MAF strengthens links with PNG Churches

A MAF ministry team spent a week touring the Sandaun, East Sepik, and Madang provinces to learn more about the challenges that church leaders face in their communities and to offer help.

For many pastors, it was a chance to renew old connections with MAF and to learn more about the work of MAF Technologies, formerly known as the Christian Radio Missionary Fellowship (CRMF).

Caine Ruruk, MAF Technologies Ministry Partnership Officer and organiser of the trip, said it was valuable to renew MAF's relationship with church leaders as well as to explain that MAF Technologies was the updated name of the former CRMF.

‘’And we are also reminding the churches of the services and privileges available for them specifically to do their ministry work in remote locations within PNG,’’ Caine said.

So, when the MAF tech staff arrived in the provincial towns of Vanimo, Wewak, and Madang, they were able to share the difficulties of working in remote locations of PNG.

Vanimo Assembly of God Pastor Zedidiah Kamblijambi said that this initiative brought him back to a time when he used MAF flights to travel to communities in his region.

“There were connections, MAF did a lot of work during that time with different denominations and AOG was one of them, but unfortunately, the connections broke down for some reasons.

“But with this new opportunity is kind of a reconnection with us churches and MAF, so we can move forward together achieving our missions and visions reaching many rural communities sharing God’s gospel and enabling them to have basic services in their area,” he said.

Kario Veneo, Senior Pastor of Madang Foursquare Church and Chairman of the Men's Ministers Fraternal shared his memories of flying with MAF and said aviation was important to help the connection of urban pastors with rural pastors and congregations.

“After learning more about the work of MAF Technologies, he was excited that the services could help connect rural communities.

“It is not only the provision of air services, but you’ve also expanded into technologies, which is so significant for us. Services such as radio communication, solar systems, and computing training through MAF Technologies offer an opportunity for us to fully equip ourselves with such skills, particularly to assist our church and partners in the remote areas,” he said.

MAF PNG General Manager for aviation and Senior Pilot Brad Venter said providing subsidized airfares to churches is a priority, and that MAF is happy to provide flying for church groups, pastors, and other church workers.

“However, we have noticed a general decline in bookings from these churches and we would encourage them to make the necessary inquiries at the MAF offices in Vanimo and Wewak

“We have tried to ensure that we are always able to provide this service and have never stopped flying in the Sandaun province and to Vanimo and Wewak,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the poor state of the airstrips in the East Sepik and Sandaun provinces has been a reason for concern for MAF. The airstrips' condition has deteriorated over time due to a lack of funding and maintenance.

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