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.

Day 4

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Day 4


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 next stop was the island of Papua,
Where he planned to pick up some fuel.
He’d also spend time with some children
Who attended a missionary school.

As Mike touched down on the airstrip,
A girl ran towards him, called Grace.
‘We’re going to help in a far-away village,
Could you fly my class to that place?

‘We’re going to clear stones from their airstrip,
‘Do you have anything to use in your plane?’
‘I always carry some shovels,’ said Mike,
‘For use when there’s bumpy terrain!’

So the children jumped into Mike’s aircraft,
And they flew to a place far away.
The villagers were so pleased to see them,
‘Thanks for coming to help us today!

‘We rely on your planes in our village.
With no stones, you can now land with ease;
Bringing doctors, teachers and pastors
To provide us with their expertise.’

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 5

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Day 5


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!

The next stop for Mike was Brazil,
And the city of Porto Velho.
As he carefully landed his plane,
He was met by a very nice fellow.

‘Hello, my name’s Dr Eddie,
Could you take me to the Purus River?
With my colleagues, Tanya, Viviane and Rose,
There are toothbrushes to deliver.

‘The four of us are all dentists,
So we offer everyone our assistance.
Without us their teeth may get bad,
As the nearest town’s such a long distance.

Mike was happy to lend a hand,
So he helped the four dentists to board.
How happy they were to work together
And demonstrate the love of the Lord.

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 6

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Day 6


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!

The remote mountains of Papua New Guinea
Are Pastor Jinga’s home.
He needs a radio to speak to his friends
Because he can’t do it by phone.

‘Could you set up a radio?’ the pastor asked,
‘We have no power or electrical wires.’
‘Of course!’ said Mike, reaching into his bag,
And pulling out some pliers.

Mike carefully connected the cables
To the rooftop solar panel,
So Pastor Jinga could then talk to his friends
By tuning in to the appropriate channel.

‘I can hear my friends!’ the pastor cried,
‘And speak to my head office too.
Thank you, Mike, for all your help.
God bless MAF, and God bless you.’

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 7

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Day 7


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!

On Mike flew, for miles and miles,
Across the blue Indian Ocean.
He landed in Kenya in Africa,
Where he heard a great commotion.

Mike heard a call, ‘Hi, it’s Alpha here!’
Then he saw a great giraffe!
The pair had been friends for years and years,
And had shared many a happy laugh!

‘Come and see RedTribe’s beadwork;
They make jewellery to sell.
It gives these ladies the money they need
To buy medicine and food as well.’

Remembering Christmas was coming near,
Mike thought of an excellent plan.
‘This jewellery would be great for my mum,
May I buy some if I can?’

Mike thanked the ladies for the jewellery,
Which he soon stowed safely inside.
Then he turned with a grin to Alpha,
‘Will you join me for a ride?’

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 8

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Day 8


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!

After a couple of hours in the air,
The friends landed in the DRC.
Heading towards the hangar,
They were greeted by MAF staff with glee.

‘Hello Mike, and Alpha too,
Could you help us with your plane?
We need to get some measles vaccines,
We’re so happy that you came.’

‘We’d love to help you,’ Mike replied,
As he unloaded vaccines they could use for injections.
‘Where do you want them delivered?’ he asked.
‘You will need to give us directions.’

‘They’re to go to the village of Lisala,
But be careful they don’t get too hot.
Because they’d no longer be effective,
And we’d have to throw out the lot.’

The people gave a sigh of relief,
‘Now our children will be protected!
Measles is a nasty disease,
But thanks to you, they won’t be infected.’

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 9

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Day 9


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!

After crossing the Atlantic Ocean,
The pair arrived at MAF’s Suriname base.
In the middle of a tropical rainforest,
It was a hot and sweaty place!

‘Hello, Mike, can you help our friend?
She’s about to have a child.
We need to get her to hospital now!’
‘We’d be happy to help,’ Mike smiled.

