – 5 Years and 5 – 10 Years) Advocates were able to join us for this celebration!


Advocate Melissa Hillard – Celebrating 5 years!
Advocate Mark Harris – Celebrating 10 years!
Advocate Jack Erdmann – Celebrating 10 years!
Advocate Paul Hoynacki – Celebrating 10 years!
Advocate Linda Dafoe – Celebrating 5 years!
Advocate Scott Schoonmaker – Celebrating 5 years!


Advocate Bruce Earley – Celebrating 10 years!


Advocates Not Pictured:

10 years of ministry in the Advocate Wing

Paul Slaughter

5 years of ministry in the Advocate Wing

Travis Fergurson

Jonathan Gehrke

Jim Hamill

Larry Martin

Luke Massey

Scott Miller

Judy Olenik

Steve Patee

Kevin Sudbeck


Haiti Hangar Project UPDATE!

God is Good… ALL THE TIME! And All the time… GOD IS GOOD!

I can’t help but hear the tunes of so many praise songs ringing in my ears as I prepare to announce…

The Haiti Hangar Project is FULLY and OVERFLOWINGLY FUNDED!!!

Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.

Praise Him ALL creatures here below.

Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. 

Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”



We received a total of $13,750 toward our goal of $10,000!

“It is humbling to see so many people coming together to make this possible.”

– David Carwell, Haiti Program Manager





  • The hangar door is currently in production. A shipping container is being purchased which will be used to get the door from Canada to Haiti. The door is scheduled to ship the end of July.
  • September 17th, Advocates Mark Turpin and Marv Brown will arrive in Haiti to prepare for the Mission2Serve Team.
  • September 20th the Mission2Serve Team arrives in Haiti to enclose the hangar and hang the door. The Mission2Serve Team consists of Advocate Scott Schoonmaker, MAF Staff Katie Moen, her husband Josh, and me. We will be joined by the owner of Diamond Doors and a few MAF Canada Advocates.

We thank God for each of you and your hearts to serve and support those who living and working in some of the most remote areas of the world.

Flight Follow Podcast Has a New Episode!

MAF has countless dramatic events of missionaries as they serve in remote, isolated places around the world. Listen along to stories that take place across the world where MAF serves.

Hear the newest episode by clicking HERE.

Reflections on the MAF Day of Prayer

“Prayer is the foundation of every successful Christian endeavor”  – unknown

I have heard this quote from a number of sources, but whoever said it first, it originated with the Holy Spirit!  Prayer and its value is rarely disputed among believers.  The how-to’s, when to’s and how often to’s are discussed at length, but in the end, we all know how much we lean on a daily conversation with our Lord.

When the day of prayer for MAF was announced I put it on my calendar.  I appreciate the preparation of daily devotional videos leading up to the event, guiding us in a corporate but personal process. Click HERE to access the videos and audio recordings for the Half Day of Prayer at MAF. Thank you to all who made it happen.

As the day approached, I realized I was scheduled to be on a road trip headed to Texas from Wichita.  Perfect!  My rolling prayer room is one of my favorite ways to pray.  You see, I am a mover when I pray.  I walk, garden, do housework, fly and drive as I pray.  Yes, I pay attention when I need to and I am sure the Lord does not mind our conversation may be paused when needed.

Included in my packing was a printout of the prayer requests from around the world.  Again thanks to all for submitting, assembling and distributing these lists.  On this day, my drive was straight down I-35 and once out of town and on cruise control, I began.

Glancing down line by line, I prayed around the world for most of the drive.  I took breaks from time to time and caught up with the podcast Flight Following.  This just added fuel for prayer.  It was wonderful knowing others were praying, all time zones were being covered around the world and I was a part of some serious, global preparation.

In January 2018, I wrote about transition and it seemed to me MAF was entering a time of significant transition. Click HERE to read the article. As I prayed through the various items I was struck by how many had to do with transition. It is here:

  • People movement.  Furloughs, retirements, other life changes and new folks coming on board.
  • Leadership changes all over the globe.
  • Fleet transitions.  Airplanes retiring and new ones coming on.
  • Technology never stands still!

There is a LOT of change going on!  One constant, the mission to love on the isolated. To change their ending.  My prayer is this:

Isaiah 33:6 AMPC

And there shall be stability in your times, an abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the reverent fear and worship of the Lord is your treasure and His.

One last thing, an action item for me:  I will print out a map of the places MAF serves.  Isolated people mean isolated places that I am still learning about.  I will use this map to pray on Friday as I lift up weekly prayer points.

It is a joy to pray with you!

By Nancy Cullen, MAF Advocate in Wichita, KS

Haiti Hangar Update!

MAF Advocates—we have a prime opportunity to invest in a long term solution to hangar MAF airplanes in Haiti!

Click HERE to order your fliers on the resource order form

Please see the flier on the right about our summer project to invest in M2S Haiti Hangar.

We only have from May 1 to August 30, 2019, to raise $10,000 through the Advocate Wing. 

Spread the word!  Share with your church, friends, service clubs and on social media.

Currently, our MAF airplanes in Haiti do not have an enclosed hangar.  This investment helps protect MAF planes and staff from the elements and including:

  • Enclose three sides of the current hangar
  • Partner with Diamond Doors to install new bi-fold hangar doors
  • Install a secure walk-in door
  • Install electrical system for fans and lighting
  • Increase hangar security


Give online at to Fund 4058   OR  Make checks payable to Mission Aviation Fellowship M2S

NOTE: as of 5/31/19 we have raised $2650—PRAISE GOD!

Want to JOIN the TEAM going to HAITI in September??  Click here to register for M2S:Haiti!


The Old and The New

“Then said He unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52 (KJV)

David and I live in a historic landmark home and are rehabbing the house next door to move into while the restoration of the “big house” is done.  This has led to a fair amount of re-purposing, up-cycling and reusing of materials.  Blending the old and new into attractive functional spaces can be a challenge, but when done thoughtfully, the result is satisfying. We just completed a project, done in stages but are pleased with the result.

It involved a dilapidated garage with a cute “vintage” chicken coop attached to its south side.   The popular thing to do would have been to demo the entire thing, coop and all and replace it.  That’s not our style.  We liked the little coop, although we do not plan to have chickens, at least in the near term, I wanted to use it for a potting shed.

The garage was another matter.  It was truly beyond fixing.  In addition, when these structures were built, property easements were less than required under current code.  If we tore down the entire garage, any new structure would have to abide by current clearance guidelines.  The result, a much smaller footprint.  In the end, we left the back wall along the alley in place as well as the entire chicken coop.  The back wall became a privacy fence.  We were then able to get permission to have a “temporary” building erected on the footing of the old garage.

Yes, it might have been easier to knock the whole thing down and start over.  Aside from cost, a bit of history would be lost.  New is nice, but vintage has character that just makes me smile.

So what does this have to do with being an MAF Advocate?  It gives me another quite visceral connection.  How? The wisdom MAF exerts in bringing out of its household treasure, the old and the new for the Kingdom, by:

  • honoring the stories of its beginnings without living there
  • implementing new technologies while building on what came before.
  • sticking to the basics of wisdom, while responding to new challenges daily
  • recycling and re-purposing without compromising excellence or safety

Recently I was given a key ring I treasure.  It was fabricated by a talented volunteer from some part of PK-MCZ, a Cessna 206 retired from Indonesia in 1996.  This key ring represents perfectly my point – treasures out of the old and the new.  Wisdom, and Oh yes, this bit of PK-MCZ is back where she started, Wichita, Kansas.

~By Nancy Cullen