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 Chad in

1966

Did you know?

When MAF first opened its programme in Chad, they planned a small opening ceremony. But word spread, and soon 7,000 people from villages around the lake showed up!

Look around

Chad is a country of two halves. It’s very dry and dusty in the north, and rainy and tropical in the south.

Wandering people called nomads try to survive in the Sahara Desert, while poor farmers struggle to feed their families in the south. But across Chad, almost everyone is hungry. Roughly 3.5 million people can’t afford enough food, and there is hardly any clean water to drink. There are lots of diseases like malaria which are spread by mosquito bites. Only 14% of teenage girls can read and write. MAF flights help impoverished people by transporting teachers, doctors and aid workers to remote places.

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A little more about Chad...

Location

The landlocked nation of Chad is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south and Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger to the west.

View map

Time

3:06pm, 3rd March 2021

UTC +1

Fascinating Fact

Zakouma National Park can be found in southern Chad. Created in 1963, it was the country’s first national park, and has an area of almost 1,200 square miles; the size of 43,5292 football pitches! Sadly, the park has seen a reduction in the numbers of wildlife there – especially elephants that were hunted for their ivory.

Weather

Current Weather: 36°C, Clouds

It’s pretty hot here in December, over 30°C, which isn’t surprising on the edge of the desert – but it’s not the hottest time of the year! Temperatures can reach into the high 40s during April and May!

Dama gazelle rescue mission

Back in January, MAF Chad was asked by the Sahara Conservation Fund to join them on a mission to track and capture some dama gazelle – a highly endangered species – and move them to a reserve; enabling them to breed safely.

The dama gazelle, one of the planet’s most endangered species, is a symbol of beauty and elegance in Chad. Because the use of guns and vehicles has increased in the Sahara Desert, there are fewer than 100 animals still living in the wild in 4 very spread out and isolated populations in Chad and Niger.

The Sahara Conservation Fund keeps track of these amazing animals and leads the efforts to protect them across both countries.

Using an MAF plane to cover an extensive area, MAF Pilot Phil Henderson and members of the conservation team successfully tracked and tranquillised four gazelles; transporting them to Base Camp Oryx, a secure area where they can breed and prevent the species from becoming extinct.

One of the animals, which had been named ‘Becki’ after MAF Chad Pilot and Operations Manager Becki Dillingham, was flown by Phil in our Cessna 182 aircraft. The gazelle was accompanied by a vet, and had tubing secured around its horns to protect the plane from damage.

It was a particularly exciting flight for Phil because, before that, the only live animals he’d ever carried had been two small rabbits!

Phil later said that, ‘Everyone was very happy to have the gazelles in their recovery enclosure, looking healthy.’

Sahara Desert

The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world

Isolated

Far away from other places, buildings, or people

Tranquillised

Safely put to sleep for a short time, using special medicine, to make wild animals easier to move around

Extinct

Extinction is when there are no animals left alive of a particular species

Read

Luke 2:8

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

Pray

Dear God, today we thank You that MAF could help save those dama gazelles in Chad this year. We pray that these beautiful animals don’t become extinct, and that the poachers stop killing them. Amen.

Today's Challenge

Offer to cook for a friend or family member

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