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MAF staff work around the world and are knowledgeable in many areas. To speak with staff about the following subjects, please contact Dianna Gibney at (208) 498-0778 or

Aviation · Missions Work · Disaster Response and Relief Work · Distance Education for Pastoral Training · New Technologies for Sharing the Gospel · the Church in Africa, Indonesia, and/or Latin America · Nate Saint, Betty Greene, and Early Missionary Aviators

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Refugee Crisis Escalates In Eastern DRC

Refugee camps are without supplies, MAF provides food for those fleeing violence

BUNIA, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where two makeshift refugee camps have sprung up.

According to Jon Cadd, program manager with Christian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in eastern DRC, the camps lack enough food and shelter for all the refugees. A small group of local Christians is attempting to feed the hungry, and MAF has provided rice, beans, maize meal, and cooking oil, but it’s just a drop in the bucket.

“There are over 100,000 IDPs (internally displaced people) in Bunia now,” said Cadd. “The big humanitarian organizations are still assessing the situation and organizing things to come, so there is still no food coming into the camp other than what the Bunia Christians are giving out. Today there were two bags of rice at the storage tent when we got there. We were able to purchase a 300-liter cooking pot at the market along with 30 more bags of rice to keep them going.”

Shelter for the displaced Congolese people is also in short supply. MAF reports refugees are constructing tent frames by tying together stalks of thick grass, but the camps have run out of tarps for the makeshift shelters, leaving thousands of people exposed to the rainy-season weather.

The crisis is expected to grow as people in eastern DRC are forced to flee their homes and villages. The MAF team heard of 41 civilians killed along the Lake Albert shoreline north of Tchomia. Many people are trying to flee by boat to Uganda, but this week one of the overloaded boats capsized and 10 people drowned.

Cadd said some of the refugees who reach Bunia are injured but medical care is not available. “There is a tent where the wounded are being placed but no medical work is going on and it’s hot beyond reason and feels very unhealthy. We saw people with machete wounds to the head, including a one-year-old who was cut across the face … and a little eight- or nine- year-old girl cut across the back of her neck.”

These injured families had not eaten in four days, so the MAF team decided to do a little extra for them.

“We got 10 tarps, five local cooking stoves called babulas, some pots, plates and cups, as well as food, and were able to give it to them personally so they didn’t have to wait in the long lines. When you can’t help everyone it feels like the little we are doing is useless in the scheme of things. But as it rained in the evening, we knew that at least 10 more families were not out in the rain and had food to eat,” said Cadd.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world, and is frequently troubled by violence. According to The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in January 2018 more than 4.5 million people were displaced inside the country. Lack of roads and infrastructure, as well as political uncertainty, contribute to the insecurity.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a global agency that has been operating in the DRC since 1961. Serving with seven aircraft from bases in Nyankunde, Bunia, Lubumbashi, and Kinshasa, MAF supports the work of medical teams, mission groups, development agencies and others seeking to share the gospel and improve conditions in isolated parts of the DRC. Worldwide, MAF serves in 37 countries with more than 125 airplanes.

Refugee Crisis In Eastern DRC

MAF provides food for those fleeing violence

A resurgence of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has caused thousands of displaced people to flood the city of Bunia, where a makeshift refugee camp has sprung up.

According to Jon Cadd, East DRC program manager with Mission Aviation Fellowship, “There are now 44,397 people registered at the camp with more coming all the time. There are so many people they are starting another camp outside of town to the north.”

In addition, many refugees are staying with family and friends in Bunia and nearby. The mother of one MAF staff member has 32 relatives staying in her small house. Cadd said that a local Congolese Christian volunteer group is trying to help with food and clothing for the refugees, but they are unable to meet the needs. Cooking pots and food preparation items are scarce. The camp has also run out of the tarps that people use to construct makeshift tents.

MAF’s Disaster Response department has allocated funds to provide food for the refugee camp. On Wednesday, March 7, MAF conducted three flights for people wanting to leave the area, and returned to Bunia with rice, maize meal, beans, and oil. In Bunia they purchased 1,200 plates and 1,150 cups. MAF is partnering with the Christian volunteer group mentioned above—operated by Rev. Bingi—to distribute the food and supplies.

“They were down to their last bag of rice and last six bags of maize meal,” said Cadd. “It felt like we were able to really make a difference in these peoples’ lives. But it is still a drop in the bucket for the 45,000 people there and the rest that are with family and friends.”

Please join MAF as we pray for the people affected by this crisis. Pray that this rounds of violence in EDR will cease. Pray for solutions to the issues underlying the crisis.

