Friday, July 22, 2011

What we love about MAF Candidacy*

We love:
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

Fly Right to Bring Light, Live it to Bring it!

In reading through Brother Lawrence's "The Practice of the Presence of God" lately I've been challenged to think through my daily walk with God and how much I tend to ignore Him, especially when life is hectic and busy. Brother Lawrence challenges us to consider Him in every aspect of life. Today in reading the 'Tenth Letter' I was again challenged with these words. "Pray remember what I have recommended to you, which is, to think often of GOD, by day, by night, in your business, and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone. You would think it rude to leave a friend alone, who came to visit you: why then must GOD be neglected? Do not then forget Him, but think on Him often, adore Him continually, live and die with Him; this is the glorious employment of a Christian; in a word, this is our profession, if we do not know it we must learn it."

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

Bible? Why Bible?

Believe it or not, I've actually heard this question from someone who was interested in joining MAF!

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!