Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)

MAF gives hope to reducing maternal death rates

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for every 1000 births in PNG, as many as nine mothers and 24 newborn babies die. Papua New Guinea has the highest rate of maternal and newborn mortality in WHO’s Western Pacific Region.

With no proper road access and safe airstrips, the only way to reach health services is a perilous boat journey.

Recently, the people of Fiyak celebrated when an MAF plane made its first official landing on the Fiyak airstrip. The community rebuilt the airstrip. They were trained and equipped by the Rural Airstrip Agency (RAA).

Medevac Crucial to MAF operations

MAF PNG’s Bookings and Operations Officer, Serah Michael, shared that Medevacs are MAF’s priority. It's life and death in terms of saving a life in the remote areas of Papua New Guinea.

Auwi prefer MAF to end isolation

Due to the consequences faced, locals worked hard to open an airstrip for the first time in years. 

Recently, the people of Auwi celebrated when the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) plane made its first landing on the rebuilt airstrip. 

According to Mathias Glass, a long-serving MAF PNG pilot, his last landing at Auwi airstrip via an MAF Twin Otter was on September 11, 2007.

Sikoi Airstrips opens after 28 years

Surrounded by endless hills and mountain peaks, the people of Sikoi in Jiwaka Province celebrate as Sikoi airstrip is among five airstrips to be opened in rural areas of the country. Sikoi Airstrip follows the opening of Rum Airstrip in November 2023, Yakona and Dimanbil in October 2023 and Aiyu in September 2023. 

Youth of Sikoi danced and older people shed tears of joy, waving their Bibles as they celebrated what is to them, the only way out of isolation. 

MAF flights assist in building church

This was reiterated by the Western Highlands Area Supervisor of SDA Mission, Richard Jacob, who worked with MAF to overcome the distance and difficulty of reaching the area. Mamusi is a rural village located near the Yuat River, in a valley bordering Enga, East Sepik, and Madang provinces.

“We’ve been doing a mission trip there. When I started as the area supervisor, they gave me the mandate to put a church there, and so I said let’s go where the aeroplane can”, said Jacob.

MAF increases airfares

MAF’s last price increase was in 2014. MAF chose not to increase prices for several years to assist the remote communities, delaying it even further in response to the economic impact of the pandemic. 

However, with the overall increase in the cost of consumer goods due to inflation, and a substantial increase in fuel prices, as well as changes to foreign exchange rates, the increase to the price of airfares is now needed and is an inevitable step.  

Basic computer skills helping rural pastors to evangelize

Computer training provided by MAF Technologies has strengthened a local church in Western Province, as pastors use their skills to share the gospel. 

The Local Ministry Coordinator for the Evangelical Church of PNG, Pastor Dacky Wakili is based in Balimo of Western Province. He shared that the month-long training received back in 2021 had fired up the local church and inspired teachers and health workers to want to learn more.

MAF brings Balimo Pathfinders home at no cost

MAF and the PNG Department of Community Development assisted the Balimo Pathfinders to travel across the country to Lae recently for a world-wide conference.

With over seven-thousand others joining the conference, Deputy Director of the Balimo Pathfinders, Matilda Sangkol, described the transformation of the young lives.

“I know that in the future they won’t be the same Balimo kids. We’ve seen the changes ourselves, and we know that these kids will be better. The next generation has been improved”,

New sewerage system brings solution

According to MAF, the system could possibly be the first to be in PNG and is not well-known in the area.

Seventy-two houses as well as hangars and office make up the MAF base, recently a project has begun to provide new housing and event space for future families and conferences. The project presented challenges regarding sewage, as previous septic tank methods became less easy to maintain. 

Six years after Medevac

The young boy was named after Richie Axon and six years later himself and mother Jesslyn met the wife of pilot Richie, Bernadette, at a Christian women’s conference recently.

Also, part of the joyful reunion was Selah, a volunteer ‘was-mama’ who cares for people receiving medical attention, especially supporting women giving birth.

“Not long after we arrived in Telefomin six and a half years ago, Richie did a medevac for Jesslyn who was having trouble in childbirth, and Selah came along as her helper to look after her while she was in hospital,” Bernadette said.