MAF disaster relief work continues following second major earthquake in PNG

MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea – March 7, 2018 – Shortly after midnight on March 7, 2018, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea, just 19 miles southwest of the epicenter of last week’s 7.5 quake.

Mission Aviation Fellowship continues to provide radio communication as well as airplane transportation to remote areas that have been devastated by the disaster. MAF has been delivering food, water, tarps (for shelter), and other necessary supplies, as well as conducting medical evacuations. MAF staff in PNG report …

  • Approximately 1,400 people are camped at the Dodomona airstrip with another 100 expected to arrive in the next day or so.
  • Extreme caution needs to be taken near the riverbanks due to the risk of mudslides and flooding.
  • Two community houses in Dodomona, which could host 150 people each, collapsed. Thankfully no one was injured.
  • In the Dodomona/Fuma area, the river is full of mud. Thousands of logs are holding it back, but if the logs give way then the village of Fuma may be at risk.
  • More houses are reported to have fallen down in Muluma and Bosavi, with more landslides. Many people are coming to Muluma from the villages, so it is becoming a camp for people looking for food and water.

Thank you for praying for healing in Papua New Guinea.

MAF Mobilizes Disaster Response Team Following Earthquake in PNG

PNG Landslides After quake

MOUNT HAGEN, Papua New Guinea – Feb. 27, 2018 — Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has mobilized its disaster response team to provide assistance following a devastating earthquake in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Monday morning, Feb. 26, the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) experienced a 7.5 earthquake that caused many landslides and damaged roads, structures, power lines and communication systems. The ground continues to shake from powerful aftershocks.

Mission Aviation Fellowship and its associated ministry, Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF), have been serving the people of PNG since the early 1950s from bases at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Kawito, Kiunga (Rumginae), Madang, Tari, Wewak, and Telefomin/Tabubil. MAF operates flight services to remote and isolated communities, while CRMF provides radio communication, computing, solar lighting, digital audio bibles and other technology services.

Following the quake, MAF has received many requests for medical evacuation flights. MAF has also been doing fly-overs to check on remote communities, and on Tuesday, Feb. 28, carried PNG disaster officials on an extensive aerial survey.

While telephones are not working in many places, the CRMF’s radio network is still up and running and people can use it to call for medical assistance. The MAF/CRMF team is also passing along information about problems such as damaged air strips, road closures, and damage to clinics, schools and other important buildings.

MAF’s 150 staff in PNG are safe. Some MAF facilities and houses experienced minor damage, such as broken dishes and damage to water systems.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a global family of organizations that uses aviation and technology to share the gospel and make life better for people in remote parts of the Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region. In times of crisis, MAF’s disaster response team can mobilize quickly so that aid gets to those in need. Most recently, MAF has responded to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, and earthquakes that devastated Nepal in 2015.

Conjoined twins survive ‘miracle birth’ and separation in the heart of Africa

Mission Aviation Fellowship plays a key role

Left: The conjoined twins before surgery. Right: Their parents hold the twins after successful surgery to separate them. Photos by Jaclyn Reierson, MAF.

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo — Oct. 16, 2017 — A pair of conjoined twins, who against all odds were born naturally in the remote village of Muzombo, western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), have survived following an epic 870-mile round trip to be separated.

Anick and Destin, two baby girls who were born naturally at 37 weeks on August 23, 2017, endured an incredible journey across gruelling terrain, and are now being monitored at Vanga Evangelical Hospital, under the care of Dr. Junior Mudji.

Dr. Mudji first met the twins on August 30 when they arrived at Vanga Hospital with their mother Claudine Mukhena and father Zaiko Munzadi at just one week old. The family had travelled for 15 hours through the jungle on the back of a motorcycle, the twins wrapped in a blanket. Their village is so remote hospital staff hadn’t even heard of it.

Seperated Twins

Without the equipment or expertise to carry out the complex separation surgery in Vanga’s small hospital, Dr. Mudji contacted a team of volunteer surgeons in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, who perform operations on children born with deformities.

Concerned that the fragile newborns would not survive another long and difficult journey, Dr. Mudji’s team contacted Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), a non-profit Christian aviation organization operating in remote regions of the world, including the DRC. MAF regularly flies to Vanga, delivering medical equipment and personnel to the hospital using small Cessna and Pilatus aircraft that are designed to land and take off in very remote and challenging terrain. Dr. Mudji was delighted to learn that MAF could provide an emergency flight for the family.

