Friday, July 22, 2011

What we love about MAF Candidacy*

We love:
That candidates are excited to be here...we are excited to see them!

Watching candidates bond with each other and form community,knowing some of them will become family to each other on the field.

Seeing two-year old toddlers (MKs to be) becoming buddies and running around MAF.

Hearing how God led individuals and couples - opening the door for them to use their talents through MAF.

Feeling the energy in the building with young families here.

The zeal and conviction of God's call to share His love with the nations.

Observing a wonderful mix of confidence (God called me to this!) and trepidation (will I fit, pass, be approved?).

Watching as candidates work out their personal call, desires, perception (often in regard to geographical assignments) alongside MAF's direction and leadership through the candidate committee.

A chance to role play some fun scenarios along with about 50 MAF staff, giving candidates a taste of overseas life.

These weeks are good times - and soon these candidates will go out and invite friends, families, and churches to partner with them to share the love of Jesus Christ with isolated people.
Just as we at MAF HQ are part of the process of sending them, they also need those who will stand with them financially and in prayer as they go.

*Candidacy - the two week non-technical assessment and training classes held prior to accepting new MAF member staff. Technical evaluation is completed prior to candidacy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fly Right to Bring Light, Live it to Bring it!

In reading through Brother Lawrence's "The Practice of the Presence of God" lately I've been challenged to think through my daily walk with God and how much I tend to ignore Him, especially when life is hectic and busy. Brother Lawrence challenges us to consider Him in every aspect of life. Today in reading the 'Tenth Letter' I was again challenged with these words. "Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often of GOD, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone, who came to visit you: why then must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him, but think on Him often, adore Him continually, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a Christian; in a word, this is our profession, if we do not know it we must learn it."

The ministry of a Christian, and of an MAF pilot, is to live the Light of Christ before all men. How you do your work in your workplace, wherever that may be, must be in a way that reflects who Christ is. So often we get tied up in what we feel must be done and the hurdles in getting that done often make us miss the opportunities that Christ has given us to 'shine His light'. The challenge for me is to not put myself first (get in front of that next car, beat that person to the checkout counter, etc, etc,) but take the opportunity to talk to people in line, give them the spot, let them go ahead of you, and in so doing, "die to self" and let Christ be glorified. I've also seen that this attitude helps me stay in check about how 'pushed' I am by my agenda, deadlines, and expectations. I'm very slowly learning to relax and enjoy the ride that Christ would have me take, rather than be pushed by the high paced expectation of the 'American life'.

On a recent survey just started by MAF I saw one reponse concerning "What is the hardest adjustment when going to another culture?" as being "coming home.” I resonated with that because of the pace of life and the priority on relationships that we experienced in the Indonesian culture. It’s a piece we currently really miss while serving in the US. Since our mandate from Christ is to reach 'people' from every tribe, tongue and nation, it's important that we put other people as priority before ourselves, and listen to our creator who will give us daily opportunities to share our faith, if we'll just stop running so fast in, and around, and through the crowds of poeple around us.

Even as an MAF pilot, we can blow our chances to share Christ with our business, or we can step back and let Christ show us those opportunities He alone wants to give us.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bible? Why Bible?

Believe it or not, I've actually heard this question from someone who was interested in joining MAF!

You see, one of the requirements to join MAF is that a candidate (both husband and wife if married) must have 12 hours of college level Bible credits (or equivalent Bible training). Some Missionary Aviation organizations don't have this requirement, but I for one am glad that we do.

Because it's not about airplanes - well at least not primarily. Our FIRST name is Mission while our MIDDLE name is Aviation. And to me that's the right order. We are all missionaries FIRST and then Pilots (or Mechanics, or Teachers, or Computer Specialists, or Business & Finance folks, etc.).

And to be a good missionary, to be an authentic incarnational presence of Jesus, you have to have a good grasp of the Bible. You have to understand that we were Created, that we Sinned, and that God has a magnificient plan to Reconcile all of us back to Himself through the Person and work of His Only Son, Jesus Christ.

Not only do you have to have a good grasp of the basic doctrines of the Bible, you also have to be able to explain those to someone else - to be able to clearly share the gospel message (by your life and actions, to be sure; using words if necessary). Now transfer all that to a second language! If your knowledge and understanding is a bit shaky in your mother tongue, what will it sound like in Spanish (or French, Russian, Indonesian, etc., etc.)?

I also tell prospective candidates that even if you never go to the Mission Field, formal Bible training will prepare you to better live the Christian Life in a God-honoring way, will deepen your faith, and will exercise your mind.

So those are some of the reasons why we require the Bible credits. If you have any questions about that I'd be glad to talk to you - just drop me a line. Until then, happy studying!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SMAT opens new facility.

