Prayer Focus for this Month: Our Pilots

MAF PNG currently has 18 pilot families from eight different countries, flying three different types of planes (2 Twin Otters, 3 Cessna Caravans, 6 GA8 Airvans).

Glenys Watson from New Zealand and Tim Neufeld from Canada just arrived in the program. Please pray for both families as they settle into life in PNG and as they spend a few weeks doing language courses and cultural orientation, before settling into the cockpits. Initially both families will be based at Mt Hagen.

For Glenys this means to study and learn to fly the Twin Otter as a First Officer out of our MAF Base at Goroka. Tim is going to be trained to fly the Airvan and will serve mainly in the Western Province as the family moves to our remote MAF base at Rumginae.

From October 23rd until October 25th the annual pilot’s meeting is held in Mt Hagen. The workshops cover many topics such as legally required re-currency training; reviewing standard operating practices; discussing what can be learnt from various incidents and accidents; training for new technologies and equipment that is being introduced. The aim is to raise our standards even higher and make our flights even safer.

These few days are quite intense.

Please pray

  • for good attention, and the ability to process all the information
  • that our operational safety will be boosted
  • for spiritual, as well as technical interaction and networking

Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm saw the entire MAF PNG operation grind to a halt. Planes came to rest, engineers put down their tools, admin staff switched off computers and ground crew gathered in their yellow jackets…

The occasion? The bi-annual MAF International Day of Prayer.

This is a unique and much-anticipated opportunity, which brings MAF staff together not only in PNG but around the world. As a global team, Mission Aviation Fellowship sets aside these prayer days to worship, fellowship and focus again on why we do what we do.

The theme for November was “His Perfect Peace”, and the Mount Hagen team came together to sing, speak, listen and pray as we meditated on this phrase and its implications for our work within the MAF vision and purpose.

What a privilege to gather as a multicultural team of believers, working and serving for His glory in Papua New Guinea!

Watching the MAF promotional video

Preparing to split into prayer groups

Our Country Director shares a word of encouragement

Not even the heavy rain could drown out our enthusiasm!

Several spouses traveled from Hagen town to the Airport to join us

A quiet moment of shared reflection and prayer

Breaking off into smaller prayer groups

Fervent prayer

A giant prayer circle as we draw to a finish

Nawi shares about peace as presented in the Bible

Hudson, John and Merna led us in beautiful worship

Mary closes the event in open prayer and praise

Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea (PNG): Back in September we received an interesting request here at the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) headquarters in Mt. Hagen, Papua New Guinea.

The Yamka community, greater tribal clan(s) living around the area of the airport (Kagamuga), wanted to have a celebration honoring MAF for its more than 65 years of service and commitment to rural communities of PNG.  This would also be an excellent opportunity to share the mission and vision of MAF with those of the community who were new or were unaware of the nature of the ministry.

Work began on organising the first-ever Crusade of its type.  It was planned to be a gathering of more than 30 different churches from across all different denominations.  From Baptist and Lutherans to Nazarenes and Adventists, the plan was to celebrate our commonality in Christ, and to share the mission and vision of MAF.

Praise and worship was a major part of the nightly celebrations!

The crusade started on Monday, November 6th, meeting nightly at 6:30pm and continued through Saturday morning, November 11th, when it culminated with a 9:30am-4pm final celebration.

“I was truly amazed at the enthusiasm, engagement, and passion demonstrated by the community!” shared Todd Aebischer, MAF Papua New Guinea Country Director.  “Night after night, regardless of the weather, the community came out by the hundreds and worshipped the Lord, listened to the word of God, and honored the ministry of MAF.  It was truly a humbling experience.”

Many of the churches gave special presentations – here the theme was, “Go light your world!”

The thanksgiving offering that was given by the community to MAF was unimaginable!  In a rural area of the country where many are subsistence farmers, the people of the Yamka community truly caught the vision of blessing those in isolated communities.  At the finish of the celebration on Saturday, the community presented MAF with a cash offering of 48,419 Kina (19,735 $AUD).

Incredible offering of fruits and vegetables.

This did not include other in-kind donations such as fruits, vegetables, several chickens and two pigs!  The intention is that the cash offering will be the “kick start” money to open a new flying medical / dental work to 9 remote villages in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.  The in-kind offerings are being distributed among various community charities as well as MAF national and expat staff.

Beyond the offerings, perhaps the greatest outcome of this 6-day crusade was a new spirit of unity that was developed within the community!  To see some 30 different churches come together for the common purpose of worshipping the Lord, well…this truly was a blessing beyond belief!

———-

Mission Aviation Fellowship has the vision of sharing the love of Christ through aviation and technology, such that isolated people are physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name.   Each day in pursuit of this vision, MAF-PNG planes make an average of 41 flights, serving 212 airstrips/villages per month, and transporting nearly 500 medical evacuation patients per year.

Thank you to the Yamka Community and to all of our faithful friends, partners, prayer warriors and supporters! Without you – the fulfilment of this Kingdom vision in the highlands of Papua New Guinea would not be possible!

