Matt and Alyssa Harris and their children, Josiah (13) and Caleb (12), are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Indonesia, assigned to the Papua Province. They live and serve in Wamena, an isolated town in the central highlands. Matt is responsible for scheduling and overseeing maintenance for the five aircraft that fly in Wamena. He also manages the hangar personnel. His role as manager and mechanic is vital to MAF’s ability to provide safe and reliable air transport for the local church and missionaries serving in the remote areas of this vast rugged land.
Matt was raised in a Christian home in Kankakee, Illinois. At the age of six, through the nurturing of his parents, Sunday School teachers and AWANA leaders, he accepted Christ as his Savior. Because he grew up in a mission-minded church, Matt had a love for missions. God’s call to missions came early in his life. He earned a B.S. in Mission Aviation Technology with a maintenance emphasis from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and Moody Aviation in Tennessee. He holds an airframe and powerplant mechanic’s license and a private pilot’s license. Before joining MAF, Matt worked for two years as an assistant powerplant instructor at Moody Aviation. A favorite verse for Matt is Proverbs 16:9, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." He shares, "Even with the daily choices we make, it is a comfort knowing that God is working in and through these choices by His sovereign hand to bring lost and isolated people to Himself."
Grand Island, New York, is Alyssa’s hometown. She was raised in a godly family and realized her need for Christ while attending Vacation Bible School at the age of eight. During college, she began to sense that God was leading her to teach cross-culturally. She earned a degree in Educational Ministries from Moody Bible Institute and an Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) certification. Alyssa and Matt met while attending Moody and married in 1997.
Alyssa spends her days managing the household, cooking and baking many things from scratch for the hungry Harris men. She enjoys providing hospitality for guests making their way interior and back out again. She also volunteers a couple of hours a day at an Indonesian elementary school and at the small international school (a branch of the MK school on the coast) Caleb attends. Recently she, along with another missionary lady, has become involved with teen girls from the village of Ibele who are in Wamena for high school. The focus of their meetings has been identity in Christ and what God's Word says about relationships and sexual purity.
Alyssa holds to Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." She says, "This verse reminds me that if I trust alone in my abilities or accomplishments I will surely fail. I must rely on Christ's complete provision of His perfect strength in my life for His own glory."
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in Matt and Alyssa's ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.