A missions organization takes to the sky flying to remote locations sharing tangible and spiritual hope for locals.
Brad Bell is the CEO for the Canadian office of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
"We're a bit unique as we use small aircrafts in over 30 countries to bring help, hope, and healing to isolated people. We are all about reaching people with medical aid, food aid, and helping missionaries get to very isolated people," says Bell.
MAF has the world's largest fleet of small aircrafts. Bell says that every four minutes a MAF plane takes off or lands somewhere in the world.
"What I enjoy the most is feeling like I'm in a role that is having real impact. Every week I get a couple of stories of assistance or help or food, a medivac or something that one of our staff has done somewhere in the world. It's amazing to be a part of this team."
MAF has been serving people in the name of Jesus Christ for 75 years.
"Back at the end of WWII there was a group of pilots in the U.S. and independently a group of pilots in Britain who had come out of the war, they could fly anything. They looked at the aircraft and thought, wow, wouldn't it be awesome if instead of the aircraft being used for destructive purposes we could use it for God's kingdom."
Both countries started up MAF after that, each with one plane at the start.
According to the website, "Betty Greene, a WWII pilot, flew MAF’s inaugural flight in 1946—taking two Wycliffe Bible translators to a remote jungle location in Mexico."
At this time, MAF works with over 1,500 partnering organizations to run all their missions work.
"In each country, it looks a little different. In some countries we do more medical work, in others, we would do more work where we support local churches. Every country is unique but it's all about serving that country and the NGOs that are in that country."
COVID presented some challenges and reduced flights into certain countries, but overall, MAF has seen great opportunities to minister to people.
"It's a pretty exciting time to be with MAF. One of the obvious opportunities, we're going to be helping do the last-mile delivery for the vaccines all over the world. We have the ability to transport medication and keep it cold, and we've already begun."
When it comes to prayer requests,two things are top of mind for Bell.
"The first thing is always the safety. While we fly safely, aviation has it's risks so we continuously pray for that. The other thing I would ask for is strength for our field staff overseas. Many of our staff that haven't been home in four years because of COVID are now looking at the fact that they may not be home for five or even six. Like the rest of us, they're just a bit weary."