We are constantly inspired by the lengths our supporters go to help us reach the world’s most isolated communities.
When she tackles The Grizzly endurance race in March 2019, MAF supporter Laura Perratt will face the kind of conditions you might encounter in Liberia, Madagascar or some of the 25 other countries where MAF helps overcome formidable geographical challenges to reach remote communities in need.
Photos by Sarah Williams (Main image), Laura Perratt and LuAnne Cadd
The Grizzly, ‘Twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of the multiest-terrain running experience,’ will take every last ounce of determination Laura can muster. But Laura has strong motivation to overcome, as she runs in memory a very special man, her father Larry Heintz who passed into glory in March 2018 after a courageous, three-year battle with brain cancer. In fact, race day marks the first anniversary of the day The Lord took Larry home - making it especially poignant for Laura as she chooses to honour her father's memory in this way.
‘Dad was a courageous, patient, funny and caring man with a very deep faith in Jesus,’ Laura shares. ‘He was always smiling, rarely complained, and endured any hardship with a positive attitude - not just in the final years of his life, but also when flying out to challenging areas of the globe as a missionary, when faced with a multitude of health problems, and when bringing up three lively kids!’
Laura, along with her sister, spent their earliest years in the mission field in Ethiopia where Larry served as a pilot. Continuing his work from the UK, Larry pioneered the development of a safety culture within MAF that contributed to the organisation’s excellent safety record. Larry’s contribution to the wider aviation community was recognised by the United Nations in 2015 when he was presented with The Humanitarian Aviation Recognition Award for his exceptional contribution to the international humanitarian community.
‘Dad was a courageous, patient, funny and caring man with a very deep faith in Jesus.’Laura Perratt
But for those like Laura, who knew and loved Larry, his impact was felt much closer to home. ‘He was deeply loved, and I know I speak for everyone who knew him when I say that I am so, so proud of him and I miss him more than words can describe.’
‘Dad has inspired me, and many others, to stay positive even when things are tough. I'm running the Grizzly because it's definitely going to be tough!’
‘The Grizzy is on the 1 year anniversary of dad moving to heaven – which makes it even more fitting. I want to use this opportunity to raise money for two incredible charities that meant a lot to my dad, and also to my amazing mum who never left his side.’
‘Dad was absolutely committed to his work with Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF is an inspiring Christian organisation that uses light aircraft to deliver thousands of aid, relief and mission projects in really remote places around the globe.’
‘He was always smiling, rarely complained, and endured any hardship with a positive attitude - not just in the final years of his life, but also when flying out to challenging areas of the globe as a missionary...'