Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Missions

I grew up in a small town, where Santa came on the train (my uncle) to the town square and Christmas music played from the courthouse tower. Never in my wildest dreams did I think of Christmas deep in the jungle of Borneo or that is where I would spend many Christmas times to come in my life ! No snow, just Heat and lots of it. Nothing felt the same about Christmas in the jungle, yet for one thing. That birth, the Son of God, in the heat or the cold, I still had those same feelings. I missed all the traditions that I grew up with but no matter what country I was in or what language or Hot or Cold, Christmas was still about the Christ child. The whole reason that I and my family were sweating on Christmas day in the middle of the jungle. It was just as good and now that I was out there serving as a missionary pilot it even made it better. My kids, its all they know growing up and their memories are of Christmas in the jungle and nothing like mine growing up. We took the airplane out to the missionaries bringing gifts from home and my wife's cookies too. That C-185 made a great sleigh.
Christmas is Christmas no matter where you are in the world. Hope your Christmas was Christmas wherever you are this year. Capt Hook

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Missionary Aviation still needed?

It is asked everywhere I go and it is a very legitimate question "Is Missionary Aviation still needed?" Before someone applies to a school, changes careers, or leaves a good paying job to go back to school, it is good to know if what you want to do is needed and you have a place to go when you graduate.

The quick answer to that question is YES! I have been in recruiting now for over 15 years and I have never had to tell someone that met our requirements and qualified through our technical evaluation that there was not a place for them. One of the limiting factors for us in our ministry is the lack of personnel to accomplish the work.

Pilot/Mechanics and Maintenance Specialists are needed all over the world on our programs, as well as with other missions. We want to continue to encourage people to move forward in this niche of Christian missions that allows people to use their specific gifting and talents in aviation for the glory of God. If you love aviation and you love Jesus, what could possibly be better? Now you know you are needed.

Have great Christmas as we celebrate our Lord's earthly birth.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Recruiting or Guidance????

From the Recruiting Department, we often reflect on the fact that we are not traditional "recruiters" that are trying to get anyone and everyone into the organization. As I tell "recruits" frequently, "Getting you into MAF is God's job, not mine!" We see our job more as guidance counselors, helping you with determining if MAF is the 'fit' for you, what a good training plan might be for service with MAF, encouragement along the way, and to make sure you're getting all the required 'stuff' into your training plan.

There are so many great organization out there that one could serve with, and sorting that out for you is one of the tough issues. We're here to help and to point out some other options if you're not sure MAF is the way to go for you. Our main objective is to help you move towards what God has called you to do and we in no way can pretend to know what that direction is. God will make that clear in your own heart and mind. That passage in the Bible that talks about the "peace that passes all understanding" comes to mind here! You will experience that peace when you know it's right for you to go with a specific organization. Just because MAF is the largest with the most opportunities does not mean it's for you.

Contact your local recruiter and learn more about MAF, options for training, and hear their stories of service within MAF and our working relationships with many other organizations!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

As I sit here at my desk this cold, snowy morning planning another recruiting trip it seems as if I just got back from one. :) The week before Thanksgiving I did a whirlwind trip (1700 miles in 5 days) where I had lunch and dinner with a different recruit each day (sometimes breakfast or afternoon coffee too) where I visited 2 colleges (and drove past 3 more that I didn't have time to stop at) and got home worn out.

And it would be easy to sound like I'm complaining but I'm actually thankful. In fact, one of our family traditions before our Thanksgiving day meal is to go around the table before we eat and say what we're thankful for. We actually went around 4 times this year (it's great to have adult children!) and one of the times I mentioned that I am thankful for the work the Lord has given me to do.

You see, I remember back when I was first investigating what being a missionary aviator was all about. I had lots of questions and not many answers. And I wasn’t even sure where to go for some of the answers. But I also remember a few "older" folks from various mission organizations patiently answering my myriad questions. And if they didn’t have the answer, they would find out for me.

I also remember how God used those answers and those people to direct me into the ministry He had for our family. So when I am tempted to self-pity God always reminds me of how He is in control and that He can use "even me" to help young men and women get to the mission field.

One of those young people has been talking to me for about 2 years. It seemed as if there was a roadblock in the way of his heading to MAF. But a conference call later all was cleared up and he is actually doing his Technical Evaluation this week (that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen it happen, and can only say that it’s DEFINITELY a God thing since it usually takes a minimum of 6 weeks to get a TE scheduled!).

Another was a young man that I’d never met before but have been corresponding with via email for 6 months. The only time I could fit into my schedule was breakfast. The young man is in A&P school which starts at 7 so we got together at 6 to answer all the questions he had.

I could write about each person I met with, but I think you get the idea. Sometimes I get jealous and wish I was 30 years younger so I could go do what these folks are just heading into. But then I remember what one of the Godly men who mentored me along the way used to say: “God’s timing is ALWAYS perfect – not often early but NEVER late!”.

As we go about our daily tasks, let’s all remember that HE is in control and He is always on time.

