Friday, July 22, 2011
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
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
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
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 http://www.smat-aviation.org/
Monday, June 13, 2011
Blessings, Capt Hook
Thursday, June 2, 2011
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
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!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The unexpected – Few things happen in life the way we plan. Sometimes things can go really bad. Recently my wife and I were headed to Florida for Sun N Fun to be part of the team representing MAF. We also had plans to visit friends along the way. Headed south, from Michigan, that first day we were looking forward to warmer weather and a trip we knew we would enjoy. Just on the south edge of Lexington, Kentucky roads were good and traffic not to heavy. Another hour or so we would stop for the night. I woke to the sound of tires squealing and the edge of the highway approaching rapidly. We were headed down off the road at highway speed and nothing ahead looked very inviting. Sherry had swerved, surprised by what was in front of her and we were already experiencing a significant change in plans.
God did protect us and watched over us. We didn’t walk away unhurt but we were able to be dragged away as I like to put it. We ended upside down and hanging from our seat belts. We spent five days at the University of Kentucky hospital. Sherry now has a plate and nine screws in her left wrist along with an air cast for her broken right ankle and foot. That’s the price the driver pays for having something to hold on to. I got knocked around pretty good and spent the rest of that day mostly unconscious.
All that to say the last several weeks are not what we had in our plans. We have had to focus on healing, doctor’s visits, and caring for broken and bruised parts. Where was God in all this? He was right there watching over us the entire time. One of the first things Sherry remembers is the man who was one of the first on the scene. He was off-duty or retired police or EMT. He knew what to do and what not to do. We were well cared for at the hospital, even got to share the same room, and God had people in place to meet every need we had. In a place where we knew no one, we had visitors, even flowers. We experienced being taken care of by God and His family, our family.
Walking with God is not just trusting Him for the things we know. It is more about trusting Him for the things we don’t know. How do you react when life doesn’t just throw you a curve ball, it smacks you in the chin because you can’t duck fast enough. The process of preparing for missions will probably include a few curve balls. God simply wants us to trust Him. It is reacting by turning to God and saying God I need you. Help me with the changes, and help me to trust You for everything.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
When he said they had an increasing disdain for comfortable living, I thought, "Have we got the place for you! Come right on down!" But, at the same time, I was following a discussion on Radical Christianity on two blogs. (see below)
What is radical?
Is living on the edge of the jungle to fly in support of national pastors, missionaries and needy villagers radical?
Is living in an urban community to show Christ's love radical?
Is working in a ministry for less pay than I could make elsewhere radical?
Is 'living a quiet life, minding my own affair and working with my hands' (I Thessalonians 4:11) radical?
Is raising prayer and financial support radical?
The dramatic kind of radical is sometimes easier than the day-to-day, faithful kind of radical, particularly for someone with an adventurous streak.
No doubt God 'calls' (another discussion for another day) some people to lead lives that look quite different from the normal American life. It is a step of faith and even radical to move out of our comfort zone and give up normal expectations. MAF certainly needs people called to serve in this way.
But, for each of us, our call must be deeply rooted and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because even lives that seem radical become daily in between the dramatic. And it is here that our love shines and our faithfulness witnesses to those around us of the hope we have in Jesus Christ. And THAT is truly RADICAL.
Sky Jethani: Redefining Radical
Demythologizing "Radical" Christianity
Monday, April 18, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
I started on campus and had a wonderful talk with Mr. Ernie Rogers, the person who pretty much got the whole Liberty Aviation program going and who is now the Assistant Dean for Academics. Since the program has grown so big it has been split into Academics and Operations (as well as a third division of an Aviation Maintenance Training school). He suggested I speak with Mr. John Marselus, the Assistant Dean for Operations, whose office is at the airport.
A short 10 minutes later I was sitting in Mr. Marselus' office beginning to broach the subject when he was informed of a LU Seminole declaring an emergency and landing. So he invited me to accompany him down to the ramp to see what happened.
Come to find out Alex (a student I know) was on his Multi-engine Checkride. The Designated Examiner was actually a good friend and former MAFer, Tim, who shut down one of the engines to do single engine operations. Unfortunately after multiple tries the engine would not restart so they cut the checkride short and landed uneventfully. It was good to see Tim again even though the circumstances were not the best and everyone was thankful for a safe outcome to a potentially dangerous situation.
After a few minutes on the ramp we went back upstairs, and I did get to talk to Mr. Marselus about the 206. We are currently looking at various options and all involved hope this will work out as a 206 will be a positive addition to the LU Fleet.
Later that evening I attended the monthly LAMP meeting and got to hear two students (Rick Warner and Tracey Baker) share about their spring break ministry trips to Trinidad and India respectively. It's a real joy to be working with so many students who aren't waiting to get to the mission field to begin doing ministry! And that heart is shown in so many who are preparing to be missionary pilots.
It was said to me by recruiters back when I was in training and it is still true today: If you're not serving here, you won't be serving there. Just because you move to a different country won't make you a missionary. It's really a matter of the heart.
So my question to you is: If you're thinking about Missionary Aviation - what's your heart attitude and where are you currently serving the Lord?
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
So to remedy that situation I changed my display board to focus more on teachers by covering my main MAF logo with a sign that said "TEACHERS" and that seemed to have the desired result! At Liberty I talked with many Education majors but two in particular come to mind. Interestingly they are both named Kim and one wants to do her student teaching at a missionary school overseas while the other wants to come teach with MAF after she graduates. Would you join me in praying for the Kims as they seek God’s leading for their future? Thanks!
My time at Missions Fest Lancaster (www.missionsfestlancaster.org) was also quite beneficial as to contacts with teachers. In fact one fellow I spoke with had been a teacher and left that profession to pursue aviation. In our talks I explained what MAF’s requirements are for not only our mechanics and pilot/mechanics, but for teachers as well. After our discussions he committed to praying which direction God would have him go in order to serve Him better.
I have quite a few more trips planned this spring and while most are aviation focused, a few will be specifically looking for teachers. So if you know a teacher who is interested in serving the Lord teaching Missionary kids, (or anyone else who will meet our various needs) please have them contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Teacher recruiter – Crissie Rask (email@example.com). Thanks! (Can you tell we have a high need for teachers this year?)
And if you get the chance, come visit us at the many places we'll be. Just check the calendar on our main recruiting page - www.mafrecruiting.org!