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.

Day 15

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Day 15


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!

A country inside a country
Was the next place that Mike flew them to
Surrounded by South Africa,
It’s the Kingdom of Lesotho.

At MAF’s base, smiling Carolyn
Took something from her pocket.
‘I buy fabric like this for the women here,
So they can sew, sell and make a good profit.

‘The fabric I need is called Seshoeshoe,
It’s patterned, with colours so bright.’
‘We’ll go to market and bring you some back,’
Said Mike, ‘Will you join our next flight?’

The money that these ladies make
Helps their children go to college,
So they can get good jobs for themselves,
Having gained a lot of knowledge!

‘Please take this scarf,’ said Carolyn,
‘It’s a thank you for being my guest.’
The trio smiled and waved farewell,
They felt they’d been truly blessed.

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 16

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Day 16


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 our friends was in Haiti,
Where they were met by a female physician.
‘The children here are thin, hungry and sick,
Because they suffer from malnutrition.

‘I need to send all these boxes
Of Plumpy’Nut peanut paste,
To the children who live in the mountains.
There isn’t a moment to waste!’

Quickly the cargo was stowed in the plane
Which flew to the right location.
After unloading, their passenger said,
‘This paste will save many from starvation.

‘Until they’re fit and healthy again,
We’ll feed all those in great need.
Thank you, friends, for your help today,
The MAF flight was useful indeed!’

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 17

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Day 17


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 on the map was Uganda,
In Africa where they’d been before.
Below on the runway was a smiling man;
Mike wondered what he had in store.

The man’s name was Issa, he welcomed the friends,
‘Could you help me to lead my workshop?
It’s for children who’ve had a terrible time,
Can we visit them on your next stop?’

‘Of course,’ said Mike, ‘Welcome aboard!’
Issa bought out some peg people and clay.
‘The children will use this stuff for fun,
Through the stories and games we’ll play.’

The children that Issa was helping,
Had witnessed some terrible crimes.
For they’d had to flee from civil war,
And felt sad and scared at times.

One of the children was Anna, who said,
‘You’ve taught me to be hopeful and strong,
Brave and fearless like Superwoman,
Thanks so much for coming along!’

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 18

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Day 18


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!

Flying on through African skies,
They flew to Angola in the west.
Waiting at the airstrip, some explorers
Asked Mike to help them with their quest.

Mike said, ‘Glad to help, please jump on board!’
From the skies, they saw a really vast river.
So heading to the Okavango Delta,
The explorers and their kit he’d deliver.

‘We’re doing lots of research on the river,
Which humans are starting to ruin
By killing animals and cutting down trees,’
The scientists explained as they flew in.

‘Thank you so much,’ said one of the men,
‘We’ll be able to collect so much data,
Which will help us protect this wonderful place;
The handiwork of our Creator.’

Mike, Alpha and Foxtrot all agreed,
As they headed towards the cockpit,
That God created a wonderful world
And it’s our duty to protect it.

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 19

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Day 19


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 flew the trio through Africa,
This time to an island offshore;
A beautiful land, that’s really grand
With rainforests and beaches galore.

At the hangar, the three friends met
Two people called Mark and Kelly.
They take photos and films for MAF,
As good as any you’d see on the telly.

‘That journey was rough,’ said Kelly,
‘I’m muddy and my feet are sore.
We’ve travelled over 100 miles;
Trekking for days is a real bore!

‘When the ill and injured need hospital care,
They have to travel through mud that lies thickly.
It can take days and days on really rough roads,
But with MAF’s planes they get there quickly.

‘We’re both so pleased you could fly us,
It’s great that MAF helps people here.
Madagascar’s roads are so bumpy,
It’s much easier to travel by air!’

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 20

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Day 20


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 plane was now heading for Bangladesh;
The landing not as bumpy as before
Because the plane wasn’t on a runway,
But water, near a shore.

Opening the door, Mike could see
A large and sturdy float.
Now his little MAF plane
Could travel like a boat.

Waiting on the dock in Dhaka,
Was a lady with a cardboard box.
It was full of lots of pencils, pens and books,
Which she gave to Foxtrot the fox.

‘These are for the school on Bhola island;
The largest in the Ganges River.
The teachers need them for the kids,
Which we were hoping you’d deliver.’

‘Delighted to help you,’ Mike exclaimed.
‘Many thanks indeed,’ she cried.
‘You’ll save us a ten-hour journey by boat,
With the service you kindly provide!’