Alpha helped the lady up the steps
Into the back of Mike’s plane.
He made space for a nurse and the baby’s dad,
And then they took to the skies again.
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No sooner had they left the ground,
When Mike heard a little cry.
A tiny baby girl had been born
In the air – 200 feet high!

With mother and child both doing well,
To the hospital Mike flew.
As he safely landed his little plane,
All would be well, he knew.

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 10

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Day 10


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!

Following the map, Mike and Alpha flew
Across the world to Australia.
They were met on the runway by a smiling man,
Carrying a huge box of paraphernalia.

‘G’day,’ said the man, ‘My name is John,
I’m an MAF engineer.
I fix our aircraft and keep them aloft,
Would you like to help me here?’

Mike grabbed his trusty toolbox
From the back of his little plane.
He joined friend John in the hangar,
‘Let’s get these planes flying again!’

The pair worked all day with their spanners and pliers,
Paintbrushes, hammers and drills.
Soon one of the planes looked shiny and new,
Ready to fly far over jungle and hills.

Once the paint was dry, Mike thought about
The adventures the planes had had.
John gave him a spanner as a souvenir,
Which Mike thought he’d save for his dad.

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 11

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Day 11


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!

Northwards Mike flew on a fine sunny day,
To a place all covered with sand.
‘We must be in a desert,’ he thought.
‘It’s Chad,’ Alpha said, ‘a dry land!’

Down below, Mike spotted a camp,
With little tents all in a row.
‘I’ll land and help these people,’ he said,
‘They may need me to fly some cargo.’

Mike landed the plane and was met by a man,
‘I hope you can help us,’ he said.
‘We’re catching some very rare dama gazelle,
So that poachers don’t trap them instead.

‘We have a gazelle that needs taking
To the safety of our game reserves.
Would you fly her in your little aircraft,
So she can live the life she deserves?’

With tubes on her horns to protect the plane,
Alpha helped Becki the gazelle inside.
They flew her to the safety of her new home;
She seemed to enjoy the ride.

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 12

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Day 12


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!

Next stop on their Advent adventure,
The friends flew to Kalimantan.
On the Indonesian island of Borneo,
They were determined to lend a hand.

Standing below by the airstrip,
Three MAF ladies were waving a greeting.
‘Could you fly us in your plane, please Mike?
We have to go to an important meeting.

‘We’re helping to translate the Bible
From English into Punan,
So people can read the Good News
In the language of Kalimantan.’

The ladies thanked Mike, and Alpha too,
‘You’re playing an important part
In enabling people to read God’s Word
In the language of their heart.’

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 13

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Day 13


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!

The next stop, Australia’s remote homelands;
Arnhem Land, their destination.
As Mike landed the plane, folk seemed to be
In the midst of a great celebration!

Mike and Alpha joined the crowd.
There was cheering and applause.
Right at the front, giving out many gifts
Was what looked like Santa Claus!

‘Mike? Alpha?’ he said with a smile,
While walking towards the pair.
After removing his beard, they clearly saw
Their good friend Foxtrot standing there!

‘I’m giving gifts to all the children
Who live in the Laynhapuy homeland.
May I join you on your journey?
I could even give you a hand!’

The trio took off, to the next place,
Where the kids waited eagerly below.
When Foxtrot Santa give them a gift,
Their faces were all aglow!

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 14

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Day 14


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!

The next place they landed was hot and remote,
MAF’s base in Arusha, Tanzania.
Waiting for them were five doctors who said,
‘We hope you can help us here.

‘We’re beginning a medical safari,
We must reach Gorimba in the west.
The people there have no doctor,
So we’re visiting at their request.’

Mike flew his passengers to the village
Where patients formed an orderly queue.
When they went to a doctor, he said to each one,
‘What seems to be troubling you?’

Once the villagers had been treated,
The doctors returned to the plane.
‘Thanks for the flight, Mike, we’ll be back
Next month to help them again!’

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

5:08pm, 14th May 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: 20°C, Clouds

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.

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