Tom and Pam Tharp are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship serving at the MAF Headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. Tom works in the Avionics department where he maintains the aircraft used for flight training and orientation and also outfits new aircraft to be sent to the field programs. Tom says, “The highlight of my ministry is upgrading aircraft to take advantage of new satellite technology for safer operations around the world.”
The Tharps’ previous fields of service with MAF include Nyankunde, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), and Bamako, Mali. Tom has installed avionics equipment for a variety of missions and for the UN. His first major accomplishment was the installation of some of the first satellite Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in aircraft in Zaire. In Mali, Tom helped maintain HF radios and e-mail networks for families in the far reaches of the desert that had no telephone communications. Pam’s ministry included flight following, shopping for interior families, hospitality and accountant assistant.
Tom and Pam both grew up in northern Indiana. Tom accepted the Lord at a youth rally in high school. While he was in the Air Force, he attended a Navigators’ retreat in Japan where he began to consider cross-cultural missions. After leaving the Air Force, Tom studied Bible and missions at Toccoa Falls College. Because of his interest in technology, Tom chose Moody Aviation’s flight school in Elizabethton, Tennessee, where he earned an aircraft mechanic’s license, private pilot’s license and FCC radio repairman’s license.
Pam accepted the Lord as her Savior as a child. She attended Fort Wayne Bible College in Indiana and graduated from Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. In 2001, Pam received a B.A. in Liberal Studies and completed her basic teaching credential. Currently, Pam is teaching second grade in a local Christian school. Pam and Tom were married in 1976.
Favorite verses for Tom and Pam are 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.” “God has given the message of reconciliation to us,” comment Tom and Pam. “He uses people to reach people with the Gospel of Christ. We feel privileged to be part of that ministry.”
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 Tharps’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.