Mission2Serve is an opportunity for Advocates and Church Partners to get their hands dirty while catching the vision of MAF. Bring your work gloves! We will be showing love and offering encouragement through completing those down and dirty projects that have taken a back seat to MAF’s mission of reaching the isolated. We will spend time with MAF pilots and national staff at the MAF hangar in Port au Prince. You will also have the opportunity to take a flight in a MAF airplane to a remote airstrip and learn more about those we serve.
The cost for the trip is $1,100 plus airfare. The deadline for registration and your down payment of $500 is June 1, 2019.
We have 10 spots available so don’t wait to secure yours! In the words of Kentucky Advocate, Melissa Hillard “if you’re waiting for a sign that you should go, this is it!”
We have multiple opportunities coming up in 2019 to invest in our MAF families overseas!
So often our staff and volunteers have gone overseas and served with MAF by caring for our Missionary Kids…and so many times the stories that come back are ones of JOY, LOVE, FUN…and receiving so much more than they ‘gave’. Is God calling YOU to be a part of a team this year?
Please prayerfully consider if the Lord is directing you, or someone you know or go to church with, to support our MAF families.
If you are interested or would like more information about any of these opportunities, please contact Doni Otremba, MAF Volunteer Manager at (firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-498-0756)
Kalimantan, Indonesia – April 2019
What’s Needed: 2-4 people to watch children and run a VBS for 3-4 days of our MAF Team’s Conference
Cost: Approximately $2,500 – $3,000 per person (Fundraising Support Available)
Lesotho, Africa – Early July or August 2019
Where: Maseru, Lesotho to visit the Lesotho Program for a few days, then Bloemfontein, South Africa for the conference
1 person to lead worship for 3-4 days for the adults during the Conference
1-2 more people to join a VBS team of 5 to watch children and run a VBS for 3-4 days of our MAF Team’s Conference
Cost: Approximately $3,000 per person (Fundraising Support Available)
Nampula, Mozambique – Late August 2019
What’s Needed: 4 people to help host the MAF Program’s annual staff/family conference
1 Speaker – Lead group sessions in Bible Study/ Team Building
1 Musician – Lead the group in worship time
2 Childcare/VBS – To take care of 5-6 children while adults are in session
Cost: Approximately $3,000 per person (Fundraising Support Available)
If you are interested, please contact me. If you know of someone else who may be interested, please feel free to forward this information to them!
Sometimes in my new role as Manager of Mobilization (M.O.M. for short) I like to build a bit of ‘street cred’ for the aviation part of MAF, which is also the majority of our mobilizing efforts. Besides being married to Dave Rask, I think that flying with my parents and siblings on an MAF 180 to the interior of Dutch New Guinea in August of 1961, with Betty Greene as our pilot might help with that. I grew up with MAF pilots as my heroes and MAF very much an integral part of the pioneering missions and my own life, in what is now Papua, Indonesia.
I was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, and before my parents set out to the mission field, I remember their dedication to sharing the gospel through pastoring and doing VBS in small country churches. When I was 5, our family boarded a freight ship bound for Australia, from there flying to Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea.
My father, Phil Masters, was killed alongside fellow missionary Stan Dale in 1968 while attempting to reach a neighboring tribe. My mom, convinced that God had called her to be a missionary as well, continued her ministry in Irian Jaya until 1987 when she returned to the US to care for her aging father.
God provided for our family in wonderful ways as my mom remained faithful in serving the Lord and the people of Papua.
I returned to the US after high school, moving from the remoteness of the interior of Papua, to downtown Chicago, where I met Dave. His interest in mission aviation and my firsthand experience of it was a good point of connection.
Dave and I were married after completing our respective schooling and joined MAF in 1981. Between then and now – many stories of joy and grief – but mostly memories of rich fellowship, shared difficulties, and victories, and a front-row seat to God’s work in Papua, Indonesia. I am always happy (but do try to restrain myself) to tell stories of Papua, from ancient missions history up through our time serving there.
We returned to the US, and MAF HQ in 1999 for Dave to serve as Manager of Safety. A few years after that I moved into a role as teacher recruiter mobilizer. It’s been my joy to get to know and assist teachers in their journey to serve with MAF.
We have two sons. Ian lives with us here in Meridian. If you have been around MAF very much you likely have seen his bright smile and heard his infectious laugh.
Evan and his wife, Lona, and two children (amazing and gorgeous children!) live in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, where Evan works for Covington.