“When we landed in Vanga on September 2, about 200 people were waiting at the airstrip, swarming around the mom with the babies in her arms,” said MAF pilot Brett Reierson. “The doctor was leading her toward the airplane while people crowded around her, calling out, shouting, and trying to take pictures. We got her into the plane as quickly as possible!”

The 1.5-hour journey to Kinshasa aboard the airplane saved the family more than 14 hours on treacherous roads. When they arrived in the capital, a medic collected the patients from the aircraft and rushed them to a Kinshasa clinic where a successful separation surgery was performed by a team of volunteer surgeons.

Almost one month later, MAF Pilot Nick Frey flew the family back to Vanga, and the twins and mother were re-admitted to Vanga Hospital on Saturday, October 7. The family will be monitored for several weeks before facing the gruelling overland journey back to their remote village.

Dr. Mudji, who is delighted the babies have survived said, “Thirty-seven-week-old, conjoined twins born naturally - it’s unheard of! When I was told MAF could help… it was great news for us.” The twins were joined at the naval and shared some intestines.

Pilot Brett Reierson said, “The natural delivery of conjoined twins would be rare enough in a Western hospital. But for a mom and her babies to survive this type of birth in such a remote setting, and then the long and difficult journey across the jungle to be separated – it’s unbelievable! It was a privilege to be part of their story and see yet another example of how God is using MAF to bring hope to the most remote places of the DRC.”

Mission Aviation Fellowship—a global family of organizations—operates a fleet of some 130 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Since 1945, MAF has enabled the work of churches, relief organizations, missionaries, medical teams, development agencies, and others working to share God’s love and make life better for those who live in the most isolated parts of the world. In recent years, MAF has responded to disasters in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, in Nepal following two deadly earthquakes in 2015, and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Hurricane Maria Leaves Destruction Across The Caribbean, Mission Aviation Fellowship Providing Assistance

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Sept. 21, 2017

Hurricane Maria has ripped apart homes and caused destruction across Dominica, Barbuda, and other islands already reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irma earlier this month. As families in the Caribbean struggle to recover, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has staff on the ground and in the air providing assistance.

“MAF is working with Samaritan’s Purse (SP) to survey the needs and bring help to the islands that have been torn apart by hurricanes Maria and Irma,” said John Woodberry, global manager of disaster response for MAF.

“On Wednesday we flew an MAF airplane to Dominica and so much there has been destroyed. About 75 percent of the houses are missing roofs. Dominica has mountains and rivers which caused horrendous flash flooding as Hurricane Maria passed over, so I saw warehouses that were just obliterated,” Woodberry said. “People were pulling things out of the rubble. Everything is chaotic.”

At the airport in Dominica, the team met Roosevelt Skerrit, the prime minister of Dominica, who asked for assistance for his country at this critical time.

Mission Aviation Fellowship is a Christian mission and aid organization that uses airplanes and other technologies to reach the most isolated places of the world with God’s love. Disaster response is one of MAF’s areas of expertise. In times of crisis, the organization’s experienced personnel provide air transportation, communication systems, and logistics support so that disaster response teams can effectively aid the suffering.

MAF staff have been providing logistics support at a staging area established by SP in Puerto Rico. A second MAF team had been working out of Sint Maarten with an airplane to provide aerial surveys of hurricane damage from Hurricane Irma and meet other needs. Following Hurricane Maria, that team Wednesday moved its base to Antigua and Thursday completed an aerial survey of damage to Barbuda, and worked on repairing generators in Barbuda.

According to Woodberry, a crew from SP is expected to arrive in Dominica with relief supplies within the next day or so, though much is in flux. SP will provide tarps for shelter, as well as food, water purification units, hygiene kits, and other supplies.

MAF is also planning to deploy a GATR satellite communication system to Dominica to help get communications up and running on the island.

Mission Aviation Fellowship—a global family of organizations—operates a fleet of some 130 airplanes across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Since 1945, MAF has enabled the work of churches, relief organizations, missionaries, medical teams, development agencies, and others working to share God’s love and make life better for those who live in the most isolated parts of the world. In recent years, MAF has responded to disasters in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew, in Nepal following two deadly earthquakes in 2015, and in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Photos by John Woodberry.

MAF Disaster Response Personnel At Work In St. Maarten

St. Maarten – Sept. 13, 2017

MAF disaster response staff are on the ground in St. Maarten, an island nation in the Caribbean that has been devastated by Hurricane Irma. They are assessing the situation to determine how MAF can use its aviation and communication services to best help those in need. An airplane from MAF-Suriname is headed to St. Maarten to join the relief efforts aiding islands in the area.

