Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), an aviation, communications and technology ministry serving 1,500 Christian and relief organizations worldwide, today dedicated two new aircraft for service in remote areas of Indonesia.
The Kodiak planes were given as gifts by two donors who wish to remain anonymous. Each Kodiak costs some $1.7 million.
"I know the excitement the sound of these planes will generate in places with names like Kiwi, Bomela, Langda and Koropun," said Dave Rask, MAF's director of Aviation Resources. "These are places that have never seen a car. Places so remote that the only way to reach them is a long trek through the jungle, or by plane. In these areas, the missionaries, the medicines, books, Bibles ... even the nails for the buildings and the aluminum for the roofs are delivered by MAF."
Some 150 people gathered at the MAF aircraft hangar in Nampa, Idaho, to ask the Lord to bless the work of the two planes and the people they will serve.
MAF has been ministering in the isolated areas of Indonesia since the 1950s. Today, MAF has 48 missionary staff members and 102 Indonesian employees serving in Indonesia with 22 planes. In 2011, MAF flew 14,735 Indonesian flights, delivering 51,918 passengers and 4,870,818 pounds of cargo.
"The needs in Indonesia are so great that MAF's capacity has never been able to meet all the demands," said Rask. "The Kodiak is a larger, faster plane that is able to land on most of the small airstrips we use. One pilot can double his output and goods can be delivered for much less. Will these planes change lives? Absolutely!"
Over the next two years, MAF hopes to acquire seven more aircraft to replace aging planes and meet growing demands for service. All seven are earmarked for Africa.
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