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 21

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Day 21


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 the trio was Mozambique;
They were all very eager to go.
But from the window of their plane,
They could see devastation far below.

For strong winds and stormy weather
Had knocked homes and buildings down.
The three just knew they had to help,
The people of this now flooded town.

Alpha said, ‘I can reach high with my neck’
And off to assist them he went.
Mike said, ‘We’ll help those with no shelter,
By giving them all a tent.’

Mike and the fox unloaded the plane
In a camp set up on dry land.
There were loads of tents for the people,
Who were glad to lend a hand.

‘I think I’ll stay,’ said Foxtrot.
‘They need my skills as an engineer.’
Mike and Alpha waved him goodbye,
‘We’re sure you’ll be useful here!’

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 22

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Day 22


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 the plane was Timor-Leste,
The friends climbed out straight away.
Running towards them came a young man,
‘You must help, without delay!’

‘My brother Lino has been attacked,
He’s been bitten by a crocodile
Hiding in the water beside his boat.’
‘Absolutely,’ Mike said with a smile.

Alpha rushed to the cargo pod,
Grabbing a stretcher for the injured lad.
They secured him carefully in the plane;
Praying the outcome wouldn’t be sad.

So Mike flew Lino to the city
To receive urgent hospital care.
That speedy flight helped save his leg;
Thank God that MAF was there!

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 Mozambique in

1999

Did you know?

In 1985, two pilots flew to Mozambique from Tanzania to help people who had been caught by rebel soldiers. The needs were so great that MAF started a base in 1999.

Look around

In Mozambique, there are hardly any roads. In the UK, we have almost 400,000km of them, but Mozambique has only 7,000km.

Because of this, it takes days for people to travel by road, and people get stuck in potholes, thick mud and floods. But, thanks to MAF, you can reach your destination in an hour! Last year, MAF flew 1,358 passengers – 5 of them patients who needed to reach hospital urgently. Most people in Mozambique are very poor. Sadly, one in every six children dies before their fifth birthday – which works out at about five children in your class at school. MAF helps run a ‘flying doctor’ service to try and make sure that people who are ill can get medical help.

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A little more about Mozambique...

Location

Mozambique is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the north-west, Zimbabwe to the west, and Eswatini and South Africa to the south-west.

View map

Time

6:11pm, 22nd April 2021

UTC +2

Fascinating Fact

The diet of remote populations in Mozambique is based on the cassava root, known as mandioca in Portuguese. Its importance as a staple food is reflected in its name, which means ‘the all-sufficient’. Boiled or steamed cassava is usually served with vegetables and beef stew. The leaves are used to make Matapa, which consists of stewed cassava leaves, ground peanuts, coconut milk and garlic.

Weather

Current Weather: 27°C, Clouds

Even though it’s very rainy because it’s the wet season, it is still boiling hot – over 30°C – so make sure you use your sun cream!

When the cyclone struck!

Last March, MAF responded quickly after Category 3 Cyclone Idai struck the port city of Beira in Mozambique.

Winds of 106 miles per hour battered the city, which was home to 500,000 people, knocking down buildings and cutting off roads. The area, which lies below sea level, is vulnerable to flooding and had been affected by heavy rains before the storm struck. It quickly became clear that 90% of the city had been destroyed.

Survey flights, in which people fly over the land to see how much damage has been done, took place using MAF Mozambique’s Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft. Other key partners like Mercy Air, a Christian relief organisation, flew their helicopters too.

MAF and Mercy Air worked together to deliver emergency energy biscuits, provided by the World Food Programme, to people who were stranded or left homeless after the cyclone. They also dropped tents and hygiene supplies for families left without shelter. In just two flights, Pilot Dave Holmes flew more than 110 family tent kits and food.

MAF’s Disaster Response team’s quick action allowed the scale of the devastation to be identified rapidly, and the relief flights to start as soon as possible. What a blessing it is to know that MAF has a dedicated team of people who are prepared to drop everything to serve in places as soon as disaster strikes.

Vulnerable

At risk of harm

Disaster Response

Disaster response is the name for the team of people in MAF who respond quickly to disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and famine, around the world

Read

Matthew 2:11a

On coming to the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him.

Pray

Dear God, we ask You to protect anyone who’s been affected by disaster, especially the people of Mozambique after the terrible cyclones last year. Draw close to them and their families as they rebuild their houses and plant new crops. Amen.

Today's Challenge

Show kindness to yourself today, remind yourself you are amazing in God’s eyes

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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