The children and youth ministry at CASM are supporting Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) through the Adopt-A-Plane program. They give their offerings each Sunday during the Bible study time. The money given is collected and sent to MAF monthly. By adopting a plane, they are helping to cover fuel and maintenance costs for MAF planes to continue flying throughout the world. More than 800 Christian and humanitarian organizations as well as thousands of isolated nationals rely on MAF planes everyday.
So, what is Mission Aviation Fellowship?
Sharing the love of Jesus Christ through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed.
Mission Aviation Fellowship was founded in 1945 by a group of WWII pilots who had a vision for how aviation could be used to help spread the Gospel.
Since those early days, MAF has been an indispensible partner and servant to Christian organizations and other agencies. MAF enables and maximizes evangelism and nurtures churches, gives medical assistance, provides disaster response, and helps with community development, as well as the training and development of indigenous people.
Using aviation and technology, MAF shares the love of Jesus Christ by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of isolated people in 42 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Eurasia, and Latin America. Dedicated missionary families raise their own ministry support to serve as the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.
Evangelism and Nurturing Churches
Missionary pilot-mechanics fly over dense jungles, mountains, and deserts, providing a way to reach isolated people. Missions organizations and indigenous church leaders depend on MAF to bring them to and from remote villages where traveling by foot would take days or even weeks. Precious travel time is saved so that more time can be devoted to evangelizing, Bible translation, and more.
MAF transports doctors and nurses, along with much-needed medical supplies, to treat people who otherwise would have difficult or no access to medical help. Daily, MAF is called on to perform “medevacs,” which are medical evacuations to deliver critically injured or ill people to hospitals, thus saving their lives.
After disasters, MAF is there to transport relief workers and deliver food and other desperately needed supplies. Where roads have been destroyed by earthquakes or floods, MAF is able to overcome those obstacles and bring aid to locations where it is needed most.
By transporting workers and supplies, MAF supports community development projects. Communities and lives are transformed by MAF support of solar energy projects, well digging projects, agricultural programs, and other development initiatives. In some locations, MAF provides communications services, such as email, HF/VHF radios, and VSAT broadband internet access.
Training and Development of Indigenous People
MAF provides distance learning technologies to help train indigenous pastors who otherwise would not have access to biblical teaching or leadership training. Through partnerships with other organizations, MAF supplies digital biblical reference and study materials, helps establish learning centers, and provides cutting-edge learning solutions that support the growth of the church. In addition, MAF trains indigenous people to become aircraft mechanics, bookkeepers, and communication specialists at MAF bases.
In 2009, the MAF fleet of 53 aircraft executed 37,821 flights, logged more than 2.9 million miles, transported 120,350 passengers, and delivered 11.3 million pounds of cargo—all on 1,700 rough, unimproved dirt and grass airstrips or waterways.
These statistics translate to MAF saving 65,991 days of travel time—or 272.7 work years—over the course of 12 months. Redeemed for productive Kingdom work, these 65,991 days exceed the equivalent of 54.5 five-year terms of missionary service!
Every hour of flight saves three days of travel by foot or slow, arduous ground transportation…greatly maximizing the ministry of missionaries and national evangelists.
So, what airplane have CASM’s children and youth adopted?
Meet PK-MCB, affectionately called “Charlie Brown”!
This MAF Cessna 185 derives its name from its registration call letters, PK-MCB. Some of its stories are fascinating … many of its flights are lifesaving … all of its service in Kalimantan is life-sustaining. Welcome aboard!
Charlie Brown is a floatplane that dramatically cuts travel time for people who live in the jungles of Central Kalimantan, and for the missionaries who bring them the Gospel. Most of Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, is covered by jungles and swamps. Kalimantan’s seven rivers make excellent landing strips, allowing Charlie Brown to serve more than 75 sites. Since all the villages are situated right on riverbanks, Charlie Brown is very practical!
Without the airplane, one missionary couple faces four arduous days of travel by bus and boat to reach their village. Although their village is located on a river too small even for Charlie Brown to serve, a short flight to the nearest landing site still cuts three full days off their travel time, giving these missionaries three extra days to teach literacy to the people in their village.
Much spiritual darkness still exists in Kalimantan’s interior—spirit worship, witch doctor practices, and, sadly, a form of Christianity interlaced with superstition. National pastors need much help and spiritual support. After graduating from Bible school, new pastors are sent out in pairs to evangelize and begin new churches. Charlie Brown occasionally flies them back to the campus so they can be encouraged, be mentored, and pursue the additional studies they need.
This MAF plane quickly transports people to hospitals, brings medicine to those who need it, assists missionaries, and flies national evangelists into remote villages. Still, so much more could be done if the funds were available to help these people in need.
Through the MAF Adopt-A-Plane program, our children and youth play a significant part in transporting missionaries and national church leaders in and out of jungle villages, delivering medicines and evacuating the sick and injured, sharing the Gospel with them, and strengthening local churches and pastors.
Who flies the “Charlie Brown”?
Currently, there are two pilots who fly and maintain our adopted plane in central Kalimantan, Indonesia. A third is expected to arrive within the next year to help cover this vast jungle landscape.
The Pratt family
Jason and Robyn Pratt, along with their daughter, Samantha, are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, Indonesia. As a pilot/mechanic family, the Pratts serve on a small floatplane base in the vast river networks of Central Kalimantan. Jason shares that it is a privilege to be able to serve the Lord with his life. “Huge spiritual needs still exist in Central Kalimantan. Alcoholism, drugs, depression, and ancestor worship are still a part of everyday life here. MAF has been strategically placed to be a ‘light’ to the dark and isolated places. When the challenges seem too much, we cling to Proverbs 3:5-6—‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.’”
The Persenaire family
Steve and Laura Persenaire also serve in Palangkaraya, Indonesiaon the island of Borneo. As a pilot/mechanic, Steve serves the local missionaries and nationals through the use of the airplane. Laura serves through her roles as wife and mother. She also teaches English to the kids in the community as a form of outreach.
Steve received his B.S. in Missionary Aviation Technology from Moody Aviation in Elizabethton, TN. Laura attended Moody Bible Institute for one year where she studied International Ministries. She received her B.A. in Speech Communications and M.A. in Teaching (Kindergarten through 8th grade) from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.
Hebrews 12:2 is a favorite verse of Steve’s. “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”