Fred and Desiree Schmidt, missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship since 1984, currently serve at MAF headquarters in Nampa, Idaho, in the Purchasing/Shipping Department for MAF worldwide operations. The Schmidts began their career as a pilot/mechanic family in Africa, flying in both Zimbabwe and neighboring Botswana. After 10 years they transferred to MAF headquarters in Redlands, California, where Fred instructed in the flight-training department for nearly three years.
Returning overseas, Fred and Desiree invested their talents and skills into Ecuador, MAF’s first traditional program, where they experienced the “birth pains” of slowly turning the flying over to qualified Ecuadorian pilots, under the Alas de Socorro team. Mentoring and orienting these pilots proved meaningful to Fred. He considers I Peter 1:3 as he serves the MAF programs overseas each day. “I’ve been impressed over and over again that we have such a special message of Hope in Jesus Christ. What a joy to share something so life-changing and eternal.”
Fred, although born in Minnesota, grew up in Ecuador with his missionary family. He accepted Christ as his Savior when he was 10, after hearing a radio message by Billy Graham. Earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and Missions from Grace College of the Bible in Omaha, Nebraska, he also earned his airframe and power-plant (A&P) mechanics license, commercial-instrument pilot’s license, and a flight instructors rating at Moody Aviation.
Desiree grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota, and became a Christian at age nine while attending a Bible camp. She says, “We had missionaries in our home and I often felt very drawn to their lives and stories. At age 12, I dedicated my life to missions.” She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Grace College of the Bible and an Associate degree in Nursing (R.N.) from the University of Nebraska College of Nursing. Fred and Desiree met in college, and married in 1981.
Part of her ministry in Idaho, includes offering hospitality, working with the women’s ministry at their church , discipleship, and encouraging women in their faith in Christ through teaching and mentoring. Desiree shares that her favorite verses are Proverbs 3:5-6. Tyler, their oldest son, and Renae, with their three children, are also a part of MAF as a pilot/mechanic family serving in Indonesia. Trevor, their second son, with Kristen, practices Physical Therapy in Alamosa, CO. The Schmidts’ only daughter, Danica, and their youngest son, Kyle, both graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR and work in North Dakota.
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 the Schmidts’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.