Brian, for the recruiting team

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Full Circle

One of the good things about getting OLD is that it lets you have time to look back in life and still be able to see the future. I have been with MAF a long time now and at this stage of life and age, I have the joy of seeing a long process come full circle within MAF. After many years of flying overseas I returned to MAF Headquarters to be a part of the MAF Flight Department to train the new pilots coming into MAF. Not only did I provide the technical part of flying but also had the chance to tell them my many stories of life as a Missionary Pilot. I also told them of the mistakes that I had made and problems to watch out for on the foreign field, in hope that they would remember to watch out and not make the same mistakes when they were flying on the Mission field. One special young man that I got to train and prepare was way beyond most of the new pilots that we usually get right out of college. He was always interested in what I had to say and when I corrected his flying he always tried to do better the next day. I went out of my way to share everything I could to help him in the year of training, flying in the mountains and landing on very remote jungle airstrips. Soon he and his family were off to Indonesia where I had flown for so many years and I followed his prayer letters with much interest for many years. Before I knew it - he was returning to the U.S. MAF Headquarters to be an instructor pilot just like me. I was now watching him give of himself to the new training pilots coming into MAF and he was now sharing his stories with them as I had once done with him. Yes, it has now come full circle to see the next generation of MAF Pilots going overseas for their first time - to share their ministry of aviation for those serving in the most remote areas of this earth. A ministry of telling the remote far off people that Jesus has lived and died for them too ! As I passed him the other day walking through the hanger, we saw each other and we both looked and gave a smile. A smile that we both knew the joy of training and sending out new missionary pilots. It will be a long time till he sees them coming back again and training others like himself and then feeling good about being the OLD guy in the hanger.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Debt Advantage" - Part II

Last week we talked about the job skills that you could gain during the years you are paying off your debt. This week, I'd like to address some other skills that will greatly benefit you in your ministry.

The area I'd like to address would be catagorized as "living skills". One way to make good use of the years during debt payoff is to work on developing a solid Christian lifestyle. What does that mean? To some the challenge is not to fall into the 'materialistic' culture mode, especially once out of college and having a job with a steady income. The tendancy is to move up the ladder a bit from those college days of scrimping by, and enjoying a bit of 'freedom' in finances, lifestyle, and enjoyment. These things out of proportion can rob you of ever getting to the field. Remember that you will need to pay at least double if not triple on your college loans if you ever want to set foot in the direction God has called you. Live on a strict budget, and learn what that looks like and how it can help you navigate your financial challenges.

Another living skill is to learn how to (monthly) balance your checkbook, and your budget book. Shop on your budget, and learn how to cut costs on meals through more 'from scratch' cooking, looking for sales, coupon shopping, shopping with lists not hunger, etc. All these will be great lesssons to use for the rest of your life.

When you have to make a larger purchase like a newer car, stereo, that desired motorbike, make a wise choice in light of your situation and budget. "Do we really need a second car, or is there a way we can make one work for the both of us?" Rather than the cool SUV, motorbike or sports car, how about a more economical gas saver type? (You'll probably ride motorbikes all the time on the missionfield anyway, you don't need it now.)

Don't forget to tithe! Just because it seems you have no extra cash and are living on a very tight budget, that does not mean you can neglect the obedience of tything. I've never seen anyone that can out give God. Give your first 10th to God and the 90% will reach farther anyway. Also, begin your savings plan if you have not already done so. Don't spend every cent you have. Leave some margin for the unexpected. That's what a budget will do for you. Stick with it.

One last thing, if not already established, develop and maintain a daily exercise routine. Walk a lot. You don't always have to drive to the corner market for the big shopping trip. Make multiple trips over several days, getting a bit of your shoppping list each time, an amount you can easily carry home. Carrying what you buy, helps keep you from impulse buying, and saves you money, plus the benefit of the exercise.

Here's to each of you that find yourselves stalled in the "debt" gap. Use it to your advantage, and learn good living skills that will carry you through, not only in this gap, but for the rest of your life.

Perry Pust
Your NW Recruiter

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Need Flight Time?
Are you trying to meet the MAF High Performance flight time requirement? Do you have your Commercial, maybe even a CFII, but your Total Time is still around 300 hours. Not enough to meet MAF’s minimum of 400 hours TT. If you are in one or both of these situations I may have some answers. Contact me at Tell me what your need is and I will share with you some options.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Debt Advantage - Part 1

Most students headed towards missions these days end up with debt that needs to be paid off before they can be accepted into the mission agency of their choice. More and more this is the case, and the debt is most often seen as a barrier or hinderance that sometime, more often than not, stops them from ever reaching their goal of missionary service. I recently listened to a webinar regarding this called the Debt Advantage. Let me share some of the highlights of this seminar in three parts over the next three weeks. If you're in this catagory, or will be, take heed!

So you have some time in which you will have to pay off debts. How do you navigate this successfully with out getting "off track" and never making it to the field? (Many do, so pay attention!) One of the first things is to remember that if you have been following God faithfully during your training phase, going to the school He has lead you to, then debt might also be part of that plan, not that God looks favoriably on debt, but in our American school system, debt is almost ineffitable as schooling has to be paid in full on the schools time table, not yours in a four year degree program. So, how can you best take advantage of this time in which you are paying off those debts? Since debt is part of your journey, you must seek God's plan in how to best use this time. Getting to the mission field must remain primary in your focus and goals, but just like training took time, so will debt reduction. Just like you maintained focus throughout your training, you will have to also remain focused, probably even more so during this phase, because life itself will take on more challenges to stay focused. In the past four years or so of training, the curriculum and school schedule kept you on track, but now it's going to be more up to you to stay on track and make the best use of this time. Your #1 priority during this time is to set yourself up to make the debt go away as quickly as possible. To do this, you will need to seek out the best paying job you can find and budget yourself to make at least double payments if not triple on the school debt after your living expenses. You cannot pay the minimum and ever get to the field. Some criteria for your job should be one that is not overly stressful as it will rob you of energy to stay focused and involved in ministry and other training options I will mention later. Do not work on Sunday so that you can regularly be involved in and participate in Church, building relationships and gaining ministry experience that will later benefit you on the mission field. Look at your current job as your current mission field and training ground for such. Here again let me emphasis that this in itself can easily become a distraction thinking that this current ministry is your future ministry, when in reality it's just the training ground for your future ministry. Stay focused on God's call on your life, and use this time to fully prepare and get some good experience.

More next week on more advantages to the debt payoff time period!