Photos by John Woodberry.

MAF’s John Boyd Awarded Honorary Doctorate from NNU

NAMPA, Idaho – Sept. 13, 2017

John Boyd

NAMPA, Idaho – John Boyd, president and CEO of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), has been honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) for his life of service to others. Boyd received the degree Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a ceremony at NNU’s Brandt Center.

“Compassion doesn’t happen just in ministry, but anywhere people are responsive to God's plan. In John Boyd’s case, God interrupted his corporate life and set him on a path of service and a path of compassion toward the lost and isolated,” said Joel Pearsall, president of NNU. “John's service to, and leadership of, Mission Aviation Fellowship reflects his faithfulness to God’s call. In conferring this degree, NNU recognizes this faithfulness, service and compassion. With this degree, we are proud to make John one of our alumni and to claim him as one of our own.”

MAF-US is a non-profit Christian ministry organization that operates in 17 countries of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America with a fleet of 51 aircraft. MAF provides aviation and technology services so that missionaries, development agencies, medical teams, churches, and disaster response organizations can work in the most remote parts of the world. MAF also provides emergency medical evacuations and disaster response assistance.

Boyd was born in Scotland and raised in Rhodesia—the country now known as Zimbabwe. After a successful corporate career, Boyd put his pilot skills to work by joining MAF as a missionary pilot. Boyd and his family served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, and Lesotho.

In 2000, Boyd was appointed chief executive officer of MAF-South Africa. Three years later, Boyd and his family moved to the MAF-US headquarters, where he served as vice president of Ministry Advancement. In January 2008, the board of directors of MAF-US appointed Boyd as its president and CEO.

For Boyd, a key focus has been following Christ’s example of demonstration and proclamation.

“Not only did Jesus preach, he also healed the sick and reached out to the hurting, showing his love in tangible ways. And we are called to ‘go and do likewise,’” Boyd said. That is why MAF supports not just Christian organizations, but other groups working to make life better for isolated people.

Under Boyd’s leadership, MAF has upgraded its fleet, replacing many of the smaller aircraft with KODIAKs, a larger and more efficient plane. The organization also began expanding its Nampa campus to better support training and build stronger community among its missionary staff who often stay on-site. MAF has also been a key player in numerous disaster response efforts, including the Haiti earthquake response in 2010, Nepal earthquake response in 2015, and Hurricane Matthew response in 2016.

According to Dr. Eric Kellerer, director of NNU’s Doceō Center, “John has given all of his energy and all of his time to one passion—reaching the most remote people on planet earth with love and compassion. The full impact he has had on the very poorest people in the world may never be known in our lifetime.”

Northwest Nazarene University, a Christian comprehensive university, offers more than 60 areas of study, 18 master's degrees in seven different disciplines and two doctoral degrees. In addition to its 90-acre campus located in Nampa, Idaho, the university offers programs online as well as in Idaho Falls and in cooperation with programs in 35 countries. Founded in 1913, the University serves over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 6,000 continuing education students and over 2,000 high school students through the concurrent credit program.

Following Hurricane Irma, MAF Conducts Survey Flight in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Sept. 8, 2017

This morning the MAF team in Haiti completed an aerial survey over the northern part of the country, which was hardest hit by Hurricane Irma. Although they observed water in some fields and other places it shouldn’t have been, the team saw little damage.

John Munsell, acting program manager for MAF in Haiti, said, “I have lived and flown in Haiti for 20 years and have completed many survey flights over this area, so I feel that I know this area well. In my opinion, the condition of these areas is what I would expect after a heavy rain. In all of our flying, I didn't see any trees down, roofs off, or major roads blocked.”

An MAF pilot shared, “I was part of the assessment flight following Hurricane Matthew [in 2016], and I was grateful to see the stark contrast between the damage from the two storms. Though some places saw flooding, it was localized and the waters have quickly receded. All roads appeared to be open to traffic and houses have their roofs intact. The seas along the northern coast were still violent from Cap Haitian westward, but to the east, had calmed.”

The photos from the aerial survey are being geo-tagged and shared with other NGOs so that they might use them in their own relief efforts.

Please join us in praising God for Haiti’s protection from this storm, and pray for those in Irma’s path as the hurricane moves north. As Hurricane Jose blows into the region, pray that the many islands and people in the Caribbean may be spared further harm.

MAF in the News

Here are featured articles and videos reported by outside news organizations giving their perspective on the worldwide impact of Mission Aviation Fellowship.



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