Timo and Laura Harkonen

Timo and Laura are excited and honored that God has chosen them to express His love to the Congolese people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The verses in I John 4:18-19 have been the driving force behind many of the decisions God has guided them through. As a pilot in the DRC, Laura uses her skills to serve health clinics, Bible schools, missionaries, local church leaders, and other aid agencies in remote areas that lack a transportation infrastructure.

Originally from Finland, Timo came to the United States for college, in pursuit of tennis. Little did he know that he would find God along the way, as he completed an MBA from Averett University. Until then, he had intended to study for a PhD in business, later realizing that was not what God had planned for him.

Timo and Laura were friends for a long time before they got married. Knowing of Laura’s call to be a mission pilot, Timo felt he needed to know more about God, as he had just started following Jesus, and enrolled in seminary just as they were married. He completed an M.DIV from Asbury Theological Seminary and is excited to use this training in the DRC. Timo comes alongside the Congolese pastors, seeing where they feel their needs are, offering them a listening ear and support, and teaching in the Bible school.

Laura grew up first in New Mexico, then spent her teenage years in very rural Arkansas. She went with Teen Missions International at age 17 to Zimbabwe, Africa. Though she had been raised in church, it was in Africa that she realized what following God was actually all about. It was also there that she found a connection with her love for flying and her love for living with and working with people in remote areas. Before she left Africa, Laura knew God was calling her to mission aviation. When she returned home, God provided the necessary scholarships for her to attend college and learn to fly.

Janaina and Richard enjoy being homeschooled, along with other mission children, and are blessed to have a tutor they share. They are excited to be making new friends, and Janaina is very excited to study the Congolese birds, as birding is her passion. The children bring a unique perspective to missionary kid life, as they both spent over 6 years in very difficult conditions. They bring a great compassion for the sad and hurting, and a real desire for everyone to know that Jesus loves them.

Country of Service

MAF serves in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

4 Bases: Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Bunia, Nyankundé
9 Aircraft
Population: 77.4 million
Capital: Kinshasa
Official Language: French
Currency: Congolese Franc (CDF)

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