What's happening at MAF?

MAF staff are currently living in the hangar as commuting is too dangerous (credit: Zacharie Francois)
25 Jan 2023
Haiti in crisis – MAF navigates challenging conditions
  As the UN Security Council meets in New York to discuss Haiti’s ‘dire humanitarian and security situation’, MAF continues to monitor its operations and deliver its services in the safest way possible. We get the latest from MAF Haiti’s Crisis Management Team (more…)
Ryan and Annabel Koher
24 Jan 2023
Imprisoned pilot Ryan Koher finally speaks to family
MAF continues to seek the release of pilot and mechanic Ryan Koher who has been wrongfully detained by Mozambican authorities since 4 November. Ryan has been imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism following the seizure of supplies meant for an orphanage during a routine airport security scan (more…)
Year 10 graduates and guests are welcomed to the celebration in Mougulu (credit: Landen Kelly)
23 Jan 2023
Isolated PNG school celebrates first ever graduates
Two years ago, Nomad Mougulu High School in remote Western Province, opened its doors for its first cohort of students. Last month, over 50 of them graduated with flying colours. The school - which was built with MAF's support and can only be reached by foot or by plane - has gone from strength to strength (more…)
19 Jan 2023
‘Grace’ Appeal
Rev Bernard Suwa, Pastor of Grace Community Church in Juba (credit: Bernard Suwa)
16 Jan 2023
Surviving South Sudan – Bernard Suwa’s story of loss, healing and hope
In the second episode of MAF’s new Flying for Life podcast ‘No poverty’, we hear from the Rev Bernard Suwa – pastor of Grace Community Church in Juba and former CEO of development charity ACROSS. Bernard chats to Josh Carter about how MAF transformed his life and how aviation is still critical in South Sudan today (more…)
Grace*and her father Akech get ready to board MAF’s plane
15 Jan 2023
MAF enables child rape survivor to have life-saving surgery
Grace* was 7 when she was brutally raped on the outskirts of Juba 16 months ago, which left her with severe internal injuries and in desperate need of surgery. Thanks to MAF, Grace was able to access vital restorative surgery in neighbouring DRC under Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr Denis Mukwege (more…)
12 Jan 2023
The Flying For Life Podcast Episode 2 – No Poverty
John Feil – Operations Manager for MAF South Sudan, Peter Claver – Head of Programmes at health charity AMREF and the Rev Bernard Suwa of Grace Community Church in Juba, share how they’re tackling poverty in South Sudan – MAF’s oldest African programme.
11 Jan 2023
‘Jesus Street’
‘But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it’ (Matthew 7:14). Nestled between Patisserie Valerie and Greggs Bakery on Exeter’s High Street lies the narrowest street in Britain. Parliament Street measures just 25 inches at its slimmest point and 45 inches at its widest. Now that is narrow! Apparently, it’s just about wide enough for one person to walk down, and would be easy to miss when you’re out shopping. Then there’s a road in Bolivia. Although it’s called the North Yungas Road, it’s also known as ‘Death Road’. The road has narrow and uneven tracks — some less than 10 feet wide — with very steep mountains and sheer drops of up to 3,280 feet. The road surface is unstable, waterfalls cascade down the side of the mountain, and dense cloud cover makes visibility poor. I wonder, would either of these be what Jesus had in mind when he talked about the ‘narrow road’ in the Sermon on the Mount? 'I am the gate' Jesus loved to use parables, and many of the stories He told were used to illustrate something far deeper than their literal meaning. For Christians, Matthew 7:13-14 paints a picture of Jesus as the sole way to salvation. The gate that leads to eternal life is called ‘narrow’. That doesn’t mean it’s restrictive in the sense that it’s difficult to become a Christian. It means that there is only one way to heaven, and that is through Christ. This is why, in John 10:9, Jesus says, ‘I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.’ You may have heard the concept of the narrow gate being used as a warning to avoid the allure of worldly pleasures, or employed to promote a message of self-satisfied exclusivity concerning the ‘elect’. The last bit of Matthew 7:14 — ‘only a few find it’ — could certainly give that impression. But although the road and gate may indeed be narrow, I believe that they’re still sufficiently wide enough to accommodate the entire world, should people accept it. As Revelation 7:9 indicates, God is yearning for ‘a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language… standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.’ Interpretation With this in mind, I wonder if our interpretation of the narrow road has become a little ‘narrow’. One of the wisest ways to read a passage of Scripture is by doing so in the context of the whole chapter. Interestingly, when we read Matthew 7, it’s quite a while before Jesus even mentions the narrow road. Instead, He begins by cautioning us, ‘do not judge, or you too will be judged’. He also warns against hypocrisy and failing to value others. This gives the narrow road narrative a slightly different perspective, with some biblical commentaries suggesting that Jesus was aiming His words at the Pharisees. The truth is a narrow road with trenches on either side. If we lean too far either way, we can find ourselves stuck in a ditch. On one side, there’s legalism, pride, judgment, self-righteousness and intolerance. On the other, there’s cheap grace, ‘easy-believism’, and a lack of repentance. Balance and humility are key. Although it seems as if we live in an ‘either/or’ culture, Jesus is calling us to have a more ‘yes/and…’ approach to life. He is calling us to walk the narrow road with compassion and discernment, grace and wisdom. Surely the story about removing the plank out of our own eye before we try to remove the speck of dust from our brother’s (7:3-5) is a warning not to be pious and judgmental, but to take a good look at our own failings first? It is also a challenge to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him’ (16:24); recognising the cost to self as a follower of Jesus. His grace is enough Thankfully, God’s grace goes beyond our human limitations. He sees us the way He created us to be — full of potential, kindness, goodness and self-control. We are made in His image after all. Despite our flaws, His Spirit continually calls us on, gently quickening us to walk humbly and mercifully. He understands the ‘why’ behind our misconceptions, and sees our scars and hurts. His love is redemptive, patient and incredibly forgiving. So, whether the path you walk is crazily narrow and easily missed like Parliament Street, or you find yourself stumbling along an unstable North Yungas Road, blinded by the storms of life, remember that Jesus continues to lead the way. He encourages us to move forward with the invitation to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking — His ultimate promise being that we’ll eventually find what we’re looking for. Response The narrow road doesn’t exist to keep people out. As Jesus Himself said, ‘Everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened’ (Matthew 7:8). Why not take some time on this cold January day to chat to God about this — laying aside any preconceptions and judgments you might have, to ask, ‘Who can I invite to walk down Jesus Street with me today?’
06 Dec 2022
Love is the brightest light of them all
With Christmas right around the corner, we have officially entered panto season. Familiar one-liners and cheesy jokes create a sense of camaraderie and joy for all generations alike as families come together in their local theatres, enjoying the ambience, making meaningful connections, and building memories. But can you imagine what your theatre experience would be like without all the background stuff? Imagine how hard it would be to hear without good quality amplification. And what if the lights remained off? You wouldn’t be able to see what the panto was about, would you? Let there be light Picture this, the creation story — pantomime style. The theatre is dark and silent, apparently void of anything. Suddenly a big booming voice overhead calls out, ‘Let there be light’. In response, all the house lights are instantly turned up, with every stage light on full beam! It’s a sight, I’m sure, that’s pretty overwhelming! The background lighting captures the feeling , with bright colours and strong beams cutting through the haze — the colours changing at any given moment. Then there’s the front of stage lighting — nice and bright — enabling us to see specific details. There are lights that add sparkle, lighting that creates tension, and spotlights that follow the lead actors around, helping the foreground to stand out from the background. Although the different lights are important and necessary, it’s the spotlight that really catches our attention — enabling a connection between the audience and the faces and emotion of those performing. A long, long time ago Once upon a time, some 2,000 years ago, God placed a spotlight in the sky that would lead a number of men to