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.