About MAF Staff

As a bit of family news, we want to show you the write up that MAF’s team in PNG received in the national paper yesterday. MAF has had a presence in PNG for 61 years now and, as you will see, are very appreciated!

We are so proud of the work of all our teams scattered throughout the world. They are, in a very real and tangible way, transforming lives spiritually and physically in Jesus’ name.


Minister praises MAF’s efforts

The National, Thursday 18th October, 2012


CIVIL Aviation Minister Davis Steven has some generous words of appreciation and praise for the Missionary Fellowship Aviation for its contribution to the country over the past 61 years.

The MP for Esa’ala open said MAF was not just another ordinary airline company but, a “very special” one carrying out a “special role” in PNG.

Speaking at the Kagamuga Airport yesterday about MAF’s dedicated service and celebrating the arrival of its new Cessna aircraft from Australia, Steven said: “I want to thank and congratulate MAF on behalf of the people in the country for playing a very significant role in serving the remote people where no other aircraft could serve.

“I see a new partnership with MAF because this is not just another ordinary airline company.”

Steven said MAF’s dedicated and committed service was highly appreciated.

MAF’s operation manager Patrick Williams said the new plane brought the total number of aircraft to 15 in the country.
He said MAF served 250 rural airstrips in the country.

Williams said the new plane, worth K3 million, was donated by overseas missions in Poland, England, Norway and Sweden to support the work of MAF in serving the rural people in the country.

Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/praise-for-maf-png-121019

The latest addition to MAF’s aircraft fleet in Madagascar is already having a dramatic impact.

The Cessna 182's very first flight saved 2 doctors a 2.5 day overland tripThe Cessna 182’s very first flight saved 2 doctors a 2.5 day overland tripThe new Cessna 182 SMA recently accompanied our larger Cessna Caravan aircraft to the northern community of Mandritsara on a routine flight for the hospital. The next day though, a call was received requesting an immediate medevac for a resident of Bemana, over a hundred miles to the east.

Suffering from a burst intestine, the patient was dangerously distant from any location to receive the urgently required surgery and our Cessna Caravan was unfortunately already flying in the north. The Cessna 182 however collected the man and his father in time to fly them both to a hospital in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. The smaller plane provided a more fuel-efficient alternative that for one man meant the difference between life and death.

MAF’s country director in Madagascar, Bert van den Bosch, is not surprised by the immediate impact of the Cessna 182 SMA on the team’s ability to serve communities. “It is a huge blessing! I feel that with the two quite different planes we have something to offer to our clients again, especially the smaller groups. I spoke today with a French missionary that had to travel one week by car, boat over open sea and walking to reach his mission post. The 182 opens MAF for him again as another option.”

Having saved one life already in its short service, the Cessna 182 is booked for a further 22 more hours’ flight over the coming week. MAF pilot Josh Plett is excited by the opportunities this new plane will present to our work in Madagascar, seeing “big potential to use this aircraft for high-impact mission flying”.


Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/life-saving-start-to-service-121004


Dr Allan Sawyer (left) is an obstetrician/ gynaecologist who has been in private practice for the past 20 years. He has been on five mission trips with Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Missions, four of them to PNG.

Wanting to minister again in PNG, God gave him the vision for this trip. He asked the Kopfs, a missionary couple with New Tribes Mission (living with the Hewa people in the Enga Province of Papua New Guinea), if they could benefit from a medical team coming and teaching a Community Based Health Care (CBHC) and Village Childbirth Attendant (VCA) Course. The Kopfs were enthusiastic about the idea but expressed the great need also for a dentist. So Dr Allan began lessons from an Oral Surgeon friend on how to extract teeth.

After raising the funds for the trip, Dr Allan set about putting together a team. CBHC Director Dr. Becky Morsch, Kudjip missionary physician Dr. Stephanie Doenges, a team from Samaritan’s Purse and two PNG nationals came together to join the mission. Before they knew it, they were gathered in Mt Hagen ready for the MAF flight to Fiyawana where the New Tribes Mission (NTM) helicopter would shuttle them and their equipment to Yifki.

On a mission! - The team travel to FiyawanaOn a mission! – The team travel to Fiyawana

Even though Fiyawana was not a safe place (the Kopfs had vacated it following a murder at their door), none of the team wanted to return to Hagen, so they decided to stay in the Kopf’s old house overnight. As he watched the plane fly off into the sky, Dr Allan had a lump in his throat, but still felt that God would protect them. Their night was uncomfortable, spent on the floor and settee cushions, eating snacks, nuts and fruit.

