Friday, April 29, 2011

Does Dramatic = Radical?

Recently, I received an email from someone considering a change in his career. He said he was increasingly discontent with his comfortable life and the status quo. He and his wife feel God may be moving them to live out their faith in a more radical way. Could MAF be the way God would use them?

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


Have you ever heard the saying that goes something like this: The only thing you can count on never changing is that things will always change? Just today two more candidates are beginning some of those changes as they enter the Technical Evaluation (TE) at MAF headquarters. Their life from here on out will be full of changes, some of which are, living on support, travelling a lot, selling houses and other possessions, moving, learning new languages and cultures, meeting hundreds of new people, moving again, meeting yet more people, and all the while trying to maintain somewhat of a 'normal' family life. Pray for those that transition from 'home life' to 'missionary life' and all that goes into that transition. There is one thing we can truly count on not changing, and that's the Love, Care, Protection, and Provision from our faithful Lord, among many other things that HE alone can provide for us. Life is a journey, sometimes with many turns, but with Christ it's quite an adventure and worth the ride!

Monday, April 11, 2011

High Performance AC & a Servant's Heart.

Last Thursday I visited Liberty University again. I usually try to attend their monthly LAMP meetings (Liberty Aviation Missions Potentials) which start at 6pm on the first Thursday of each month. This time I arrived early wanting to talk to someone concerning putting an MAF 206 on lease back at LU.

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

Blue Skys always seem to follow the worst storms

It is now Saturday morning and the effects of Thursday's tornado and strong winds is a memory. Yesterday as we cleaned up the mess in the tent at SUN N FUN, I wondered how everything would get back to normal, or at least how long it would take. I was amazed how quickly life seemed to return to normal. The day was beautiful, blue sky, gentle breeze, temperature about 77 and people out enjoying a sunny Florida day. Except for some debris from trees that had yet to be picked up, you would hardly have known what happened the day before. We have had the opportunity to talk with many people as they pass through our booth area and share what God is doing through the ministry of MAF. We also can invite those daring enough to try and fly into one of our most challenging airstrips. We have a flight simulator that was donated to MAF and the airstrip was added to the Microsoft simulator software so the people get to actually try and land on this airstrip in Kalimantan. Some are remarkably successful. As a recruiting department, we want to share the love of Christ to the people who visit us and represent HIM well to those who don't know HIM. We also want to encourage those who may be desiring to do the minstry of missionary aviation by sharing what God is doing now in MAF and how they can be involved. It is a great mix of evangelization and counseling. Please pray for us while we are here.