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 Mareeba in

1963

Did you know?

In August 2020, the Governor of Queensland launched a big project to build a flight school in Mareeba, which will help MAF train even more pilots and engineers for mission.

Look around

Mareeba is a town in Far North Queensland, Australia, where MAF has a training base and a hangar where our planes go to get fixed.

Thirty-four people work or train in Mareeba so they can become pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers for MAF; helping lots of people around the world. Because pilots don’t always have the right skills to fly in exciting, dangerous places like Africa or PNG, they go to Mareeba to do gain experience  and learn how best to help isolated people. There are usually about 15 planes in the hangar, so engineers can fix them and get them ready to land on tricky airstrips and fly in difficult weather conditions.

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A little more about Mareeba...

Location

Mareeba is a small town in Queensland, north-eastern Australia. If you’ve ever heard Australia referred to as ‘down under’ that because it’s in the Southern Hemisphere and at the bottom of a globe!

View map

Time

1:26am, 4th March 2021

UTC +10

Fascinating Fact

The town of Mareeba is located in Queensland, north-eastern Australia. It is named after an Aboriginal word meaning meeting of the waters. It is a very sunny place, claiming to have as many as 300 days of sun each year! This warm, bright climate is perfect for growing crops, and Mareeba is home to many coffee plantations, mango, and avocado farms.

Weather

Current Weather: 22°C, Rain

December in Mareeba is hot and wet, with daytime temperatures a sticky average of 31°C. At night, it’s still pretty warm at 21°C.

Maintaining MAF’s aircraft

This is John Hermanus. He lives in Mareeba, Australia, where he works as an MAF aircraft maintenance engineer.

John was born and raised in Borneo, Indonesia. He was a pilot in Arnhem Land before leaving for Australia to maintain MAF aircraft.

John’s biggest challenge was being taught in English – a foreign language. John explains that, ‘When it got too difficult, I would just ask for God’s help.’

MAF engineers all have a very big, well organised toolbox, which takes years to build up. John sees his toolbox as God’s and is more than happy to share his tools and equipment with other engineers.

They carry out maintenance checks on MAF planes from nearby countries, do routine servicing for the Mareeba Flight Training Centre aircraft, as well as all their ‘heavy’ maintenance (a big aircraft inspection that happens every six to ten years).

Mareeba engineers also work on special projects. One of these occurred when MAF purchased six new Cessna Caravan aircraft which were modified in Mareeba, then flown to Papua New Guinea to serve the remote communities there.

The team stripped all the paint off the aircraft, worked on it, and then re-painted the planes in the MAF colours so they were all shiny and ready to fly!

Our Mareeba engineers often travel to other MAF programmes such as Timor-Leste, maintaining aircraft that would otherwise have little or no engineering support.

Without its engineers, MAF wouldn’t be able to get its planes in the air. We are blessed to have such talented people as John Hermanus, who play such an important role in our organisation.

Aircraft maintenance engineer (AME)

An AME is someone who can check and repair aircraft, so they stay safe for the pilots to fly

Modified

Modified means changed to suit another purpose

Read

Luke 2:7

She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

Pray

Dear God, we thank You for people like John who work hard inspecting and fixing our planes; keeping MAF flying safely around the world. We thank You for the skills and abilities with which You’ve blessed our engineers. Amen.

Today's Challenge

Pick up and bin some rubbish lying around in the streets near you

I have completed this challenge

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

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