Bibles for the Control Tower

Bibles for the Control Tower

MAF Pilot Kevin Spann recently had an opportunity to tour the Air Traffic Control tower at the N'Djili International Airport in the DRC and meet the controllers he speaks to every day over the radio.

'It was neat to meet the people with whom I talk on the radio when I fly’ says Kevin. 'Many of them knew of MAF, but only one or two knew that we are a Christian organisation. They were pleased to learn that not only was I a follower of Christ, but so were all the other MAF staff’.

Kevin makes daily flights in and out of the country's largest airport with missionaries, doctors and medical patients, flying to destinations across the west of the vast African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 ‘As we continued the conversation one controller asked me if I happened to have a Bible handy, as he had never owned one. Then another asked… and another… and so on. When the average worker makes about $5 daily, and the cost of living in Kinshasa is so high (an avocado cost around $1), a $10 book is essentially unattainable’, Kevin explains.

‘At first I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to bring Bibles for the controllers  there couldn't be that many right? I asked how many worked in the control tower – the response was 70 in total!’

After setting a goal of providing enough Bibles so everyone in the control tower could have one Kevin eagerly contacted the church in which he grew up with a request for funds. They raised almost double the amount that was needed!

Wondering what to with the rest of the money  Kevin talked to a colleague in the MAF office for some ideas.  Learning of some ‘really cool’ digital Bible literature programs, Kevin decided to use the remainder to purchase 150 SD cards for mobile phones so the controllers could have access to resources to help them understand what they were reading.   

MAF organised the purchase of the Bibles and then arranged for a trip to the airport for Kevin and his dad, who was, visiting from Kevin’s home church, to deliver them. Each Bible was stamped with the MAF logo and a sticker with John 3:16 explaining the Bibles were purchased with funds from Highland View Church.

‘My father and I were able to deliver 25 Bibles during the first trip.’ (The tower has three teams of roughly 25 people each, so not all 70 are there at one time). The rest of the Bibles were delivered later.

‘The controllers were very excited and repeatedly thanked everyone involved in bringing the Bibles to them.’

The visit helped to strengthen the essential working ties between the air traffic control staff and MAF. ‘On a flight not long after,’ Kevin reports, ‘I heard one of them on the radio and he called me by name! I am excited to continue working with them and cannot wait to see how the Lord works.’

‘Please pray for these relationships, that the Lord may use us and strengthen them with His Word’ is Kevin's concluding request.

'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' John 3:16, New International Version (NIV)