I am so thankful to serve alongside the Advocate Team as we complement each other in sharing what God is doing in His kingdom work around the world and inviting others to join in it!
Urbana – Intervarsity’s student missions conference is held every three years between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This year there were about 11,000 attendees – mostly college students.
For the MAF team, that meant leaving home the day after Christmas, (or in Brian Behal’s case, starting the drive from home on Christmas day!) in order to set up our booth and be ready to go by the evening of the 27th
MAF sent a great team which for the first time included MAF Canada representation, with Lowell and Gail Deering (VP of Operations and Recruiting) joining us. That was very appropriate as Ontario was the second largest state/province represented in attendance.
Two previous interns also added current experience and expertise – Amanda Panell worked at the hack alongside Danny Hulls, and Micah Ito joined us at the booth. The rest of the team included Atalie Snyder, Jonathan Young, Doug Harrison from Tech Resources, and Brian Behal, Aaron and Sarah Kramer and Crissie Rask from Mobilization. Once again, at Urbana18, MAF Tech Resources played a key role by hosting a #HackforMissions.
Highlights included the morning inductive Bible studies on Revelation with students, great teaching especially by Rene Breuel, and of course, significant conversations at the booth, and then a side bonus of networking with other ministries represented in the ministry hall.
As most of the Urbana team wearily headed home on January 1, Brian Behal drove off with his truck loaded with the MAF display to Louisville, KY to plunge immediately into the CROSS for the Nations conference. Brian’s wife Pam joined him to represent MAF to the 7500 students at this conference.
Hell is real.
Time is short.
Jesus says, “Go.”
That was the impetus for the first Cross for the Nations conference in 2013. The focus of CROSS, held every two years, is transformation through the Gospel, and particularly on frontier missions.
Brian and Pam were very impressed with how focused and engaged in missions the students were.
AS with all the events we attend, none of the on-site activity could be done without many, many people’s prayers, talents, collaboration, and contributions, for which we are so grateful.
These are a couple of large events, which make a big splash, and hopefully cast a wide net for God’s kingdom. However, we pray that in the more routine and frequent daily interactions, meetings and opportunities we are no less engaged to represent our Lord to those he intends us to invite to join His work through MAF.
“Love Never Fails” is a stunning statement. Since it is scripture, it is both true and truth. Few of us enjoy failure. I know I do not.
I understand failure, losing, and all its friends may reside along the path to success. Thus, in its short form, it has its place in this life. Still, “love never fails“… I really, really light up inside when I ponder this truth. This is where I want to live.
So what does this never-failing love thing look like?
Love never Fails – It Sustains
Never failing love is:
Love Never Fails – It Chooses
Never failing love is not based on how we feel from one moment to the next, but first and foremost is an act of the will. Its motive is not what the object of love brings to the table, but rather comes from a giving place.
Never Failing Love Is A Person
The notion of love is everywhere this month. In fact, Valentine’s Day products filled the shelves of stores as Christmas decorations departed. My first reaction was “seriously?”. Given further thought, I realized: How Appropriate!
We just celebrated the greatest act of Love in all history: The choice of God the Father to send His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate demonstration of Love. It only seems fitting a holiday celebrating Love would follow on its heels however commercialized.
The Way That Love Never Fails
I Corinthians 13 is well-known as the Love chapter. It tells us what Love looks like. Many read it as a “to-do” list or a way one ought to behave if we are to be loving. Of course, that is a part of it. Yet, to stop with this view is at best, shallow, at worst a set up for self-condemnation. Rather incongruous with the “Love never fails” statement it contains.
“God is Love” as stated by the Apostle John. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit = Love. When one substitutes (like in a mathematical equation) “God” for “love” in the description of love like this:
“God is patient and kind; God does not envy or boast; He is not arrogant or rude. He does not insist on His own way; He is not irritable or resentful; He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. God bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love (God) never ends or fails….”
… it provides a fresh view of the character of our Creator God. He is love. He sent Jesus to show us what love really looks like.
Jesus – The Example and Way Maker
So how on earth – literally – can love never fail? The Gospels provide a picture of the heart of the Godhead through the earthly ministry of Jesus: “I only do what I see the Father do, I only say what I hear Him say…” – disease, poverty, sickness, performance religion, fear, demons, oppression, death, all just got up and left when Jesus showed up!
At some time or another, each of us faces circumstances that shout the opposite of victory. In the MAF world, we run to confront those shouts for those who have no idea there is anything else. Often or more accurately, always there is push back. Yet, the truth is, Love never fails.