The following morning they were woken by the roosters but at least the rain had stopped and the helicopter was able to arrive. MAF pilot, Nick Swalm who was flying in fuel for the NTM helicopter, came armed with hot coffee and cinnamon buns for everyone, which was received enthusiastically.

It took the entire morning to shuttle all the team, their supplies, and jet fuel from Fiyawana to Yifki. They were met by nearly a hundred of the Hewa and neighbouring tribes who turned up to hear them teach and to be treated for their medical and dental problems.

Everyone, even the animals, were welcome in the classroom set up by the localsEveryone, even the animals, were welcome in the classroom set up by the localsThey started the CBHC and VCA class immediately after lunch in the open class room, with a Hewa man named Faimpot translating from Pidgin to Hewan. Dogs, chickens, roosters, and a young cassowary wandered in to ’listen’ to the teaching. Dr Allan and his wife Teresa, along with Dr Stephanie, started up the medical clinic (just one tiny room!) and began to see patients.

“That night we set up a small projector and speakers to show the movie ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ in the outdoor teaching area. The Hewa people had only ever seen a movie crowded around a small laptop computer,” Dr Allan said. “The large image that we projected thrilled them. I didn’t realize that it was a 2 DVD movie, so we finally had to call it a night half way through the movie and explain that we would finish it tomorrow night. We poured ourselves into bed, physically and emotionally exhausted.”

Matthew Galman (left), one of the PNG nationals on the team, spent the first few days covering personal hygiene issues. They took 150 toothbrushes and 150 tubes of toothpaste, so Matthew explained to his students how to brush their teeth. The people had never even had a toothbrush before. Dr. Stephanie and Dr. Becky spent an entire day on normal childbirth. 

Then the following day Dr Allan (right) taught on complications of childbirth, including the management of delivery of the placenta.

The people were extremely grateful for the five-day course. They told the team that they never heard of, nor been taught, so many things. The men particularly were so grateful for being taught about childbirth so they could help their women when birthing. They explained that no other doctors had ever come to help them.

To express their genuine gratitude, the various tribes got together and cooked four enormous pigs and served a feast for everyone who had come to the training. They gave the team their spears and the women gave the ladies hand woven bilums (large open bags) that they had woven from tree bark.

Dr Allan recalled the partnership of MAF in this project: “This experience would not have been possible if MAF was not serving in PNG. Without MAF, it would be extremely difficult, and the cost of reaching some of the remote areas where missions serve, would be prohibitive. We were extremely grateful for the service received from MAF. Pilots Mike Davis and Nicholas Swalm were particularly helpful. Nick brought us hot coffee and breakfast the next day at Fiyawana when he knew that we had been stranded at the airstrip all night. That was very considerate!”

“MAF is a vital partner essential to our ministry in PNG”, Dr Allan Sawyer wrote, “We couldn’t do it without them.”


Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/a-mission-trip-to-remember-120917

The mission of MAF is as unique as it is exciting. Below is a typical week (if there is such a thing as a typical week!) of a MAF Pilot in East Timor, a small mountainous nation with great needs.

Using our GA8 Airvan aircraft based in Dili, pilot Jonathan Lowe was able to overcome the barriers of mountains and a weak infrastructure to enable our passengers, who are involved in medical, development and education work, to get to their destinations safely and quickly.


Monday 20th August

Monday’s flights were firstly for a team from the Leprosy Mission, to drop them at Oecusse, then an afternoon medevac from Oecusse back to Dili for a 30 year old woman in a coma.



Tuesday 21st August

Tuesday’s flight went to Los Palos, taking Kirsty Gusmao –  the Goodwill ambassador for Education and the wife of the Prime Minister – and a team from a church in Melbourne to the opening of some new school buildings.



Wednesday 22nd August

Wednesday’s planned flight to Suai, Maliana and Dili had to be changed when another medevac request came from Oecusse – actually a triple medevac.

The three patients – a child and two adults were flown to hospital, along with three escorts and a nurse.


Thursday 23rd August

Two flights took place yesterday, firstly a scenic flight over Dili for the visiting family of one of our regular Oxfam passengers. After that, a flight to Same taking a WaterAid staff member and family who are relocating there.


Friday 24th August

MAF East Timor’s flight today (Friday) supported an agricultural training project. The team with Caritas were flown to Oecusse so they can spend the day in a village with a group of 150 farmers evaluating the effects of their programmes.


Article source: http://www.maf.org.au/news/n/photo-diary-a-week-in-the-life-of-a-maf-pilot-120828