Fellowship reach world’s forgotten

Andy Martin of MAF (centre ) with Rotarians Eric McKinnon and Jim Henderson
Andy Martin of MAF (centre ) with Rotarians Eric McKinnon and Jim Henderson

Recently the Rotary Club of Girvan had a superb talk from Andy Martin, the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) Community Manager.

Their work all round the world goes almost unnoticed yet they are an international Christian Charity serving 26 developing countries and daily reach the world’s forgotten people.

Operating light aircraft MAF pilots fly into deserts and jungles, over lakes and rivers, tracks and roads to reach over 1700 remote destinations.

Their vision is to see ‘isolated people physically and spiritually transformed’. For us it’s hard to imagine a community with no roads and little access to the outside world.

How would you or your family reach a doctor if you were sick or injured? How can you receive an education or job opportunity or emergency food? This is the reality for millions of people.

Jungles, mountains, swamps, insecurity and a dilapidated infrastructure are all barriers to receiving physical and spiritual care and a hope for the future.

Following a pioneering survey flight in the early 1950s Sudan was identified as the African nation most in need of MAF’s services and regular operations started there.

MAF helped open up new areas in the largely unreached swamps in the south of the country and in 1953 they then started flying from Sudan into Ethiopia. That led to them operating in Kenya in 1959, then Chad and Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s.

MAF also went on to become a worldwide network with many bases across the globe – in Australia/Oceania, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

Today, MAF has grown from a one-plane outfit to a dynamic international organisation that flies to an emergency many, many times a day.

The Girvan Rotarians all enjoyed Andy’s talk and they hope he enjoyed the company and his meal at the Royal Hotel Girvan.