About Bill Harding

TC1It is with great excitement that we announce that the MAF Training Centre in Mareeba is now officially open!

On Friday February 20th, MAF Mareeba held the long-anticipated opening day. More than 100 MAF staff and supporters gathered to worship, pray and dedicate the new building to the service of the Lord.

Beginning with afternoon tea, everyone was given a tour of the Training Centre as well as the Mareeba hangar nearby. After some praise and worship, Chief Flying Instructor Marcus Grey led the ceremony, sharing about the history of MAF’s flight and engineering training and the various Training Centres in Australasia.

After serving as a MAF pilot in PNG, Volkher Jacobsen worked as the Flight Training Manager at the Flight Training Centre in Coldstream, Victoria (ACMA). Now based in Mareeba, he is confident that despite the move, MAF’s enabling role as remote area aviation training specialists remains unchanged.

Aviation Director William Nicol, speaking from Psalm 121, affirmed that the ongoing purpose of this new Training Centre was to enable people to journey with God, to reach out, so that they would be a blessing to others, “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from.”

TC2A number dedicated the building and those who serve and study in it to God, including ex-missionary kid Pastor Jireh Scheurwater, MAF Australia CEO Michelle Dorey, Ex-FTC Manager Leon Norsworthy, MAFI Maintenance Support Manager Darren Lydeamore and Regional Director Stephen Charlesworth

We sang, we prayed, we talked and we ate. And so with a “Shout to the Lord”, a pig on a spit, a cream sponge and a lot of excitement and laughter, the MAF Training Centre was officially opened.

A special thanks to the generous 671 donors who made all this possible.


10968317_440344302796266_9011311223323847004_nMAF pilots Mathias Glass and Sebastian Kurz are ceremonially coated with mud in the celebration of an aircraft landing for the first time EVER at Kaiam Airstrip in a very remote part of Papua New Guinea. See:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/7pzbg8i9tsbab56/First%20Landing%20Kaiam.mp4.mp4?dl=0

The excitement of the locals can be seen in the video of the first landing, but can only be understood when you know that Kaiam has previously been so cut off from the outside world that it has required 2 days travel in a canoe from there just to reach a remote village with an airstrip. With their new airstrip, the people now have access to vaccinations and other health care, education, church support and the possibility of emergency evacuation. Praise God.

It’s been a long journey, from the first centerline survey in June 2000, through years and years of back-breaking work by local people and Anton Lutz, a Lutheran missionary. The dramatic story of the airstrip’s creation is shown at:



Justin-Honaker-Lesotho-flowersby Justin Honaker

The patient doesn’t make a sound as a nurse and I position her on the floor of a Cessna 206. I am amazed at her resolve not to demonstrate any pain—not even the slightest wince. 

Her name is Maleboheng; she is 81 years of age and has a broken femur. Earlier in the day she was in a bus that crashed while negotiating Lesotho’s treacherous mountain roads. MAF was called to transport seven of the most critical patients to a better-equipped facility. Maleboheng was the last of the seven, considered one of the most stable of the group.

I am astonished how well she is handling the pain, though I can see that it is intense as I fasten the last of the straps that will hold her to the floor of the aircraft. The first two planes responding to this accident used our four stretchers we keep at the ready. I have to strap Maleboheng to the floor using a specialized nylon strap specifically designed for such cases.

It is very functional and quite secure, but at the cost of comfort. It’s not my favorite to install, especially with her in so much pain, but I need to keep her safe for the 40-minute flight.

Maleboheng gives me a nod, assuring me that she is okay and ready for departure. Our flight together is short but I am so thankful I can help, even if I make her uncomfortable for a little while in order to get her to the help she needs.

HuplaCelebrating a completed Bible translation

Video at http://www.maf.org/bp/bp46/story2

SOBA, PAPUA—A three-day celebration in a village in the highlands of Papua, Indonesia, marked an important milestone for the Hupla people: the translation of God’s Word into their native language. This process began in the 1980’s … but MAF has served this village even longer. “The story of MAF’s involvement goes back 40 years,” said David Holsten, MAF’s regional director of Indonesia. “We’ve had the privilege of serving here that entire time.”

Hundreds of people from the surrounding areas poured into the small village for this celebration that involved dancing, the roasting of 275 pigs, the baptism of 26 people, and a ceremony that represented the Bible reaching all generations. When the first box of Bibles was opened, a Bible was given to three representatives: a young man to represent the younger generation, a woman to stand for all women, and an older man to represent those who have waited a long time for the entire Bible to be translated.

“This is exciting stuff for us, because we’ve been partnering with these folks here in Soba, with the missionaries who have been working years and years on this translation,” said MAF pilot Mike Brown. “It’s been great to be able to come and join them in this celebration.” MAF staff, the missionaries, and local church leaders are excited about what this new chapter will mean for the Hupla people.

“My hope is that they’ll treasure God’s Word and that Hupla theologians will start to appear to analyze their own situation and what’s important,” said Sue Trenier a UFM Worldwide missionary who was an instrumental part of the translation team. Sue served in Soba from 1978 to 1997 and now lives in nearby Wamena.

The biblical author Isaiah writes that God’s Word “will not return void,” that God will accomplish what He pleases. This celebration makes it clear that the Hupla people are excited about the work God is accomplishing among them.

“Now, I’m feeling like I’ll be able to learn more deeply about God’s Word,” said Kenuel Sobolim, the son of one of the Papuan translators. “When I sit with my own people, we’ll be able to read it together.”