So today, as I pray, I choose to believe and say “love never fails”, not as a wish or pipe dream, but as truth. Love makes and opens ways. It rearranges things. Love will do a miracle. Love NEVER fails.
Brad and Rebecca Hopkins serve as the Program Manager family in Palangkaraya, the capital of the Indonesian providence of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Click the image image to the right to watch highlights with the MAF Amphibious Kodiak.
For this article, I was asked to tell you about our mission trip to Haiti. But first, I have to tell you about the conspiracy.
I’m not talking chem-trails, a flat earth, or the claim that the 1969 moon landing was actually an elaborate movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.
I’m talking about the Philippians 4:4 conspiracy.
If you aren’t familiar with it, the verse reads, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” (It actually reads that way even if you ARE familiar with it.)
How can I explain this? Do you remember in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when the Richard Dreyfuss character kept seeing the same shape over and over again, wherever he went? It was actually the shape of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. He saw it in a child’s sculpture. In a pile of clay. In his shaving cream. In his mashed potatoes. (That was actually my favorite.)
That was Philippians 4:4 for us. It followed us everywhere we went in Haiti. It’s STILL following me now.
Carwell: Dave Carwell
Our 12-member team landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday, Oct 20. Eight men, four women. I’ll never forget dashing through the busy airport, where MAF’s program manager for Haiti, Dave Carwell, met us.
A word about Carwell: The man knows what’s going on in Haiti. He and his wife Patricia have been serving there for more than 20 years. He has his finger on the pulse of the nation. He’s a long-termer. They trust him. As he led us through the busy airport, Haitian nationals would see him, recognize him, and give him high-fives.
At one point, I was going through customs, and an irritated-looking woman at the desk asked me some questions I was stumped on. She wanted to know the address of where I would be staying. I had no clue. I fumbled. She demanded to know.
Then Dave Carwell stepped in. Her face immediately brightened into a smile. He gestured toward me and said something in Creole. Maybe it was French, I dunno. She nodded, wrote something on one of her forms and waved me through. She liked Carwell – but I could almost feel her rolling her eyes at me as I walked past. Another clueless American.
One of the first things you notice about Haiti is the traffic regulations. There aren’t any.
I don’t think I saw a single stop sign while I was in Haiti. Or traffic lights. When you reach a busy intersection, you just go. Like, whenever you want. Granted, there is that whole physics thing about how two objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time – but that doesn’t stop drivers in Haiti from trying!
Despite the noise and madness, drivers are generally polite and nonplussed about it. Drivers are cheerful and kind. Horn-honking is a continuous form of communication – and it can mean so many different things! Whereas in The States, honking your horn is generally used to express one emotion – anger – in Haiti, it can mean anything from, “Excuse me, could you please get out of my way?” to “Has anyone seen my goat?” or “Hello vendor, I would like to purchase some of that delicious coffee you are selling.”
One thing I was happy to learn is that, in Haiti, there are no prohibitions against riding in the bed of a pickup truck. I used to do that all the time as a kid, before the legal beagles took over here in the States. In Haiti, it’s perfectly fine. So practically every day, I was standing in the back of Dave Carwell’s truck, the wind in my hair, my camera at the ready, shooting video of the sights that sped by. I felt like a kid again.
There were bulls running loose on the side of the road. An artist hanging tapestries. Makeshift shops. A goat munching scraps. I’m pretty sure someone threw a rock at me.
The first night we were there, I got to thinking. Each night, one of us from our team was supposed to prepare a devotion. This was Saturday. My night was Thursday.
I decided I would do my devotion on Philippians 4:4.
The verse reads: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
On Tuesday, several of us piled into a Cessna Caravan, flown by MAF pilot Dave Harms. (NOTE: After meeting Dave Carwell, Dave Harms and MAF pilot Dave Simon, I’m pretty sure a requirement of working with the MAF Haiti program is that you have your Instrument rating, your Commercial rating, an A&P certificate and your first name has to be Dave. The A&P may be optional.)
Harms was going to fly us straight to Jérémie, where we would visit Haiti Bible Mission. If you picture Haiti as a boot, would be on the western-facing “toe.” But due to a last-minute schedule change, he announced that he would instead fly us to a small strip in Port-de-Paix first, where he would offload some passengers. Port-de-Paix is a small village on the northern coast of Haiti.
