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.