Can you tell me a little about your family?
My husband is from Chimbu, part of the Highlands. His name is Timothy, he is a pharmacist by profession. We have 3 children.
My daughter will be 22 this year and she is doing her final year in law school at the University of Papua New Guinea. My son is 20 and is doing third-year school of medicine in the University of PNG. My younger son will be 16 years old in September and is doing his third year in a secondary school in Mt. Hagen. He says, “When I finish school I’ll become an engineer.”
I thank God for them always. God has done amazing things like keeping us together even though we’ve had trials and temptations along the way. He has blessed us.
How did you find out about MAF?
My dad was a Pioneer Lutheran missionary teacher from the coast up to the Highlands. He told stories about flying with MAF. They normally used MAF when it was called Mission Balus and the colours were gold and brown. MAF was the only transportation.
How did God call you to join MAF?
Before joining MAF I was with my husband Timothy, who works as a pharmacist, and we were based in a rural hospital in a mining centre called Porgera. That’s very far from Mt. Hagen and I worked as a medical secretary in the mining hospital. We worked for 8 years there and had 3 children. Then we moved to Mt. Hagen and my husband began working for the government in the area medical store in Mt. Hagen. I was without a job, so my husband told me, “Just stay at home. I’ll go to work and we will pray and God will provide a good job.”
There was a time when my husband saw on a news advertisement that there was a position at the reception at MAF so he applied my papers for me. He said, “I have peace in this and we don’t have to pay them for it.” So I came and interviewed on Wednesday or Thursday. And they called on Friday and said, “Lydia you have the job for a receptionist!” So I was just praising God.
I joined MAF and started work as a receptionist on 17th October 2007.
I’m glad to work for MAF. I worked faithfully at what I did at the reception. It wasn’t like working out there directly with the people, but what I did – transferring calls to operations and people were saved – it’s like doing what God called me to do and I really liked being there.
What is your role with MAF in PNG? What does that look like as you go about day-to-day tasks?
Currently, I’m working as Quality Manager.
Its, tough… I have to get everything certified by the regulators, especially the manuals, within the timeframe (usually 30 days). I also have to have the aircraft documents correctly updated and information sent to staff accurate and correct. We have 9 bases in PNG, so I do audits to keep compliance with our procedure and our regulators as well. English is my second or third language so writing reports can be difficult.
What is the most enjoyable or rewarding part of your job?
Every day is a learning process. The most enjoyable part is if I don’t know something I go to the subject-expert-master and get the information. When they answer and give the information I need that is the most interesting part. Also, I am not a technical person or aviation person, I came from administration, so I’m learning new things.
What is something people might not know about you?
I would say I never dreamed of becoming a manager one day. My education is secretarial school to do clerical jobs. This little talent God has given me has been used to do greater things. I didn’t dream of becoming a manager one day and here I am. I thank God for using people like Todd to encourage me. He inspires me and others as well. In PNG we have a custom that men are superior. But MAF doesn’t have that. The bosses have the eyes of Jesus that all people are equal and men and women are equal and anyone can become managers. So as long as I have the strength and am working I will work for MAF.
What does MAF mean to you? How do you describe MAF to others?
Don’t think it’s a company that’s here to make money. I tell them MAF is a mission. Understand that, and that is it. Mission is extending God’s kingdom. MAF uses aviation technology, in pidgin we call it Balus, and we use it to transport medicine, teachers, and health equipment. We are bringing the kingdom of God. It’s like a church. Churches are meant to transform people’s lives and that’s what MAF does.