MAF was a charity I supported already so when the opportunity came to work for it (2002-2008 with a break somewhere in the middle) I was over the moon! First I worked in the Youth Department and even uncharacteristically joined in a sponsored skydive to help raise money: crazy!
Then I was involved in sending volunteers to the overseas programmes and later helped in the recruitment and enquiry process for new pilots and engineers etc. I made many wonderful friends through MAF and through living in Folkestone. And was hugely privileged to visit several overseas programmes and enable others to do so.
My three year old son is obsessed with building smooth, straight roads in the living room (made of scarves, Jenga blocks or anything really). In so many parts of the world, roads and landscapes are anything but smooth, journeys of a few miles take hours, and flying can therefore an emergency lifeline or make impossible things possible. I had experienced dodgy roads while on my gap year in Haiti - I had no idea such 'roads' even existed. When being driven up or down the side of a mountain along a bumpy, slippery track (no fence or barrier at the edge, just a massive drop, sometimes with a skeletal vehicle at the bottom of it) you fear for your life. In fact in that year I could not imagine living beyond the age of 22! Death, illness and danger were everyday realities in many ways if not always to us ex pats, definitely to those living around.
One of my favourite times at MAF was Enquirers Days, when those interested to work for MAF in the future would gather. I loved listening to pilot Bryan Pill's tales and pictures of lands afar, alarmingly goat-filled or sloping airstrips (or the uphill one with a sheer cliff downwards at the end), courageous joy-filled but impoverished people, and of course of God's goodness.
Thank you so, so much for giving to MAF and enabling their people and planes to reach those in need of God's help. They work in loads of different countries from Papua New Guinea to Kenya to South America. They fly doctors, church workers, agriculturalists, midwives, surgeons, sick people, vets, vaccines, and all sorts of things, every day. Many charities you know, such as Save the Children and Oxfam, use their flights.
You can find out lots more at www.maf-uk.org