Perry Pust - MAF NW Recruiter

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SMAT (School of Misisonary Aviation Technology)

At SMAT This years A&P class is well underway. Their one year A&P program runs from August to August. Construction of their new Office, class room, and lab facilities also began this past August. The new facility will be a great home for the A&P program. It will also free up current hangar space for the flight training department.
SMAT offers a one year A&P program as well as flexible flight training. You can check out their website at

Monday, October 4, 2010

Have you seen any fruit

Every Wed is Chapel Day here at MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. But this Chapel Day was very special for me as a MAF pilot. We had two missionaries that spoke to us and shared a film about the arrival of the New Testament in their own language. These two missionaries had served many years on the island of Papua. A very remote village by the name of Korapun with a one-way airstrip on the side of a mountain in a small valley in Indonesia. MAF has served these missionaries for over 30 plus years. I was one of the many MAF pilots that made many flights into that airstrip to provide the food, supplies, a hydro-electric water system to make it possible to use a computer and have electric lights at night and so much more over those many years. During 15 of those years the missionaries were translating Gods Word into the language of the Kimyal people of that valley. 15 years of hard labor so that they now have and can read His Word in their own language. I am just a pilot/mechanic but I am also a part of the Body of Christ and todays Chapel brought into focus all that we do as an aviation ministry within MAF and world-wide Missionary Aviation.

Each of us in the Body of Christ have a special gift and ours is a very technical one but MAF has been a very important part in bringing Gods Word to the Kimyal people today. A eternal gift to them. As tears ran down my checks, I truly understand the need for all the parts to work in that Body, yes even pilots and mechanics. The years of training, raising support, living in a different cultural and language, seperation from our families in the States for long periods of time, yet all of that and more was worth every minute to see the faces of the Kimyal people as they looked and understood for the first time the Word of God in their own language. We have always had the Bible in our language to read and I even have over seven translations in my own home to reference ! Do I think each time I open Gods Word what a wonderful gift we have, is it the same joy I see on the faces of the Kimyal people on that DVD ??

Not only I have now seen one New Testament completed in a life time but have news of another in a different part of Indonesia that I flew for many years ago ! That's why I am in MAF and if I could, I would do it ALL again. Capt Hook

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Don't Crash and Burn - Situational Awareness

Pilots have the mantra, "Aviate, Navigate and Communicate!" or, "No matter what happens, keep flying the airplane".
Lack of Situational awareness is a major factor in aviation accidents. Loosely defined it is the ability to monitor the environment, assess changing information, and take action based on the complete picture.

Despite an interruption, a distraction, a fire, a woman delivering a baby in the back of the airplane - you cannot become distracted to the point you neglect airspeed and altitude.

This principle has some great cross-application in our spiritual lives as well. A biblical and heart-felt understanding of who I am in Christ is critical for spiritual situational awareness.

If I don't have this grounding, and daily commitment to live in God's grace, my assessment of life's irksome issues, troubles, and hurts - or even blessings, gifts and joys - can quickly become skewed. I tumble on one side into stress, anxiety, striving, comparison, jealousy. Or, on the other side, into pride, complacency, or selfishness.

I can zero in on the crisis and forget the big picture. Or, I can step back, look around and walk in truth. I am a new creation in Christ, part of a body of believers, called to share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, blessed with gifts to use for God's glory, engaged in spiritual warfare, running a race, born again to a living hope and an inheritance which is eternal...

Situational awareness is a constant discipline in a good pilot. Let's have an even greater commitment to spiritual situational awareness - based on God's word - in our daily lives.

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 1:9&10

Friday, September 24, 2010

Recruiters . . . . . . Everywhere

Laughter, sarcasm, ribbing, and serious discussion all happened this week as the recruiters got together. Our semi annual meeting for the recruiting department lasted 4 days and included 5 full-time recruiters and one half time recruiter. It also includes our very detail minded administrative assistant that helps keep everything straight.

You may not realize it but we try and have someone available in different parts of the country so they can be responsive to those of you who need answers. Brian Behal is in the Southeast, John Lemmon is in the Midwest, Perry Pust is in the Northwest. The other 3 are located at our HQ in Nampa, ID and cover the Southwest and Northeast.

We meet together because it is important for face to face time as co-workers and we feel the same way about the need for face to face time with people who are interested in knowing more about MAF. Email and phone calls can only go so far and then you just want to sit down and talk with someone who knows and has been there. All the recruiters have been there and done that in terms of serving overseas as a pilot/mechanic.

Give us a call and maybe we can stop by and visit with you. God bless.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What are we looking for?

The issue came up recently that made us aware that many folks out there get mixed messages about what MAF is looking for and how to join up and help. To help clarify that a bit, I thought I would address some of those issues in this blog.

MAF is always and will always be looking for more qualified Pilot/Mechanics who meet our requirements in ratings, time, experience, and who have a passion for ministry, not just flying. Even though we do state that we have a pilot only requirement, the options to place you into our ministry as a pilot only is very limited due to the fact that we then have to have someone to place with you who can do the maintenance. That really limits the options, therefore we do highly prefer the pilot who has his maintenance license as well. We can place about as many P/M combo poeple as we can get. Remember, we want people with a passion for ministry, as our mission is to minister the grace and provisions of Christ our Savior to the many around the world who do not have hope. The aircraft is one of our tools, but you personally are much more of a tool if placed in God's hands, through MAF.

Another problem we run in to is the expectation that MAF will be pursueing you, recruiting you into the organization. Although we do have our recruiting department, we function more like a guidance counselor department, helping you determine whether mission aviation is what God would have you do, and if MAF might be the avenue He wants you to use to serve Him. We are not trying to drag anyone into the org that God has not specifically lead our way. This will demand that you are the one that pursues service with MAF. We are here to assist you with questions, tips, helps, as needed, but we want to see commitment, perseverance, and pursuit as you seek the avenue God has for you to serve Him. In other words don't sit on the sidelines and wait for us to call. This is your life, your service, your future, and it's up to you to follow God in the direction that he has called you. It's not our job to convince anyone to join MAF. That's God's business and we draw the line in that area of playing God for you in your life. We do need many more people to serve in MAF and are looking for those that God is directing our way. Can we help you along that line? YES!

