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