1. Terrible road travel
In the UK we have 245,400 miles of paved roads. In Liberia they have 408 miles with the remaining 6,178 miles as unpaved, unkempt, mud. Travelling by car is long and arduous, with many set backs. A 2 day dirt road drive takes just 90 mins by air. That’s why after over 60 years our newest programme is overcoming the same obstacles that our first one did (and still does).
2. Huge distances
Mongolia has the smallest population density in the world with just 5 people per square mile. Couple that with extreme weather conditions and simply seeing your local doctor huge mission. ‘Our screenings have led us far and wide. In one instance we traveled by train for 15 hours. Another time we went by car in truly blizzard conditions for 12 hours, at times having to walk in front of the car to guide it’ explains a learning disability nurse. A flight with MAF means that time can be saved, clinics hours added and more patients seen.
Many of the countries we work in have civil war in their recent history. This means easier access to weapons and the potential for them to fall into the wrong hands. Banditry and cattle rustling makes travel on foot unpredictable and deadly. MAF exist to provide a safer travel and a way out for those caught in conflict.
4. Impossible terrain
In Papua New Guinea steep mountains, thick jungle and vast rivers make emergency situations painfully slow. After being in labour for 24 hours Peggy was desperate for medical attention. Travel by road would take hours, involve a considerable amount of walking and then a painfully slow bus ride of several hours over rough, pot-holed roads. With MAF it took just 20 mins.
5. God told us too
As an organisation we trust God, we listen to God and we love God. Back in 1945 God spoke to a group of young men who had just survived the atrocities of WWII. He told them that He didn’t want them to use their skills for death and destruction but to bring life and hope to those living in isolation.