For further info, see our web site and/or contact one of us recruiters. We'd love to pray with you and help you process what it is God is asking you to do.

Respectively submitted,
Perry Pust
NW Recruiter

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's hard to believe the summer is over (well not officially since the first day of fall isn't until 23 Sept.). It seems that each fall I am busier than the one before. That might have to do with the fact that I've got more recruits I'm working with although my friends say it's because I'm getting older!

Since 20 Aug I've already been to one fly in (Smoketown, PA), Liberty University twice, and crammed in 2 weeks of vacation to try and get ready for all my upcoming travels. Thursday the 16th I leave for Raleigh, NC (I'll be visiting folks on the way down) and Saturday I fly out to MAF HQ for the fall week of our semi-annual meetings. I'm already planning my October and November trips and even have a couple of options for December. If you'd like me to stop by and see you, please drop me a line. Thanks!

And even though it's been a VERY full summer, it's been one of the most productive in terms of recruiting that I've had. Our Technical Evaluation slots are all filled up for this October as well as for next April. At our meetings we'll be discussing how we can get some more slots for folks who want to do their TEs, since that seems to be the choke point in the process.

And I know I'm not the only recruiter who is feeling swamped. As I talk with the other two remote recruiters they too seem to have more on their plates this year as well (of course they're older than I am!).

So as you think to pray for MAF, please pray that we recruiters will make good decisions about time management and which recruiting opportunities we should participate in and which we should let pass us by. Thanks!

Until next time...

Brian - SE Recruiter.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Are you available?
That was a question I was recently asked. The AWANA program at church had lost several men to Job changes. It does not fit my schedule well but I can help plug some holes. It is also a chance to help some young person better understand the Bible, Who God is, and the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. I don’t have to go half way around the world for this. I just have to show up.

Ministry sometimes is more about showing up, being available, than what we actually do. Remember it is God’s Spirit that is at work to change a heart, not our eloquent words, or our strong argument that convinces someone they need Jesus. When we show up we bring a new dimension into their lives because Christ lives in us. It’s true we need to do our best but just showing up can sometimes be the best thing we can do. So, where do you need to show up? I will be adding AWANA to my schedule.

Remember climbing in the pilot seat of an airplane, traveling half way around the world, joining our IT or LT staff, signing on as a teacher or manager; there are all kinds of jobs that need to be done, but in the end it is more about showing up where God wants to touch someone’s life. Make yourself available. Train the best you can, read and study God’s word, but don’t get so bogged down you can’t show up where God needs you now.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More than Just a Pilot

As part of the MAF Recruiting Team I get letters and e-mails from pilots that come from all walks of life and backgrounds - airline pilots, military pilots, corporate pilots, and pilots that only fly on the weekends for fun. We all love to fly and many have flown everything from pistons to jets. I took my first airplane ride 48 years ago and still get the same feeling when those wheels leave the ground as I did back then many years ago. Those of us that fly have been given a special gift. Many that write to me each week say, they would like to use that gift for something really important in life. Some discover this much later in life than sooner !

Some of us use the airplane to make money, some of us use it for fun and adventure during our life time. MAF pilots use the airplane to change lives in over 30 countries around the world. When I was in the MAF training department, I always told my new missionary pilots that they must be some of the best pilots and mechanics to be a part of MAF but if they only came to fly for fun and adventure, than they were in the wrong place for the wrong reasons.

The airplane is a special tool to get Gods Word out to those that have not heard His name. During my many years flying overseas, I saw some of our pilots come home early saying they had landed and mastered all the very short airstrips and it was lots of fun and lots of adventure but now its boring and just a lot of hard work. So they came home looking for new adventures. We are all pushing that piece of metal through the sky, so are we doing it for adventure or do we really care about those people we put in the airplane ?

Sometimes it is a hard thing to do. They look bad, they smell, they rub pig grease all over their bodies and have bones in their noses or do not wear clothes. Do we care enough about them to change their lives for eternity. MAF pilots are some of the best pilots and mechanics doing a very technical job everyday. Their flying and maintenance is their Ministry. They take that big piece of metal and use it to change peoples lives for Christ. Yep, I have more fun and adventure than I can take in a lifetime !

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coming and Going - People and Planes

Here in the Recruiting corner of MAF HQ we are all about people coming and going.

Coming for technical evaluations, interviews, candidate classes, orientation. Going - to the next stage - perhaps fine tuning technical skills, paying off school debt, gathering supporters, leaving for the field.

At the same time, someone new is calling to investigate whether MAF is where God will use their passion and skills. Recruiters are communicating with candidates and leadership on the field, coaching, encouraging, prompting (especially to get that paperwork piece done!)

Across the street on the hangar side, candidates are working alongside mechanics and flying with instructor pilots as they are evaluated and simultaneously learning about MAF's culture and methods.
Airplanes are being refurbished, a lease for another airplane is finalized, two aircraft are en route to field locations - one from Nampa to Haiti, another in the midst of a move from Indonesia to Africa. The latter is stuck in the Maldives, awaiting a supply of aviation gasoline before making the last leg of the trip!

This week a family returning from a season overseas shared about their work - they expressed it as a tool to clear the stony field in order to plant the seeds of the Good News. They shared of the joy in discipling a young believer. They also expressed their grief in the loss of co-laborers whose lives were taken in a hostile land.