I did mention that the strip was small, right? According to Wikipedia – that great fountain of knowledge, which is never wrong, except when it is – the strip in Port-de-Paix is “subject to pedestrian traffic.” That means people like to walk on it. They like to drive their motorcycles on it, and push flocks of small animals across it.
It’s “subject to pedestrian traffic.”
Thankfully, MAF is prepared. As Harms skillfully slid the plane into its final approach, men moved out on the airstrip to clear the way. There wasn’t a goat to be seen as Harms gently guided the plane onto the airstrip.
But the poverty there was heartbreaking.
Haiti is a beautiful country – shockingly beautiful in places – but there are parts of it that the nationals don’t want you to see. This was one of them. There was garbage along the sides of the runway, probably because there were no proper facilities nearby where it could be disposed of.
I’ll never forget looking out of the airplane window while we were waiting to take off and seeing some people pull up in a jeep. Children swarmed the jeep as a woman inside opened a bag and began handing something out – probably candy.
When we took off and resumed our flight to Jérémie, Harms got a request across the radio. Could he pick up a child who was suffering from encephalitis and desperately needed medical attention?
According to Mark Stockeland, executive director of Haiti Bible Mission, it’s the kind of thing MAF is asked to do all the time. Haiti Bible Mission is an AMAZING organization that brings volunteer doctors and nurses to Haiti to help serve the medical needs of people living out in the jungle.
“MAF saves – I don’t know how many kids they save per month, per year,” Stockeland said. “We, just our mission here – there are several – are 20-30 times a year calling to say, ‘Hey, can you med-evac this kid? Can you help save a life?’ So the hospital relies on us, and then we rely on MAF. So working together, we’re saving lives. And that ultimately then gives a chance for the Gospel. Because if one of your kids is sick, and we reach out, now you’re more likely gonna hear about Jesus. We say, ‘Hey, do you know Jesus? Because this is like the greatest – this is why we do what we do: because it’s about Jesus.’ It’s a great open door – the partnership with MAF.”
“So we’re huge fans, man. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”
Suffice it to say, things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes you feel like you’re running out of time. Or you end up with the wrong raw materials. Or the wrong materials get delivered the wrong way.
At one point, when things were looking particularly dire, some of us took to complaining.
That’s when one of the Haitian nationals walked by us and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Gentlemen, I just want to thank you for coming all the way here from America and being willing and eager to serve us here in my country.”
“And remember,” he added, “this is the day that The Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
To be fair, he was quoting Psalm 118:24, NOT Philippians 4:4.
You just keep telling yourself that.
Well, we got that concrete project done, with the help of our Haitian friends (and some well-placed favors from The Lord). I know because I can still see the dried concrete in my tennis shoes right now. And I had to throw away my MAF t-shirt because I couldn’t get the concrete out of it. (Hey MAF – I need a new shirt!)
The next day, at lunch in the hangar (where we had those really AWESOME Haitian fruit drinks), Carwell led us in a devotion.
“I’m gonna read from Philippians,” he began.
“It’s not Philippians 4:4, is it?” I may or may not have spontaneously blurted out. I don’t remember if I said it out loud or not.
The verse reads, “Rejoice in The Lord always. Again, I will say, rejoice.”
As I write this, it has been about three months since I returned from Haiti. I’ve had time to digest our little trip. I’ve seen the images posted to social media, and posted a few of my own.
I’ll share with you what I shared the night I gave my devotion.
When you’re in Haiti, one of the things that strikes you is the fact that it’s hard. I don’t mean that the people are difficult or the landscape is harsh. I mean that simple, everyday tasks that we take for granted here in the States are much more complicated – and in some cases undoable – in Haiti.
Take water. When you’re out-and-about in Haiti, you have to plan ahead if you want to have good drinking water. You can’t just go up to a water fountain and take a sip. You have to carry a plastic water bottle and fill up whenever you can – that water bottle may have to last you all day. While drinking water is at a premium, getting COLD drinking water is well nigh impossible.
Electricity is hit-or-miss in Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, the city’s electrical grid was sporadic, often going down several times a day. In Jérémie, there was no electrical grid – and the constant roar of generators became the soundtrack of our lives.
It’s cliché to come back from a mission trip from the Third World and say you have a newfound appreciation for the blessings we have in the States.
I am thankful for clean, cold drinking water. I am thankful for central heating and cooling. I’m thankful that the lights don’t flicker and die several times a day – and that I can visit my favorite hot chicken restaurant and drive roadways with an established and reliable traffic control system.
