NAMPA, Idaho Founded in 1945, Mission Aviation Fellowship stations some 200 missionary families in the remotest regions of 23 countries on five continents. Now, the ministry that serves missions around the world with aviation, communications and leaning technologies, has new headquarters located in Treasure Valley, Idaho.
This summer, MAF moved to Nampa from Redlands, Calif., because of the higher cost of living and operating in California. The Treasure Valley won over other possible locations because the terrain facilitates pilot training and because of the number of strong MAF supporters residing in Idaho. The new headquarters consists of a 35,500-square-foot administration building and a 23,500-square-foot hanger.
The ministry dedicated its new training and mobilization headquarters Sept. 23, with a full day of tours, music, airplane rides, seminars and a book signing. Dr. Rich Buhler, renowned broadcaster, speaker and author, was the main speaker and master of ceremonies for the dedication. More than 4,000 people are estimated to have attended the event.
"This relocation has been the single largest project in our 60-year history, and we are already experiencing the benefits of the move," said Kevin Swanson, MAF president. "The expanded training and support facility has given us room to grow, as we prepare to send new missionaries and as we support our families already serving worldwide."
Key decision makers from the world's international missions organizations will meet at the new MAF headquarters Oct. 18 and 19 to determine how to work together to effectively use the results of the recent MAF landmark study, "Operation ACCESS!" for global missions.
The five-year study focuses on pockets of people who are forgotten or heretofore unreachable. It identifies areas where transportation, communications and technology barriers prevent or impede access to the gospel or to sustained resources needed to enable community development, healthcare and educational services.
The study's critical, unprecedented information is expected to shape international evangelism, ministry and humanitarian strategies for the next 20 years, its proponents said.
MAF pilots fly about 40,000 flights a year, transporting missionaries, medical personnel, medicines and relief supplies, as well as conducting thousands of emergency medical evacuations. MAF also provides telecommunications services, including satellites, high-frequency radios, e-mail and other wireless systems, in isolated areas.
For more information on MAF, visit maf.org. For more information on the study, log on to operatoinaccessmaf.org.