We remember when they came through the doors as candidates, and are encouraged by their faithfulness, and share in their grief.
That is why we are here - to enable people to work in God's field, clearing the obstacles, softening the soil, planting the seed, watering ---and some to harvest.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Follow up to Ron's post - plus

As Ron said below, it does take a real commitment and knowledge that God has called you to do mission aviation to be able to stick it out for the long haul through the necessary training, and also for any length of field service.
I'm reminided of this as my wife LaNnae and I celebrate 30 years of marriage. This also takes a real commitment, and the knowledge that God has put you together to hang in there and stick it out through the rough times as they come, and they will. God has faithfully been walking with us all these years, not that we have always kept him in first place, but we are continueing to learn how to walk in the presence of God daily and it sure does make a difference in how you approach each day.
Last night we were able to share with a men's group. This event included a great steak dinner for which we were grateful, but the most fun was to speak with a young junior in high school who attended the first time last night, and hear me speak of MAF. He's had a strong interest in aviation, and God ordained this meeting to help direct him to MAF. Much like my own story. It was a joy to see how God had orchestrated this meeting. It reminds me that every day is orchestrated by God, and we need to keep our eyes open to his working around us. For those that are in the midst of their training to become MAF pilot/mechanics some day, keep looking for God in each of your days. He's there, wanting your full attention and faith, that he will see you through to the goal he has placed in front of you. Unlike Ron, :-), don't wonder what's next, because with God each day can be an adventure.
Our church has the theme this and next week of "live the mystery" which to me means, look for God around every corner and see what He's up to, then get involved in what He's doing. If you're focued on serving overseas, don't let yourself forget to serve Him today and every day. That should be a patern of our every day. God bless you all!!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The goal was reached but now what?

It is hard to believe that for all those months of training, the event is now past. This past Saturday was my first trithalon and it gave me a real purpose for getting in shape but now it's past, now what? Without the goal sitting out in front of me, the need for training is much less inspiring. Motivation is so key in us accomplishing our plans and goals.

Serving our Lord in a full time ministry like MAF is something only God could put in someone's heart. It takes resources (money, time, prayer, blood, sweat and tears) and perserverence to accomplish the goal of getting the requirements needed to be a member. Many spend years in the process of doing what God is calling them to do. Knowing that God is the source of our motivation to serve, keeps us going over the long haul. We do however need the encouragement of fellow participants along this journey. Please communicate your vision and goals to others so they can both hold you accountable as well as encourage you along the way. Get to know others who are headed in the same direction and encourage them as well. Knowing you are not alone in this makes a huge difference over the long haul. Believe it or not, the MAF recruiters are here to offer that encouragement and counsel so you can stay focused and moving in the right direction.

By the way, I finished last in my age group but I did finish, which was my goal. I also promised myself that I will do better next time and have thought through how I might be able to do that. I have a year to train and will be taking a long term perspective on acheiving my goal. God bless as you do the same.

Friday, July 30, 2010

EAA AirVenture 2010 - OSHKOSH!!

How does one begin to describe the largest aviation event in the world? If you've never been here words can't do it, and if you have been you, you already understand it!

This years' AirVenture has been different than others in recent memory because of the crazy weather. On Friday, 23 Jul Oshkosh received over 5 inches of rain. That turned much of the grounds into lakes and any aircraft that had not arrived before the rains were asked to wait and come in on Sunday. Many aircraft diverted to Fond-du-lac or Appleton airports with others going to the many smaller fields that surround Whitman Field. Other folks stopped enroute or didn't even leave their home bases.

The same fate was true of heavy campers and all mobile homes. Because of the soggy conditions, anyone arriving after Friday morning was not allowed into Camp Scholler. Because of that one saw all paved roads and almost every parking lot in the area filled with folks waiting for the OK to get set up in their normal spots.

This didn't slow MAF down from setting up our display, but it did affect the airplane we were to have on display. More about that in a bit.

The main theme of this year's AirVenture is "A Salute to Veterans" and one of the events is the celebration of the 75th year of the Douglas DC-3 (the military version is known as the C-47). MAF is celebrating its 65th year and to celebrate that we went back to our roots. The very first airplane used by MAF in mission service was a cabin class Waco, flown in Southern Mexico by our first pilot, Betty Greene.

As this type of plane is actually quite rare, we began a search for an owner who would be willing to "lend" us their plane to be on display at our tent. Due to the faithful efforts of Rob and Teena Ray, who attended various Waco club functions, Terry Chastain along with his daughter Terri, flew this beautifully restored Waco (see picture above) to Oshkosh and parked it at our site.

They had originally planned on arriving on Saturday but delayed a day due to the weather. They left on Sunday as we were told that "show" planes (ones on display on the vendor sites) would be allowed to land.

After getting close and trying to come in they were told they wouldn't be allowed in so detoured to a local airport. Finally on Monday they arrived and we got them parked on our site. The picture above is of Jack Erdman (an MAF Advocate) reading about the Waco from the banner we installed in front of the plane.

There's another story about the plane having to leave early, but you'll have to contact me directly to get those details!

We continue to be amazed at the people the Lord brings by the MAF tent. We have made many great contacts and had the chance to share our faith with a few as well!

And as always, the MASA folks have done a great job of feeding and housing us. We certainly couldn't be here without their help.

So THANKS to all who have helped make this year's AirVenture another wonderful success!

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Internships: A great opportunity for seeing MAF in action

Last week was a fun week for us in recruiting as we had 3 people to go through our Intern Orientation before heading out to the field to work with us in Indonesia. The couple is preparing to help in Kalimantan, Indonesia where he will be working as a mechanic. The single woman is going to Papua, Indonesia to help in our IT work there. Their internships are about 7 weeks overseas and then the one week here at our Nampa, ID headquarters preparing them for this experience. They had their eyes open to the work that MAF is doing around the world as well as getting some real practical cross cultural preparation which included some language training. I look forward to the time they will be making application to MAF to join as career staff.

