Adventure on Purpose

Maxine Holman, MAF SA’s CEO, begins an adventure in Tanzania that will see many lives changed across the world.

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Around 1985 an MAF pilot was flying evangelical safaris to Maasai villages in Tanzania. On one such visit, while talking to a local Maasai, the pilot learnt that they had been worshiping Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano, known by the Tanzanian Maasai as The Mountain of God. The Maasai said that they, “hear the rumbles and see the smoke and know that god lives there”. Upon hearing this the pilot invited the local Maasai man to fly in his aircraft to show him that no god lives on the mountain. After the flight the Maasai man committed his life to the Lord, the one and only true God.
MAF has been flying in Tanzania for about sixty years. At the end of last year, Maxine Holman, MAF SA’s CEO visited the programme and Tanzanian based missionaries, the Combrinks. 
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She also visited and then climbed Ol Doinyo Lengai. 

The climb wasn’t only an adventure she wished to embark on, it was the start of an additional method of raising funds for MAF in a different and, quite literally, adventurous way. 

Adventure on Purpose, provides unique life-changing adventures, while making a difference. The adventures provided  are life-changing, not just for the participant, but for the people they encounter along the way. Adventurers will fly with MAF, experiencing first-hand what it is we do. Proceeds of each adventure will feed into the work of MAF.

Maxine’s exhilarating experience of the pilot project is recorded below.

“We arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport, to be collected by MAF pilot Kirstein Combrink in a very small aircraft, the Cessna 206 - let the adventures begin! We flew for about thirty minutes to Malambo, a very rural area where Kirstein helps with evangelical safaris. On our way, Kirstein pointed out our formidable challenge. The sight of her from the aircraft was just amazing. As we looked down, we saw Ol Doinyo Lengai on our left, Lake Natron on our right and scattered Maasai bomas below us, sparsely dispersed on an arid, desert-like terrain.   

“In Malambo we had been invited to attend the Maasai bible college graduation. It was a privilege to meet Christian brothers and sisters in such a different and difficult environment. We spent one night in Malambo and then moved on to Engaresaro, where we were met by a wall of heat as we left the aircraft, but also by Yona, a very friendly Maasai, who owns the Worldview Campsite. 
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“We packed all our gear into a beat-up Land Cruiser and proceeded to make a very bumpy journey to the campsite. Looking around at the desert-like terrain, I was a bit apprehensive about what this campsite was going to be like, but we arrived at a green oasis about ten minutes later. Running water, flushing toilets, big green trees providing shade, and people to help carry, unpack and put up our tent - it was just incredible!

“The challenge was only a few hours away, enough time for us to rest, have dinner and a short sleep before we piled back into the bumpy Land Cruiser. At 11 pm we were taken to the base of Lengai with our twenty-three-year-old guide who had climbed the volcano about fifty-five times. We were in good hands.
“At 12 am, in deep darkness, we started our ascent. There was no trail or pathway that we could follow. We just had to keep climbing up. The headtorch gave just enough light to guide our next step. Occasionally, the steepness caused us to crawl on all fours. We crossed all sorts of terrain – sand, rocks, sheer faces, always up and always uneven. 

“We finally reached the rim of the volcano at sunrise. The smell of sulphur filled the air. We couldn’t see anything because we’d walked straight up into the clouds. We stood on the crater, pondering the greatness and glory of our Mighty God. 

“The descent was one of the hardest things I have gone though. One wrong step and I don’t think I would have survived the fall. But eleven hours and thirty minutes later we were back down at the base with Yona and the Land Cruiser. The views coming down were incredible. We had to stop and take them in because that is what kept us going. It wasn’t just a physical challenge, it was also a mental challenge, not to give up, to just keep going. I feel like the Christian walk is like that sometimes too, a challenge not to give up but to keep going until the day we meet our Lord and King face to face. 

“Adventure on Purpose isn’t just about the physical activity, it’s also about the spiritual journey that the Lord is taking each one of us on. It isn’t just about what you can experience, it’s also about opening your eyes to the world and how other people live. 
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“My experience isn’t going to be your experience, but it is going to change you, in one way or another. 
“During my time in Tanzania I met Elisha, the evangelist and bible college teacher MAF has been flying for thirty years. Before he came into contact with MAF, he originally travelled by foot or on his bicycle for days at a time to reach each village. When he first started there were about sixty-three Christians. Today there are over six-thousand Christians. MAF was an answer to his prayers.

“Flying in Tanzania isn’t easy, it’s gruelling work, but MAF does this work so that people can come to know the Lord. Kirstein has a heart for helping people like Elisha. He sometimes has to stay away from his family for a week at a time. The sacrifices that are made are big and it can only be done when you know you are called by God.

“I want to continue seeing people being reached and reaching out for Christ, like those I met at the Maasai Bible College Graduation, and Elisha and Kirstein and his family. There are many ways to make this vision possible, and making it happen is always an adventure.”

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