Transforming the Face of Missions in Africa
Context from our CEO, Maxine Holman
We are enthusiastic for what the Lord has prepared for MAF South Africa this year. We believe the Lord has positioned us for such a time as this. As we look to increase MAF’s worldwide effectiveness by recruiting experienced, skilled Africans to join and be part of sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth. We are dreaming big and asking the Lord to increase our faith as we look to build a MAF Africa hub here in South Africa. This will enable African candidates to have access to all pre-technical assessments before moving on to the final international recruitment assessments. We want to set all our candidates up for success so that their time on the mission field is impactful and life-changing.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Please join us in praying and supporting this big dream of sending workers into the fields ready for harvesting.
IN THE BEGINNING
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and so it was with a little Cessna 152 which seemed doomed for the scrapyard. Her saving grace was when a number of aircraft engineers who had applying for service in MAF simultaneously were ready for a practical skills assessment by the MAF International engineering team. These assessments could be, and to date have generally been, carried out at MAF training facilities. The issue was that all these candidates were from African countries, and this would incur considerable cost in terms of travel and accommodation. When Jeremy Boddington, of Mercy Air, a long time partner with MAF South Africa, heard of this, he kindly offered the Mercy Air facility at White River as an alternative. To provide suitable training and assessment aids, he began to look about for a scrapped airframe that could be fit for purpose. That is where ZS PKP came into the story. As search of internet for sale websites revealed a C152 airframe suitable for “parts or scrap” with a picture of a complete airframe drew his attention.
Fearing such a complete airframe would not be up for sale for long, Jeremy quickly dispatched David Schumacher, and experienced C152 pilot, from White River to Alberton to view the airframe. On arrival in Alberton, and discussion with the owner, Gerrie van Wyk, it transpired that PKP had been sold by an Eastern Cape flying school, amongst other aircraft. The engine and propellor had been separately sold. Other than that the aircraft was complete down to avionics seats and seats. David’s response on seeing the airframe was that it was essentially a complete airplane without engine, and after some calls between MAFI, MAFSA and Mercy Air, the airframe was purchased from the buyer.
While some will feel that an aeroplane without an engine is very light and easy to handle, they would be wrong. Jeremy dispatched the Mercy Air Volkswagen Transporter with trailer and David set of with two assistants from White River. Those would not have been enough, and so James Holmes from MAFSA pressed wife, daughter, and grandsons into service to help. Being aviation and MAF lovers, it took little persuasion. On the day of loading, David suffered a blown tyre on the trailer which delayed him somewhat and the Holmes family spent the time with Gerrie’s family, also aviation enthusiasts and new friendships were formed. On David’s arrival, the gathered family members jumped in, to a man/ lady, and the fuselage was wheeled out of the driveway. It took all available muscle power to lift and place PKP on the trailer. This took some time with much grunting and heaving (and pinched fingers) but at last she was secure. Then the troops set about carrying the myriad spare parts and components to the street where our loadmaster, David, ensured they were correctly stowed and secured. The major effort in this phase was to release the main wings from their location again the garage roof, using almost all manpower to ensure no mishap could possibly secure. Eventually, the loading was complete, and all stood about the
Transporter, enjoying a cold drink and a job well done. The activities in the street had attracted quite some interest from neighbours as well as security patrols, but all had gone well with Gerrie being visibly moved to see her leave. He however remains part of her ongoing journey.
ZS PKP is now safely in the Mercy Air hangars and is awaiting the arrival of the first group of engineers, as well as the fitment of her wings. She is also in need of a name, which will be forthcoming. There will hopefully be many more engineers passing through the facility and she will in time see full refurbishment, and the fitting of her engine. All in the loading party and Gerrie look forward to her eventual engine runs, ground testing, and then, who knows, her first flight to where she belongs, in the sky.
INVEST IN MAF AFRICA
Transforming the face of missions and equipping Africans to serve in Africa
Account Name: Mission Aviation Fellowship
Standard Bank | Greenstone Branch
Branch code: 016342 | Account number: 020044615
Reference: Your Name + ‘MAFA’
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