Internships can be of varying lengths depending on what the schools may require and we are open to working with these students. It does mean having to raise your own support to do this but that is also a part of what becoming a missionary is all about. Our IT intern is already writing a daily blog and I am enjoying seeing all she is learning.

As a recruiting department, we want people to fully understand what is involved in being a missionary with MAF, the internship is a great start.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oshkosh and other summer events

Summer is here and so are our busy schedules. Keep an eye on the calendar on our MAF website and you can find out where your local recruiter will be. Big events of this summer will be the MAF run Brigade Air camp on July 5-10, the Arlington Air Show in Arlington, WA on July 7-11, and then the Oshkosh Air Show July 26 - Aug 1st. August will also be a time when my wife and I will make a trip to visit in the San Francisco area, so let us know if you are in that area and would like a visit or MAF presentation. Pray for all the recruiters as we travel around the country on our busy schedules, for God's protection and also for God directed encounters with those that He is calling towards mission aviation service, whether it be aviation, IT, business management, LT, or volunteer work. We would love to connect with you at any of the events, or special appointments when we're in your area. God bless you all and may you find Him active around you and inviting you to engage in His work.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ecuador Vision Trip 2010

Well we've been back for 2 weeks now and I believe I'm finally caught up. This was actually the best Vision Trip I've been on, partly due to the make up of the group and partly due to "refining" the trip from feed back from previous participants. It also helped that the WX in Shell co-operated so we could fly out to the Jungle on our first full day there. That takes a lot of pressure off since that's one of the primary things we want to accomplish. And the final reason was we had a wonderful place to stay while in Shell (thanks Tracey!!). I've actually already booked the place for next year's trip - let's hope they're still in business. :)

Of course the trip started out with a bang as both the American Airline flights from Miami to Quito were canceled due to Volcanic Activity. I later found out that neither Continental nor Delta canceled their flights so I did a bit more investigating. Come to find out that the Tungurahua Volcano did erupt and the ash all blew to the west, covering (and closing) the Guayaquil airport. Since American uses GYE as their alternate for Quito they had to cancel the flights b/c they didn't have an alternate available (check out the Instrument flight rules in the FARs regarding alternates!). Neither Continental nor Delta use GYE as their alternate so they were both OK to fly to Quito (UIO).

As I called around trying to find hotel rooms, I quickly realized this was Friday night of Memorial Day weekend. Our Travel Agent couldn't find any rooms at a hotel that had an airport shuttle either and I was beginning to wonder if I'd have to rent a van as well as get some hotel rooms.

But having been stuck overnight in Miami a few times before due to American Airlines issues, I remembered that AA put me up in the Wyndham. And one of those times I actually filled out the paperwork to become a Wyndham "By Request" partner. So I called the Wyndham (who our travel agent had already tried but was told they were sold out) explained the situation, gave them the magic number (actually they had to look it up b/c I didn't even have it with me!) and voila, 6 rooms! It's really true that hotels (and airlines) give preference to their "regular" guests!

We ate a quick (expensive) meal and got to bed early since our flight was scheduled to leave at 6am. A 4 am departure for the airport got us there in plenty of time and I learned something new....TSA doesn't open the screening lines at MIA until 4:30. At least we were near the front of the line! :)

After boarding it looked like we were all set to go. I figured we'd arrive in UIO at 9am (local) and only loose a couple of hours from the schedule I had planned for Saturday morning. But "Plan B" wasn't to be as we experienced a "bag pull".

For those of you who have never had that joy, let me explain. According to International regulations (probably due to the Pan Am Flight 103 - Lockerbie, Scotland experience) checked baggage is not allowed to travel if the passenger who checked it is not on the flight. Well 4 people had checked in Friday afternoon with checked baggage who didn't show up Saturday morning. The pilot guessed they were local Miami folks who didn't want to bother with having to get up early, etc. So we were held up until the baggage handlers (who are paid by the hour) unloaded all the bags from the holds one by one looking for the "offending" ones. The Captain (who obviously had been through this before) said it should take 30 - 45 minutes. I don't think he'd been through it before in MIA b/c our "efficient" baggage handlers took over 2 hours to find the missing bags.

Now you might have read about the new regulations concerning passengers "stuck" on the tarmac. After 1 hour the airline has to provide food and drink. So even though we were going to get breakfast once we were airborne (Internationally they still feed you!) we each were offered a granola bar and glass of water. We later were told by the cabin crew that the new regs don't apply if you're still sitting at the gate (that's how new the regs are - even the airlines aren't sure what they say!).

At sometime after 8:30 we were actually airborne and on our way. And for one of the very few times that I can remember, I slept sitting up on an airplane. I have slept a few times when I've had a front facing window, but usually have real problems if it's a side facing window. :)

We arrived in Ecuador just fine with all our luggage (but later found out that there were items missing from the luggage) and started our trip 5 hours behind the schedule. So after moving on to plan C (and D and E) it ended up being a wonderful trip.

I won't give too much detail so as to not spoil the surprises for anyone who might read this and then participate in the coming years. If you do have any interest in finding out what Missionary Aviation looks like up close and personal, consider going on one of the many Vision Trips that MAF offers each summer (we usually go to Kalimantan, Lesotho, Ecuador, and other places as well). Just contact your local recruiter or the MAF recruiting department directly at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To-Do List

MAF HQ is starting family conference today. That means if you need something from the office in Nampa you probably won’t be able to reach anyone before Monday. You can probably leave a message if you know the extension. :-) The recruiting extension is 1663.