Last Friday, June 17th, I had the privilege of being at SMAT (School of Missionary Aviation Technology) for their ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the new facility. The new building was made possible through grants and donations. Part of the plan in the move from Lowell to Ionia; the new facilities will enhance safety and allow for greater expansion of both the maintenance and flight training programs.

Several recent alumni are now serving with MAF. We look forward to the continuing excellence and God fearing attitudes that SMAT graduates bring with them. SMAT offers both flight training and A&P training. The A&P program is a one year program that runs from August to August. For more information visit the website at

Monday, June 13, 2011

Vision Trip ?

Some of you may not know that MAF sends out a lot of college students each summer to vist many of the MAF Bases overseas. Some of the colleges are even requiring it for the student to graduate. The Vision trip is a chance to see MAF in action and up-close. Students will get to spend two weeks with a MAF family on the foreign field of their choice. Some of the countries visited this year are, Indonesia, Mexico and Africa. The student will get to see what a MAF pilot does everyday and how they live as a family in very remote areas of the world. There may be projects around the MAF Base that you can help with or even get to help with the MAF aircraft. The students will get to make one or more flights on a MAF aircraft and get a great cross-cultural experience by visitng one or more of the villages interior. So far, the students returning from their trips say, it is something they will never forget ! For MAF, we hope they will return to MAF after graduation to be MAF pilots themselves someday. MAF's travel department will provide the airline tickets, Visa needs for the country you will visit and MAF will also provide an account for you to use when raising money for you trip. If your supporters for your trip would like to send their money to MAF, we will provide them with a tax-deductible receipt for their gift to you. You will also get a weekly computer readout of how much money came to your account and who was the sender so you can write them Thank-you notes. Your supporters are a very important part of your trip. Note only do they give gifts of money but they will pray for you too. This also sets up a relationship that you can have later on when you join MAF and they may become your full time supporters during your ministry with MAF. I have had some of the same supporters for over 30 years. They become like a family to you and follow your ministry through your many years of serving overseas. During your two week trip, the Lord may use this time to confirm your service as a Missionary Pilot or may even close the door and direct you to another ministry. Next summer, come see-feel-taste missions in action and see close-up how God is using the Airplane and Communications to take God's Word to the most remote places of the earth. Come see how we help make possible that Missionaries and their families can stay for long periods of time in very remote jungles and mountains, and even good education for their children too. So, hope to see you next summer on a MAF Vision trip !!

Blessings, Capt Hook

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MAF as Family

MAF and a family have a lot in common. In a family we have our favorite cousins and crotchety old uncle, a close brother and one who thinks so different from us that we wonder how we could be in the same family. Well, that is how it is in MAF. We have learned to respect and appreciate each other and yet may still have disagreements. We don't give up on one another however, since we are family. Relationships are the key to effective ministry, even in a technical mission like MAF.

I am often asked what MAF is like since it is the largest mission aviation organization out there. Some wonder if they will get lost in a larger organization and not get to know one another.

I have always said we have the best of both worlds - big enough to be a great resource for the field operations, yet our field programs are small enough that each staff has an impact on how the program runs. And, like a family, we rely on each other and learn to trust and accept each other.

This whole family thing is especially clear to me today as I returned from a funeral of one of my aunts. Our family got together and we focused on what we have in common and not what made us different. We appreciated each other in all our uniqueness and were able to encourage each other with love and care, because we are family.

MAF is like that too, not perfect but we care for each other.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Graduation time!!


Tis the season for many to graduate. This time in your life is one that's mixed with celebrations for training accomplished, goals reached, and in some cases, the end of formal schooling!! But like most changes in routines and schedules come the challenge to re-establish our most important routines, the ones that maintain our most important relationships. I know for my wife and I, even vacation interrupts our devotion routines, and it’s hard to maintain those routines. However, it is very important to quickly establish new routines as things change in our lives so that those times with our Heavenly Father, our spouse, and close friends does not wane. The bigger challenge as I remember it for this time of graduating, is that you are probably leaving a routine that is established by school schedules, and moving into a time when you have more control of your schedule, but that schedule could also change more frequently than usual as you move ahead. My challenge to you is to make sure you do not lose the critical routine of spending quality time with your Lord each morning, so that you stay centered on what is important for each day. Make it a priority, no matter what you think your day is going to demand of you. Time with the Lord will help you maintain a correct perspective on whatever the day will bring your way.

God bless each and every one of you graduates! God has great plans for you, so let Him lead the way. The journey ahead is full of His promises. Jer 29:11 (NIV) “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” As our pastor’s summer theme is: God is Here, He is in charge, and He has a plan. Stay connected to Him so that your plans are in line with His plans!
Perry Pust