 

“I really want to thank you for flying the S.A.L.T. team to Simbai and Goroka in June. What a blessing! Thanks so much for making it possible for the team to go to Simbai. Thanks for all the effort and for the subsidy!“

MAF didn‘t fly some cooks into remote Simbai to promote a special brand of salt and to teach the people there how to use it in their diet. The group MAF flew put Jesus’ words “You are the salt of the earth“ [Mathew 5:13] into practice, not seasoning people’s meals but more so people’s whole lives!

S.A.L.T. stands for Scripture Application and Leadership Training. It’s a two week Bible course that is run in remote areas. It is mainly taught by Papua New Guinians, which makes the teaching very powerful, since they know the culture and the way the people think.

The quoted thank-you note above, MAF received from Marjan Aubrey, the Pacific S.A.L.T. Coordinator, and continues, “It is so special to work together in God’s Kingdom. It’s special to see that we need each other to reach the people with God’s Word.“

So what happened at Simbai?

From 9-22 June a team of eight S.A.L.T. facilitators were dropped by our MAF plane at at Simbai, Middle Ramu, Madang Province. Then they hiked to a nearby village to run the S.A.L.T. course for the Asai people group. Fred Igami, who was the team leader during the Asai S.A.L.T. course reported:

 

The Lord has done Great Things among the Lives of the People

“The course commenced on Monday morning, 12 June. There were four denominations in the community: Church of Christ (the hosting church), Anglican, Baptist, and Christ for the Nation.

Monday afternoon Fred received a text message from Crystal, the interim Pacific S.A.L.T. Manager  who is organizing all the logistics for our team.  MAF changed the schedule of our return trip, from 26 June to 22 June, because of national elections. So I told the team and the course participants to teach three lessons each day, including Saturday.

At the back is Fred Igami, who was the team leader during the Simbai S.A.L.T. course. In the front is Keh Kudadi, who also was part of the Simbai team. This picture was taken during a training for our team members themselves.

We had a total of 28 participants registered to attend the course, but every day there were more than 40 to 60 people who came to hear all the teachings. As a result Praise God, while we were continuing the teaching each day, the Holy Spirit convinced the hearts of many. During one of the morning reviews, 11 people brought drugs and tobacco, and surrendered themselves, confessed sins and asked forgiveness and gave their lives to God.

At the next morning review, another eight people surrendered and gave their lives to God. On Sunday the 19th the local pastor from the Church of Christ told the S.A.L.T. team to lead praise and worship and to share the Word of God. So we took over and led the service. Another five people surrendered and gave their lives to God.

The total number of 24 souls gave their lives to God. It is so great and awesome that God is doing great things within the lives of the people out there. My observation is,“ Fred concludes, “that the harvest is plentiful, but the believers in the remote areas lack well-trained pastors and leaders to reap the harvest. The team requests prayer for the Asai people, for the Word of God to take root in their hearts and to produce fruit.“

During one of the S.A.L.T. lessons (this picture was taken in a neighboring language in the same area)

After a S.A.L.T. course the participants are asked to do an outreach as part of the S.A.L.T. training. They have to go to another village and teach one of the lessons they received the previous weeks. By teaching others they’ll get encouraged in their leadership roles and do not only receive teaching. In that way the S.A.L.T. concept applies what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.“

Fred continues, “we divided the participants of the course into groups of four people going to different surrounding villages and different churches: one for the Baptist church, one for the Anglican church, and two for the Church of Christ. The audience that come to these outreaches have not been part of the S.A.L.T. course. The total number of 134 adults and 80 children attended the different outreach services and heard the Word of God, which was basically one lesson from the S.A.L.T. course“.

Afterwards, church leaders and other people in the community who had chosen to be occupied with the ongoing election affairs, and didn’t come to the course told us that they did regret it. Therefore they requested that we should come back and help them still hear the teaching, if possible. During the graduation day a community representative said, “All course participants are like a bush knife that has no sharpness; some are blind and cannot see the light. Thank God that He sent the S.A.L.T. team to come and help us. Now we can go back as bush knives, sharpened and ready to use. Light has come into our community“.

MAF’s purpose and vision are to share God’s love through aviation and technology so that isolated people are physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name. Partnering with the S.A.L.T. team to provide air service for their teams to reach out to remote communities like Simbai is like our aircrafts becoming a salt supplier, helping to season people’s lives with God’s Word.

 

S.A.L.T.

  • The Pacific S.A.L.T. course is a two week intensive Scripture Use workshop conducted in the village at the request of local church leaders. 
  • S.A.L.T. seeks to encourage a love and wonder of the Scriptures among language communities and to equip local pastors and village leaders to effectively use the translated Scriptures. 
  • S.A.L.T. encourages the study of the Scriptures in their own heart language in order that language communities may develop an understanding of the Scriptures and develop a Christian worldview.
  • HERE you can find out more about the history and impact of S.A.L.T. in Papua New Guinea.

 

Story Mandy Glass. Photos provided by Marian Aubrey/ S.A.L.T.