An all-female flight

An all-female flight

From the pilot to the passengers, you won't find any men aboard this MAF mission flight in Madagascar!

As we enter our 70th year of operation, we are marking yet another significant milestone – our first all-female flight in Madagascar!

And it really was all about the girls – the trio of lady passengers from Assemblies of God flown by pilot Becki Dillingham to Manakara in south-eastern Madagascar to speak to the women at the church there.

Manakana from the air

Cary Rostorfer, with the help of translator Tolotra Razafimahefa, talked about the role of older women in helping and mentoring the younger women, engendering a culture of positive role modelling between the generations of Malagasy women.

The hot topic

Meanwhile, Heather Santmyire gathered the young women and teenage girls of the church (and many boys too) to discuss the hot topic of abstinence before marriage - a major issue in the coastal areas where many young 'Christian' men believe women should prove they can provide a child before they will marry them.

The high numbers of single young mums in the area - the result of entrenched norms - is not helped by the cramped living arrangements of most families who typically have only a single room. With the bed as the only comfortable place to sit, the temptation is that bit closer for young courting couples!

Heather speaking at the church in Manakana

Special visits

The team also got the chance to visit and support colleagues Jo and Billy Wilson, long serving missionaries who had delayed their retirement two years earlier to continue serving in Madagascar.

They also paid a very special visit to Vivian, a young Malagasy pastor who co-leads a nearby church with her husband. Vivian grew up at the Assemblies of God Orphanage in Antananarivo run by Cary and now by Heather. So for both women to see 'their little girl' all grown up with a church of her own was a blessing and a real encouragement.

Sowing God's love

It is exciting to think that the witness and love being sown into the lives of women in Madagascar by Cary and Heather is, in turn, being sown into the lives of younger generations.

And with MAF pilots like Becki on hand to help bridge the vast distances in her little plane, let's hear it for the girls this International Women's Day!

Join Becki's support team