Story by Charlotte Pedersen. Photos by Kenneth Pedersen
It was an honour for MAF to have two Bible translators as the first passengers on our newly renovated Cessna 182, 5R-AMF. After two years of taking apart the aircraft, painting, renovating, waiting for the spare parts to arrive, and then putting it all back together, to see the 5R-AMF airborne again was an emotional moment!
The first flight was one of the longer routes MAF flies in Madagascar. The translators were going home to Ambovombe in the south of Madagascar after having attended a Bible translation workshop in the capital, Antananarivo.
The translators work together with the local Bible translating organisation called Fiaraha-miasa Lioka (FML). They volunteer locally, working on their drafts, and annually meet up with consultants and other tribes in bigger towns to check and complete their drafts, before publishing. There are now 18 tribes working on different regional Bible translations.
We can see the progress of our tribe; people are eager to pray!
FML team member
One of the FML team explained, ‘We translate the Bible from official Malagasy to Antandroy. We have already translated the Gospels, Acts, Colossians, Philippians and Galatians. We are about to finish working on Ephesians.’
This work is vital in growing and nurturing faith in Madagascar, as one of the translators explains, ‘People understand the basic meaning of the text and want to have the Bible, so they can really understand it. We can see the progress of our tribe; people are eager to pray!’
The team’s flight with MAF saved the team a great deal of time, ‘By plane our trip is about 3 hours, by bus it is about 5 days. And we are really squeezed in bus, for there are 9 of us. We are happy, thankful [to MAF] and hope that this will continue!’
After the first flight of 5R-AMF in September 2019 the aircraft has been busy!
Currently, the other two aircraft in Madagascar are grounded for maintenance – so the Cessna 182 is carrying out lots of flights all around Madagascar with pastors, doctors, vaccinations, patients. 5R-AMF is definitely making a huge difference for the isolated people of Madagascar.