One of the things that might be on the to-do list for those of you who are pilots and don’t meet the minimum requirements to schedule your technical evaluation is to find a way to build some flight time. If you have your commercial pilot’s license and the instrument rating contact me, John Lemmon, MAF was donated a Mooney M20J and for the immediate future it is available to those needing to complete the requirements of 400 hours total time, including the 50 hours of high performance time. It is dual only and MAF will count up to 25 hours towards the 50 of HP time. The airplane is located with me here in Jackson, Michigan, not at MAF HQ in Nampa. Contact me if this could be of help to you.


Friday, May 28, 2010

The MAF Application - from the Recruiter Side

I love it! I love reading the written application from candidates coming into MAF.
I suspect, (and recall from my own experience) that filling out the application is a long and nerve-wracking process. But, reading them is like watching 'cardboard testimonies
- - if you have seen some of those.

Each application is a story of God at work. Each candidate has learned about God's love and grace through Jesus Christ, and is living and walking with God. There are stories of how a person has changed the course of their life with God's help - walking away from patterns that would have kept them trapped. Others have grown with encouragement and support from their earliest years, and made their faith personal and are now eager to use their talents to serve God.

For me, it is a praise and worship time as I read and thank God for His amazing work, and for the people He calls to MAF. Our candidates as well as MAF will use the application process to help discern God's leading. Candidates will continue to grow and serve - and many of them through MAF - using their gifts and skills, sharing the love of Jesus Christ so that others may be physically and spiritually transformed.

Did I mention I love being in on the story?!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Should you train for a triathalon?

There I was eating some potato chips when my daughter came in from work and said she was going to start training for a marathon with a friend. I kind of laughed because I thought no way would she follow through. Then I thought about my own efforts to get into shape and how I always seemed to let it slide. I am not sure why (maybe the Lord) but into my mind popped the idea of training for a triathalon. It kind of excited me. All of a sudden I had a reason to train and get into shape. I did however have to walk out the door and go to the gym to start. I have stayed with it now for over a month and am still enjoying the training (swimming, biking, and running). The event is August 7 so hold me accountable to it.

What does this have to do with MAF and recruiting? I have talked with so many people over the years who would love to get involved with missionary aviation and MAF. The concept is great and motivation is good but the next step is doing, getting started. The requirements are not easy or simple (bible training, flight and mechanics licenses) but they are doable. You need to get started and keep the goal in mind and not just the obstacles. Myself and the other recruiters are all here to help you get to where God is wanting you to be. Why not take some bible classes to just get things started. I will be glad to start holding you accountable to what you think God may be leading you into, just let me know. The other recruiters will too, just like they will with me and the triathalon. God bless.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Alaska Aviation Trade Show

I had the privaledge of attending this years annual Aviation Trade Show in Anchorage Alaska on May 1-2. We had many good conversations/contacts at the booth and a lot of interest in MAF. Lots of people came by and said how great it was to see MAF at this event this year. I ended up giving out all of my pilot/mechanic brochures and general brochures. It was also exciting to share the work of MAF around the world to those who had never heard of MAF before. There should have been around 20,000 people that attended this event, but I have not heard any reports of the latest results, but for MAF this was a busy, full event with some great support shown for what we do. We're looking forward to the follow up responses from those that had specific interest in serving us or with us. We hope to return next year as I got to meet some of my recruits for the first time after e-mailing and phone calls. There's nothing like a face to face contact!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sun N Fun 2010

MAF had the privilege of participating in the Sun N Fun fly-in from 13-18 April in Lakeland, FL. We hadn't participated since the mid 80's and were asked to come back by John Burton, the president of Sun N Fun. He saw the Fly for Life exhibition at EAA AirVenture 09 (Oshkosh) and wanted a similar representation at SNF.

Of course we wouldn't be able to participate at Oshkosh each year if it wasn't for the Mission Aviation Support Association (MASA) who provide housing, transportation and meals for our time there. And the same would have be true of our time in Florida.

But in God's providence a MASA-FL group formed, headed up by John Hoke and ably assisted by Rob and Teena Ray - International Association of Missionary Aviation (IAMA - who led the Fly for Life project at Oshkosh 09). We were wonderfully cared for by 9 local churches who provided meals and transportation while members of the churches hosted us in their homes. I believe I put on 5 pounds over the course of the week!

Since this was MASA-Florida's first time to run an operation, Lee and Debbie Smoll, head of MASA-WI drove down and were invaluable in giving counsel and help to John Hoke. (If you get a chance, ask them about the miracle the Lord did in keeping them safe in what could have been a life-ending accident.)

To me this was just another example of the Body at work, each part coming together to make the whole successful. No one part could have done it by itself, but as each did its part, we evidenced the unity of the Spirit and I believe brought Glory to God.

Besides MAF there were 3 other mission groups represented: Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center (i-tec), JAARS (Wycliffe Bible Translators Technology arm) and New Tribes Mission Aviation (NTMA). We 4 shared a feature tent (40x40) situated on a prime display lot (75x75).

New Tribes had their first Kodiak on display which attracted LOTS of interest. JAARS had both a Helio Courier and Robinson R-44 helicopter and got to do Helio demonstrations in the airshow a few days. And i-tec showcased their flying car - The Maverick in another corner of the lot.

During the 6 days of the airshow we got to speak with a lot of folks who had no idea that aviation could be used in missions. It's always a pleasure to thank the many supporters of MAF who also stopped by our tent. In addition we had many opportunities to speak about MAF in local churches.

The Lord blessed us with a great group of folks working the MAF corner of the booth and we bonded together really well as a team. Besides myself there were 2 other recruiters - John Hook and John Lemmon. We were also very fortunate to have 2 furloughing pilot/mechanics help us out - Dan DeSalvo and Danny Hulls. They brought a freshness and excitement that only comes from recently being on the mission field. If you wanted to talk to someone you could just call out John or Dan and have a pretty good chance of getting an answer. :)

We are even now in the planning stages for Sun N Fun 2011 which runs from 29 March - 3 April. If there's any way you can make it, I'd encourage you to put it on your calendar. Next year will be bigger (more mission groups) and better! And please join us in praying that the Lord would once again be Glorified by our efforts. Thanks!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Work Goes on - Here and There

MAF pilots, mechanics and logistics managers continue their vital work in Haiti.

