The desire to fly

2846964 origAbout four years ago a young pilot named Paul Henning wanted to fly for our holding organisation, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). Unfortunately Paul didn’t have the finances to join the elite organisation, pilots who work for MAF do so at their own expense and they have to raise their own salary.

Paul is a close friend of Brad and Michelle Venter and his journey with MAF continued as he supported this couple financially. Paul knew the journey Brad had travelled in his dream to fly airplanes for MAF and it was quite clear that the Lord had a special call on his life. Despite all the obstacles placed before Brad and Michelle along the way, they knew where the Lord wanted them and were obedient right up to the final boarding call for their family’s departure to Papua New Guinea. Paul says, “It’s been a privilege to be involved in their valuable ministry from a support point of view, but I had a desire to be more tangibly involved with MAF… especially now that at the age of 35 I had earned wings myself, following a childhood dream of my own.”

Fast forward to 2013 when our managing director, Maxine Holman, was introduced to MCC Aviation, a charter company based at Lanseria International Airport. MCC Aviation agreed to partner with Flying for Life by providing a charter service at a reduced rate along with pilots who would volunteer their time when flying a charter for us. Paul Henning just happened to be one of these pilots employed by MCC Aviation.

“Initially I was going to assist MAF with a little bit of operations support and a few performance calculations but the Lord, in His usual way, had bigger plans, not only for me, but for the company I work with, MCC Aviation.  It was Dave Steytler, who was a regular pilot for one of our aircraft’s owners, who secured the use of ZS-OHB, our trusty Kingair 90, for Flying for Life’s use when their Caravan was relocated to East Africa.  It was the catalyst for a relationship between MAF, it’s Flying for Life project, and MCC Aviation that has since grown from strength to strength, with MCC providing two other aircraft for Flying for Life and we hope a couple more in the near future.

“The support of MCC management and response of the crew to the opportunity to be involved has been overwhelming and there is never a shortage of hands going up, volunteering when MAF flights require crew.  These are all a special breed of pilots, apart from their passion for aviation and loving what they do in the air, they’re willing to don sterile scrubs to assist in the operating theatres, Christmas hats to hand out gifts to pre-schoolers or overalls to paint crèches.  They are happy to fly back to base with dust in their hair, paint stained hands and a smile in their hearts for the contribution they’ve made to the communities they fly to.  There is just something about giving back that motivates any willing servant and it’s been an inspiration to see all our crew jostling for the opportunity to get involved.  We could not have orchestrated a more fulfilling partnership had we tried and it is clear that the Almighty’s fingerprint is once again all over the work that is being conducted by Flying for Life.

“Little did I know that my brief visit to MAF four years ago would culminate in the opportunity to be so integrally involved in every project.  Yes, the flying is primarily what MAF is about in practice, but I have since come to realise that our piloting skills are simply a gift, and the aircraft that MCC Aviation provide, simply tools for God to forge the all-important relationships that will ultimately save lives and change the world.  Therein lies the purpose we are all seeking in doing what we do and I consider myself exceptionally privileged to be living with even the tiniest sense of purpose.”

Flying for Life is very privileged to be able to partner with MCC Aviation and the pilots that work there.

 

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Registration number: 2011/002050/08
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