Connecting The Dots – Kingdom Style, Taking the Long View on Seeds Sown

“Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.”  Luke 13:18-19

Summertime brings trips, vacations, reunions, fly-ins and all sorts of non-routine activities.  Along with the much-needed R and R break from the routine, I find the Lord ordering my steps in it all. In July, my husband and I attended a couple of mini-family gatherings and a pre-50th meet-up of his high school Fraternity.

These events could seem just things to do, places to go and isolated dates on the calendar, but I found a theme running through it.  One example is the 50-year meet-up.

This gathering of my husband’s high school chums brought the usual reminiscing and telling tales.  You see, this “fraternity” was a late 60’s version of a gang.  It was not legal as far as the school was concerned.  Most of the activities were questionable at best for this was B.C., before Christ.  Several almost did not graduate due to a particular caper I will not go into here.

After high school, the gang went their separate ways for the most part but stayed in touch.  Then, David, my husband received Jesus as Lord and Savior.  He was the first of the group to do so, and the change was noted among the others.

At one point, shortly after he was saved, David decided to drop by and see the mother of one of two of the boys (twins). During the visit, he told her his testimony.   She relayed that to one of the twins, Dennis.  He says he was so taken by David’s kindness in visiting his mom and of her witness to the change in David, that a seed was sown in his heart.  Some years later, he accepted Christ.

Dennis went on to bible school and he and his wife have served in Hanoi as missionaries for over 25 years.  Dennis also led the father of one of the other guys to the Lord, which resulted in Scott, the son, receiving Christ.  Four down – six to go….

As we gathered that Sunday, we all marveled that:

1)  This group of trouble makers had survived at all given the antics they go up to.

2)  A missionary and an ordained minister emerged from the group and the rest are productive members of society.

3) At the way the Lord seeks and saves the lost – the extent to which He will go is amazing.

I was also able to share my advocate role at MAF which opened up even more conversations. Summertime seeds.

Seeds: a kind word, a visit, a card, a phone call, a prayer.  How our Lord takes the smallest of actions, a weaves together a story, even a 50-year-long one.

~By Nancy Cullen, Advocate in Wichita, KS

It’s Here! 2019 Second Quarter AIR

Each quarter, the Advocate Wing takes a step back to acknowledge how God has used our Advocates! Each presentation you give, each one-on-one discussion you have, and each Ministry Opportunity Report (MOR) form you complete are evidence of God answering our prayer. The Advocate Wing Leadership Team prays for God to open doors for you to share MAF and He does!

Click HERE to check out the latest Advocate Impact Report for 2019!

 

Additional Notes!

  • Why are MOR’s so important? Click HERE to read Mike Snodgrass’ recent article on this topic!
  • Send in pictures!!!! A picture speaks a thousand words, as they say! We want to share how God is using our Advocates! Make sure you take pictures and send them our way for future reports! Email your photos advocatewing@maf.org and reference the corresponding Ministry Opportunity.

 

 

The A-B-C’s of the Advocate Teacher Project

We are launching a project exclusively with the Advocate Wing to invest in MAF’s invaluable team of teachers. Teachers invest in missionary families in countless ways, enabling long-term overseas service and providing quality education for our amazing Missionary Kids (MKs).

In addition to the multiple teachers already on the field, three new teachers will head overseas this month. Praise the Lord for His provision of staff! Let’s celebrate and pray for open doors to share about this investment opportunity.

With a nod to our elementary school years, here’s the break down of this project.

 

A – Achievable

Our goal is to raise $50,000 for the upcoming school year to help cover the cost of placing teachers on the field. If each Advocate aimed to raise $500 this month, the goal would be more than met!

 

B – Bolstering

We can bolster our teachers and encourage them as they work hard for our MKs.

 

 

 

C – Crucial

Time for support raising is often short for teachers as they need to arrive before school begins. Teachers’ ministry is essential for keeping missionary families on our bases, and they need financial support to fill these roles.

On behalf of our teachers and the Ministry Partnership Department, thank you for investing in the Advocate Teacher Project! Click HERE for a video message from some of our teachers heading out onto the field!

 

MAF Aviation Camp 2019

This year I had the amazing opportunity and privilege of participating as a flight instructor at the MAF Aviation Adventure Camp. This camp is a truly unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for teens interested in aviation. The week begins with 12 high school aged teens meeting, most of them for the first time, at the MAF headquarters in Nampa and riding on a bus for 2+ hours along highway 55 northbound to Cascade, Idaho.

The camp is primarily geared towards aviation. The days consist of flight and ground school instruction, building gliders, learning about ground and air navigation, as well as many other adventurous non-aviation activities. The days are packed full. We are going from sunrise until bedtime and the week flies by (pun intended!)

When the kids arrived at camp, I really had no idea what to expect. I volunteered for the camp last minute and was excited to see what God had in store for the week. The bus arrived Sunday evening at “The Depot” in Cascade. Twelve kids piled off the bus full of energy and enthusiasm. You would never know the kids just met three hours earlier. The activities commenced immediately, with team building and ice-breaker games after dinner.

Starting Monday morning, each student got a half-hour flight lesson with a CFI. The rest of the morning was spent building a glider, which was later used for flight competitions. Over the course of the week, the students learn to taxi, take-off, maneuver, navigate, and land an airplane. This is an amazing accomplishment for just one week of flight training! Each student showed incredible personal motivation and maturity in their ability to learn, participate and grow throughout the week both as an aviator as well as a Christian.

Every day, along with the aviation activities, we had morning devotions and evening speakers. We heard from MAF pilots who spent most of their lives serving Christ in other countries through aviation and technology. The students were able to hear firsthand, miraculous and inspiring stories about how God has used, and is currently using MAF around the world to share God’s love and mercy with people who otherwise would never even have heard the name of God. The campers also learned about schools such as Moody Aviation, that equip their graduates with all the tools and skills needed to apply to be a pilot/mechanic for Mission Aviation Fellowship.

The week gives students a full dose of what MAF stands for, the real-life application flying for MAF, and how they can be involved even right now. As an Advocate, I was able to share with the campers how even as a civilian charter pilot I have opportunities almost daily to share about MAF and be a witness for people around me. I was so honored to be able to spend a week working alongside MAF staff and volunteers, who give 110% of themselves every day to further the kingdom of God. I know each one of our campers left camp feeling enthused for their futures and I cannot wait to see how God uses them.

 

 

By Rebakah Walsh

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gAuMzYucRw&t=3s

To give to this project click here: www.maf.org/teacherproject

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

CHALLENGE:

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 (12 – 5 Years and 5 – 10 Years) Advocates were able to join us for this celebration!

Advocate Marvin Brown – Celebrating 10 years!
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