This week in chapel, MAF pilots Brian Shepson and Scott Channon talked about their work in Haiti over the first weeks the Kodiak was there. One of their first flights carried patients suffering with untreated closed fractures to an outlying hospital/clinic. These patients had not yet been treated because their injuries were less critical than those with open fractures. One of the men had a fractured femur which had not even been splinted. He was in severe pain as he was lifted into the airplane - imagine if he had had to endure a ten hour ride over a rough road - IF he had been able to find a ride.
Follow updates via or become a 'fan' of MAF on Facebook.

Ron Hilbrands - our able manager in recruiting - leaves tomorrow to assist with logistics at our hangar in Port au Prince. So far, over 550,000 pounds of supplies have been moved by MAF, along with over 2,000 passengers. That is a lot of coordinating, scheduling, assisting with paperwork, unloading and reloading and just plain hard work. Ron will be keeping that going.

At the same time, the normal functions of MAF continue here in Nampa.
  • The instructor pilot seminar is in progress with pilots from programs around the world here to refresh their skills and learn from each other.
  • Our newly accepted candidate class is preparing to begin gathering their ministry partners.
  • We are planning for summer vision trips for aviation students.
  • Last but not least: Teachers Needed! MAF specifically needs two elementary teachers for Kalimantan, Indonesia (perfect for two friends, or a married couple who are both teachers!) and one teacher for Nabire, Papua, Indonesia.
Crissie Rask

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MAF at work in Haiti

MAF is hard at work in Haiti. For information on MAF’s involvement check out this link to our MAF website.

Today, Wednesday 1-20, MAF dedicated one of the new Kodiak’s and it left Nampa, Idaho enroute to Haiti. With Avgas supplies running low the turbine powered Kodiak and increased load capability will be a big boost to relief efforts.

Although our piston fleet has been doing a number of flights to outlying areas, the supply of AvGas is a concern. This morning there was a three-day supply on hand.

The Kodiak’s progress can be followed at:

Email is flooded so we ask that, except for family, you not email staff in Haiti for now. The ability of headquarters to communicate with staff there is critical.

Please pray for:
A safe trip for the Kodiak.
Rest for our guys in Haiti. Enough breeze to get rid of the mosquitoes for a few hours so they can sleep.
A solution to the AvGas problem.
Wisdom for leadership as decisions are made on how to proceed.

Thanks. Never stop praying.

For Recruiting John Hook is in San Diego this weekend at the Misson Conference at San Diego Christian College. He will be traveling Monday to Letourneau for the Mission Conference there. As always you can find links to connect with us at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Biggest January Candidate class in a long time

The apartments are full and children are everywhere. As I write this, the candidates are on a field trip to visit a Buddhist temple and an Islamic center. We have pilots, mechanics, several teachers, an administrator, a finance manager, a speech therapist, plus many others all here for our January Candidacy. This week and next are big weeks for all these folks as they meet with the Candidate Committee of MAF and final decisions are made about where they should be assigned for service. For many, this is the culmination of many years of preparation for service. It is exciting for them and for MAF as we anticipate how they will be such a blessing to the programs they go to.

Some may even be assigned to Haiti because of the devastation we recently witnessed. Haiti will be in recovery and rebuilding for years to come and MAF will play a big part of that. Candidacy is fun time as we see the new MAFers take their place in our organization. Pray for a long and fruitful ministry for them.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Urbana update

Thanks to those of you who were praying for the 5 of us at Urbana 09 (Ron, Brad, Crissie, Pam & me). There is a reason Urbana is geared to the college age crowd (the first Bible study started each morning at 8:30 and the last one ended around 11 pm each night!)

It was a wonderful time of spiritual feeding and we had a lot of folks stop by the booth asking for information about MAF. Because of our new display we had more Teachers and Business/Finance folks stop than I ever remember. It was a good thing Crissie was with us to answer all the questions!

We also had quite a few IT/LT folks stop and again, I'm thankful that Brad was part of the team so he could fill them in on that side of the operation.

One neat experience is that a fellow stopped by the booth just to tell us thanks for a couple of flights we had done for his family. A little background is needed to fill in the details as to why this was significant.

In one central Asian country where we serve our only single engine airplane had been out of service for a while. Thankfully a Kodiak (our first one ever in Mission service) had arrived just a short time ago and was able to fly his siblings into the area where his folks were serving a few days before Christmas. Without the plane it would have been a long trek taking quite a while.

A few days later (Christmas day to be exact) his dad experienced a massive heart attack and the plane was able to fly him out to medical care. Without the Kodiak being able to extract him quickly the doctors said this fellow would have certainly died which would have affected the ministry efforts quite significantly.

If I'm not mistaken that's the first life saved by a Kodiak in mission service! I'm so thankful to be part of an organization (MAF) that is dedicated to serving those on the mission field.

Another neat "coincidence" is that the group this fellow worked with was in the booth next to ours at Urbana so we got to hear some of the other details about the situation as well!

Please continue to check back frequently because from now until May is a busy time for various mission conferences. I know Perry will be at Mission ConneXion NW this week so if you're in the Pacific NW be sure to stop by and say hi to him.

I'm scheduled to be at Liberty U for their MC from Feb 14-18 and then MissionFest Lancaster (PA) from Feb 19-21. Of course you can always check the calendar on our webpage ( for the latest travels. If you see me somewhere along the way mention this blog and I'll give you a special gift!

Brian (SE Recruiter)