Saturday 29 August 2020 marked the end of an era for the MAF family. At the grand age of 98, Stuart King went to glory.
In commemorating our dear brother and co-founder, BBC Radio 4’s Last Word replayed one of MAF’s earliest pleas for support:
‘I want to tell you more about the problems of the missionaries. They’re battling through mud, swamp and jungle to reach into these remote places with God’s word. We’re convinced a plane will help.’
Stuart and his fellow founders were the first in a long, unbroken line of Christians seeking to overcome the ‘swamp and jungle’ which had slowed the centuries-long spread of the Gospel to a crawl.
Since 1945, thousands of MAF staff have followed in his footsteps, speeding the Good News through the power of flight.
Like Stuart, every one of those men and women has had three things in common:
Faith in the God who called them to mission.
Passion for the isolated people in need of His love.
World-class technical training has been MAF’s bedrock for 75 years and, to this day, enables our uniquely skilled staff to keep our fleet safe, serviced and second-to-none.
Training that will continue to determine the future of MAF.
Stuart was an engineer, a pilot and – above all – a pioneer who delighted in the potential for technical innovation to serve God better.
Dedicating himself to a wide variety of training over many years, he became multi-skilled – from morse code and aviation technology to foreign languages and IT.
Stuart also provided endless encouragement to people who were preparing for service with MAF overseas.
Delighting in their excitement at the adventure that lay ahead of them, he was passionate to see new recruits achieve their potential through training and experience.
In the words of his eldest daughter Rebecca, pictured above as a baby with Phyllis and Stuart:
‘He was all about the future!’
The Stuart King Fund will reflect our founder’s faith in God, his passion for remote communities and the technical training which defined him as an engineer par excellence.
And, if you can help us get it off the ground, the Stuart King Fund will honour his desire to see the Gospel touch millions of people it has yet to reach!
All gifts to the Stuart King Fund will help us provide technical training for the next generation of MAF men and women.
Young people from all over the world who – just like Stuart at the tender age of 23 – are hearing God’s call to devote themselves to mission.
On 10 September 2020, a page-long obituary in The Times quoted Stuart thus:
‘We just felt the call to go.
We didn’t think ahead to what it might become,
we didn’t analyse it; we just went!’
Acting on that impulse, Stuart and his friends set in motion MAF’s first 75 years. At this momentous and exciting time, we invite you to pay your own special tribute by making a gift towards the Stuart King Fund.
By doing so, you will be supporting the next generation of MAF men and women as they devote themselves to the pursuit of technical excellence.
You will help them answer their own, special ‘call to go.’ You will help them learn and develop the skills that will, ultimately, lead to thousands turning to Christ.
On behalf of all the future staff who will benefit from your generosity – and keep our vision alive – the MAF staff of today thank you from the bottom of our hearts.