I am thankful for all of these things. We should be thankful. We are commanded to be thankful.
But are they what we are supposed to rejoice in?
If you haven’t read it, Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in The Lord always. Again, I will say rejoice.”
Rejoice in what? In The Lord.
Jesus gave us another clue when he sent his posse out to preach to the masses in 36 groups of two each. It sounds like they had a lot of success. They probably did some concrete projects. They even cast out demons – sort of like “The Exorcist,” except theologically correct. When they returned, they were (rightfully so!) thrilled at what was accomplished. But Jesus had another check for them:
“Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.” (Luke 10:20 ESV)
The truth of the matter is, we can’t rejoice in our material blessings – or our accomplishments, despite what the self-help gurus and prosperity preachers may tell us. We may not always have clean drinking water. There may not always be food on the table. The Dow Jones may tank. Your political party may fail you. That doctor’s report may not bring the answer you want to hear, no matter how much faith you have.
Even relationships aren’t safe. Just three weeks ago, I lost my older brother to cancer. It is the hardest loss I have ever experienced. Your relationships can last a lifetime – but they can only last a lifetime.
But thank God God gave us something better to rejoice in. We rejoice that we have Him – that He died for us. That he loves us. And that He has a future for us – in this life, and in the next. Even if all our material blessings are taken away tomorrow and the whole world burns around us, we have already been given the greatest Christmas present ever.
Everything is STILL going to be okay.
Because of this, First World Americans could stand next to Third World Haitians and worship together, knowing that we were children of the same gracious Father.
The conspiracy continues.
Two weeks after I returned home from my trip, I was reading a devotion from the One Year Bible. The New Testament passage included Philippians 4:4. (It reads, “Rejoice in The Lord always. Again, I say, rejoice.”)
A few days after that, I was at the Thursday morning “Man Challenge” Bible study. The speaker’s topic? Philippians 4.
Just the other night, I was reading from Psalms 31:7, which declares, “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love…”
There are all kinds of theories as to who is behind the conspiracy. It could be Carwell. I told you the guy was sharp. I just can’t figure out how he could have gotten in touch with the Man Challenge guys.
Or maybe it’s telemarketers. The Haitian government. Aliens. Stanley Kubrick.
Or maybe there’s another option: Maybe it’s the Holy Spirit. Maybe He was trying to tell us something. Maybe He is giving permission for us to rejoice – to enjoy the blessings He has given us, through His love and His Son.
And if you’ve read this far, maybe you should be concerned. Because before I fired this devotion off, prayed that Holy Spirit would work in the lives of the people who read it. Don’t be surprised if – like Richard Dreyfuss – you start seeing the same message in unexpected places.
When you have a Ministry Opportunity scheduled, please add it to the shared MAF calendar. Adding it to the calendar, ensures we use our resources efficiently. We don’t want to have two MAF displays at the same event! Below are the steps to add an event:
Go to the date of your event on the calendar. For this example, our event is 2/16.
Click on the arrow at the top to go your desired month (red circle below)
Make sure your event isn’t already listed (if it is, click on the event and see who created it. If it was your Regional Manager, no worries! If you don’t recognize the name, reach out to your Regional Manager)
Click on the red “Advocate Wing” on left (black circle)
The calendar will remove all the other department calendars, except Advocate Wing
Click on the desired date (for this example, 2/16)
Click “Add+” in the lower right corner of the date box
The Ministry Awareness Team is growing! As of January 7th, Hannah Gardner joined our Ministry Awareness team as an Events Intern. As a senior at Arizona State University, majoring in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Hannah is completing her senior internship with us before she graduates in May. Hannah calls Chandler, Arizona home but has moved to Nampa for the duration of her internship. While in Idaho, she is staying with family friends who live in Meridian and attending Stonehill Church. She will be working closely with Alexis Adams, our Events Manager, on Sun ‘N Fun which she will attend April 2nd–7th, right before she heads back to Arizona for graduation! Though she misses her family back in Arizona very much, the MAF staff have been very welcoming and have made her feel right at home. Hannah is excited for this opportunity to put her schooling and prior nonprofit experience to work to further the ministry of MAF. Hannah feels called to share the hope and healing of Christ’s love with those who are hurting and marginalized, so MAF is a great fit for Hannah. In the three short weeks Hannah has been with us, she has already learned so much and looks forward to all the next nine weeks hold for her!