An unexpected gift

An unexpected gift

MAF Pilot Josh Plett talks about a recent 'MAMAFY' flight and how they are helping the pastors and missionaries in Madagascar

You know that feeling when you receive a gift that is particularly meaningful for you? Like when your boss notices you working with broken-down shoddy tools and buys you some new ones so you can do your job that much better and enjoy it that much more.

Or maybe someone noticed your old, slow computer and decided to buy you a new one knowing how much more you will get done with fewer problems and frustrations. Perhaps your neighbour came and blew the snow from your driveway so that you wouldn’t have to go shovel it.

We all understand the feeling when we receive a thoughtful gift. Especially when someone has noticed how we may tirelessly work with old, broken or inefficient material, tools, or methods and decides to help out.

Of course we could continue working with those same old tools, or that same slow computer. We could shovel our driveway, or play one more season of hockey with our old, too-small equipment, but man, it feels so great when someone sees our “need” and fills it.

I experienced this on a recent MAMAFY flight.

The MAMAFY project was specifically started to target the local church and meet their transport needs at an affordable price. My 3 passengers that day were from the CEIM church.

Johny Razanajatovo, his wife Voarasoa Rakoto, and Jean Louis Rabenaivo all travelled with me from the capital to Nosy Varika, a small town on the east coast with “limited” access.

I asked Jean Louis on the flight down how long it would take to get there and he mentioned that after the 12-15 hour taxi-bus ride to the coast, you would still either need to take a boat or pirogue (dug-out canoe) up the Pangalan, a man-made canal, the remaining 65km. You do the math.

The three were going down as trainers for the CEIM church; specifically doing leadership training, working with the women in the church and also training 3 local missionary couples.

After landing they told me again how appreciative they were for MAF and how we were helping them in their work, making the aircraft affordable to their church. I had the privilege of also giving them 15 Bibles donated from Prairie Rose EMC to hand out during their stay. They were very excited about this as well. An unexpected gift.

These are the flights that make my work so rewarding.

What a privilege to give this gift to the locals. While they could make the 2-3 day round-trip by ground, we were pleased to be able to offer our aircraft at a price less than what they would have paid to get there using local transport. Flying local church workers to Nosy Varika in 70 minutes instead of them travelling 2-3 days is a great gift, and one of the reasons it is such a pleasure to do what I am doing.