MAF Advent Adventure

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Day 1

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Day 1


In the attic, Mike found a diary and old map
With the story of how MAF began.
Mike decided, for his Christmas mission,
He had an exciting plan!

Each page was filled with pictures and tales,
One for each country in which MAF flies.
From the first of these nations until the last
He’d provide much-needed supplies.

Now, jump inside Mike’s MAF plane,
There’s so much to learn and see;
Though Christmas is fast approaching,
There’s still space for you and me!

Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Mike’s little plane touched safely down
In the jungles of Ecuador.
He stepped out of the cabin and looked around
It’s a great place to explore!

Up to the aircraft came a smiling man,
Jaime Saint was his name.
Many years before, his grandfather Nate,
Had visited this place in his plane.

Some violent men from the jungle
Had killed Nate and all his friends.
But their story’s inspired many folk since,
Because the warriors made amends.

‘There are snakes in this jungle,’ said Jaime,
‘They’ll harm you if they bite.
Is there anti-venom in your plane,
So our nurse can make things right?’

Mike had just the thing in his plane,
So Jaime smiled at the sight;
Happy the villagers would be okay
Whenever they got a snakebite.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 2

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Day 2


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Mike touched down at the next place on his map:
South Sudan – a dry, dusty place.
A family of six was waiting for him,
Each had a big smile on their face.

‘We’re here to help the Laarim people,
But we can’t buy fresh food, you see.
We must get our fruit and veg flown in,
If we want to have them for tea!’

‘No problem!’ said Mike, as he opened the hold,
‘You can have the fruit, cabbage and beans.’
‘Thank you, Mike!’ the mother said,
‘We’ll stay healthy by eating our greens!’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 3

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Day 3


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Landing in a place called Wanakipa,
Mike found himself surrounded
By friendly Papua New Guineans,
Looking astonished and astounded!

A lady called Harriëtte called up to him,
‘We were praying you had Bibles in your hold.
My friends want the Scriptures for themselves,
But my very last copy’s been sold.’

‘Let’s take a look,’ said Mike, looking around,
Before emerging with a crate.
It was full of Bibles in the Tok Pisin tongue.
‘Thanks,’ said Harriëtte, ‘Now that’s really great!’

‘Thanks!’ said the villagers crowding around.
‘Now we all can read of God’s love.
We hoped you’d be able to help us,
When we saw your plane flying above.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

MAF began serving in Ecuador in

1948

Did you know?

When MAF pilot Nate Saint first landed in the Ecuadorian rainforest in 1956 on Palm Beach, the Waodani people had never been contacted by the outside world.

Look around

Since 1948, MAF has provided vital aviation and radio communications services to churches, Christian missions and charities working in Ecuador, as well as to jungle villages.

Today, MAF operates a fleet of three aircraft from two bases: Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and Shell, on the edge of the Amazon basin. In 2019, MAF flew more than 4,600 people and nearly 76,000kg of cargo – the equivalent, in weight, of 15 adult elephants! The equator runs through the country and there’s a monument near Quito where you can stand in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere at the same time.

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A little more about Ecuador...

Location

Ecuador is a country on the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands, and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands.

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Time

11:19am, 3rd March 2021

UTC -4

Fascinating Fact

The top of Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest mountain, is earth’s closest point to the sun. Due to the mountain’s location along the equator, its summit is the farthest point from the earth’s core. This also means that Ecuador is the country closest to space!

Weather

Current Weather: 28°C, Clouds

The temperature in Ecuador this time of year is around 20°C, as the rainy season takes place from December through to May, bringing fresher temperatures.

Martyrdom and forgiveness

In the 1950s, there was a tribal people group in Ecuador, South America who were isolated from the rest of the world. Other tribes called them the Auca, meaning ‘savage’.

MAF Pilot Nate Saint was one of five young American missionaries who wanted to share their faith with the violent Auca; bringing peace to the people. Because there were no roads, Nate used a small yellow plane to fly over their isolated villages.

Flying in small circles overhead, Nate and his friends lowered buckets of gifts down to the Auca people for many weeks. One day, Nate and his friends felt they were ready to meet their new friends.

On 3 January 1956, they landed their plane on a sandy area they called Palm Beach, and waited for someone from the tribe to meet them. On 8 January, two women and a man came out of the jungle and were welcomed by the missionaries. They made friends, and Nate even flew the Auca man over his village!

After several hours, the three tribespeople left the beach, but on their way home they met ten Auca men. The men thought the missionaries had attacked the villagers, so they went to Palm Beach for revenge.

When they arrived, the ten tribesmen attacked the missionaries with their spears, killing Nate and his four friends. They then ran off into the forest.

But although they were really sad, Nate’s wife and the other men’s families didn’t want to punish the attackers. Over the following years, the women befriended the tribe and shared the Good News with them. It took time, but they eventually became friends and forgave them for their husbands’ deaths.

Within ten years, hundreds of Waodani (the Auca’s tribal name) became Christians, and their murderous way of life changed. One of the converts was a man who’d helped kill Nate and the others. He made friends with Nate’s son Steve, and the two worked together as missionaries.

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Read

Luke 1:26-27

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Pray

Dear God, please keep the people of Ecuador safe from snakebites. We thank You that we have access to hospitals if we have an accident, and so we thank You for enabling MAF to fly medical supplies into the remote jungle. Amen.

Today's Challenge

Collect canned food and unused toiletries to donate to a nearby food bank

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We help vulnerable people in hard-to-reach places, but we couldn’t do it without you

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