directly connect with a baby lying in a manger in what is now modern-day Israel. The restoration of humankind to its Creator had begun, and it didn’t look like anything most people were expecting. Thirty-three years later, as Jesus took His last breath on the cross and declared, ‘It is finished’, a tortured Christ left this world — temporarily leaving His people more confused than ever. Today, we know that the crucifixion was not the final act. Jesus overcame death and rose again, revealing Himself to some astonished women and initially unbelieving men. He met Thomas in his doubts, comforted, fed and walked with His disciples, and later appeared to Saul on the Damascus Road, with a light that blinded and a grace that transformed. Shine your light And the Light of the World continues to shine. Enabled by the gift of His Holy Spirit, you and I are also called to be ‘light in the darkness’. But often, in our attempts to ‘enlighten’, we inadvertently create a chasm that pushes people further into their darkness. Yes, sin needs to be exposed. But when we name, we shame when we do so without insight and mercy. Yes, culture needs addressing. But when we attack and withdraw, we polarise and divide when we do so without introspection and humility. It’s a narrow road we walk. But it’s a road that’s lit by the brightest light of all — love! Other centred love Love doesn’t always look the way we imagine. It is other centred and brave. When we love — as Jesus loves — we meet people where they’re at. We lean into their worlds without judgment or pride. We journey with them at their pace, offering kindness and grace with every opportunity. We start to see them, and I mean really see them. We get to understand better a person’s ‘why’ and are privileged with insight into their story. This is the ‘background stuff’ that informs our life experience. (Remember the lights and sounds at the theatre?) Our job isn’t to convict or change people. It’s to help them experience Jesus for themselves, every day of their lives. He is the One who transforms, heals and redeems. He is the light of the world (John 8:12). God so loved the world that He gave His only Son (John 3:16). That is something worth celebrating this Christmas — and it’s the place from which we operate — as people who love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). Love lights up this world. Do not fear There is always a baddy in a panto, and it’s easy to get frightened when the lights go down and the music turns to a minor key. But, for every baddy, there’s a hero who always shines through in the end. It’s the same for us. We have an enemy. He lies and divides. He spreads fear and disdain. But we also have a Hero whose restoration story continues. It may feel as if Jesus is sometimes backstage, but He is always present, and will be front and centre for the final curtain call. This Christmastime, why not choose again to love brightly and courageously, knowing that Jesus has your back? He goes before you and — because I just can’t resist — ‘He’s behind you!’ Response Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve read and ask the Holy Spirit to shine a spotlight on anyone to whom you can bring God’s love and light. Maybe it will mean setting an extra place at your table for dinner… Remember, it’s a privilege to hear another person’s story and gain an insight into the background stuff of life. Indeed, it’s from this privileged position of enlightenment that we should never cease praying — confident that the darkness around us can never extinguish the light of Jesus (John 1:5).
05 Dec 2022
MAF launches the ‘Flying for Life’ podcast
MAF UK has launched its first-ever podcast ‘Flying for Life’ hosted by Josh Carter from Premier Christian Radio. Josh and friends explore the issues at the heart of MAF’s ministry and the role MAF plays in delivering help, hope and healing to the remotest people on earth. Join Sally Lloyd from Strickland Bosavi Foundation, science teacher Maika Yabua from Nomad Mougulu High School and MAF’s deputy chief pilot Steven Biggs from The Biggs go African MAF Liberia as they discuss access to education in Papua New Guinea and Liberia. Listen and subscribe here.
Students studying science at Nomad Mougulu High School, PNG’s Western Province
01 Dec 2022
MAF supports PNG school ‘in the middle of nowhere’
Nomad Mougulu High School - one of the remotest schools on earth – features in MAF UK's first ever podcast 'Flying for Life'. Set in the heart of the jungle in PNG’s Western Province with no road or river access, its founder Sally Lloyd tells presenter Josh Carter how they rely on MAF to survive (more…)