Wednesday, 29 October 2014

MAF Prayer Points Week #1

Only a few days to go now until the start of the MAF Marathon. The airstrip has been measured, the runners are in training, and we’re all ready to get running.

This is the first of our regular updates which we hope to post through the month of November. You’ll find below a list of MAF prayer points to focus on for the first week.

Week 1 * Monday 3rd Nov * Pilot‘s Meeting
MAF PNG currently has 15 pilot families from six different countries, flying three different types of planes (3 Twin Otters, 2 Cessna Caravans, 6 GA8 Airvans).From today, Monday Nov 3rd until Wednesday Nov 5th the annual pilot’s meeting is held in Ukarumpa. The workshops cover many topics such as legally required re-current training; reviewing standard operating practices; discussing what can be learnt from various incidents and accidents; training for new technologies and equipment that is being introduced. The aim is to raise our standards even higher and make our flights even safer. These few days are quite intense. Please pray for:
- good attention
- the ability to process all the information
- that our operational safety will be boosted
- for spiritual, as well as technical interaction and networking.

Week 1 * Tuesday 4th Nov * Ground Operations Department

When Kompiam Hospital hears about a desperately sick person who can only get to the Hospital by aircraft, it is this Department which plans the flight and figures out which aircraft and pilot can get there soonest to do the Medevac. The Ground Operations department looks after the nine MAF Bases around PNG. Each base is run by some Papua New Guinean staff who are responsible for taking bookings, programming where the aircraft fly each day, preparing all the aircraft paperwork for the pilots, checking-in passengers and loading the aircraft, and speaking with people and pilots on the radio. Ground operations staff allow planes to actually take off, with passengers and cargo on them when they do.
We are currently having our annual Ground Ops training meetings and your prayers would be greatly appreciated.
- This is a time when our staff can get a license or perhaps get recurrent on their licenses to do many aspects of their jobs and are introduced to new software programs that will be established before the end of the year at each of the MAF bases. They have exams to study for and to pass. Please pray that everyone would be successful in their training and enjoy spending time together.
- Please pray for the trainers, as they prepare presentations, that they are clear and our staff fully understand what is being taught.
We would also appreciate prayer as we go into November and December which are the busiest times of the year for us.
Please pray:
-that God would help the programmers to produce the most efficient programmes to help as many people as possible throughout PNG.
-for the safety of Ground Ops staff whilst loading aircraft with heavy bags and building materials
-for good rest in the evenings so we are ready for the busy days.
-that God would provide new staff with the skills we need at the right locations.
-for the Programming Coordinator role based in Hagen. This role is very important to help MAF make the best use of God’s resources, but the role will be vacant from January 2015. Pray God brings the right people to fill this role both short and long-term.
-for the financial support to cover our subsidised flights. MAF has many requests for subsidised (discounted) flights for Churches and other worthy causes, but we do not have the funds to help everyone. Ground Ops staff do not enjoy having to say no;  pray they can prioritise according to God’s plan.

Week 1 * Wednesday 5th Nov * Focus on the Staff Families

Our team in Papua New Guinea contains 123 staff members. 94 are Nationals and 29 are Expats based at Mt. Hagen, Goroka, Wewak, Rumginae and Kawito. Only ground staff are employed at other locations like Telefomin, Tabubil, Kiunga and Port Moresby. 

At the end of September all Expat families met for their annual conference. We were blessed to have David Sode (MAF-PNG Board member) and CEO of the PNG Sustainable Development Program as our Guest Speaker along with his wife Lolin. We enjoyed a wonderful worship team who took us into the presence of God with beautiful music, and David Sode’s illumination of what it meant to be a Christian in a difficult environment both challenged and encouraged us.

Prayer Points
Please pray for the safety of our families. For life in an environment where most families live occur behind razor wired fences and have security guards. In many places life is a challenge by itself. There is high risk of being involved in an incident or accident when traveling by road.
Please pray for the wives and mothers that they can create a home for their family and meet their husband‘s and children‘s needs.
Please pray for the children and teenagers, who either attend schools in town or are being home-schooled by their mums, that their upbringing on the mission field will be a blessing for their entire lives and that these years will make them grow in character.
Please pray that families can support each other, when their original families are many miles away.
Please pray for the families’ health when medical help is not easily accessible as in our home countries, especially when based at an outstation.
Please pray for more Expat families who are willing to serve in this great ministry of MAF, to leave the comfort of their home countries to come to Papua New Guinea.
Please pray that God will provide these families’ needs and keep them safe, and honour the sacrifices that families make in coming to PNG.

With the departure of many long-serving families over recent months and years, MAF PNG is left with many critical staffing needs, which puts a lot of stress on the remaining staff, especially on pilots and engineers as the demand on flying is still very high.
We are grateful for the arrival of a new German pilot’s family late September and a new Dutch pilot’s family arriving in December.
Please pray
for the people resources that will facilitate what God wants to achieve through MAF in PNG.
for the two new pilot families, that they settle well into life in PNG as they start their language and cultural orientation and later get into a daily flying. Pray for the mothers to create a new home for their family and help their children to adjust.

Week 1 * Thursday 6th Nov * MAF Headquarters in Mt Hagen

In 1974 MAF PNG‘s headquarter moved to Mt. Hagen, the provincial capital of Western Highlands Province and that‘s the place where most of our national and expat staff live.
Mt. Hagen is a very busy town and a mix of people from different tribes which often leads to tension in the area. Expect the unexpected! While writing these lines Mt. Hagen town is on high alert as last night fire destroyed part of the main shopping centre and now some people are taking the opportunity to loot and steal the nearby shops. Tribal fights and altercations are common. The presence of Police and other security doesn’t guarantee safety for all.
Mt. Hagen is the centre of MAF operations. Therefore it is where the majority of pilots live and all our engineering is based as well. It is the hub of administration where the offices for leadership and management, ground operations and finance are situated.
Our families live on several compounds spread through town. They have orchids growing in their backyards but bars on their windows. The view from the windows, look through razor wires on the high fences out to the beautiful landscape and high mountains.
It is in Mt. Hagen where all new MAF Expat families start their language and cultural orientation and where the pilots get their initial in-country training. It‘s a busy place, especially for the ladies who provide housing and hospitality for visitors to the program or those assisting short term. They even do shopping for MAF families based at remote outstations.

Please pray
- for safety for all the staff living and working in Mt. Hagen. That the strife which is often around will not target the MAF staff.
- that the staff will adapt to Hagen life, and the operation of the administration offices will function well in close proximity to each other,  
- that there will be a comradery amongst the leadership and department heads.
- that the families will see the beauty in Your creation and be able to look past the unsightly necessities of town living.
- for the MAF wives who are expected to fill every gap needed to create a workable and friendly environment for their husbands, families and visitors alike.

Week 1 * Friday 7th Nov * MAF South Sudan

Today, unimaginable suffering, over 1.1 million displaced people, continued violence, disrupted livelihoods and the repercussions of no harvest threaten this already shattered nation. Since MAF began flying in South Sudan in 1950, we have seen great need, ongoing unrest and suffering, and the need for God’s peace and reconciliation. 

Here are some links to stories, which will provide you with more insight what MAF is doing in South Sudan and what people there have to face.
The Lopit people. A tribe trapped in fear - Africa Inland Mission (AIM) is one of many Christian organisations we fly seeking to help the people of South Sudan in this, the troubled country’s third year of existence. READ MORE
The hero counsellors of traumatised war victims - Tim and Helen Manson work for Tutapona (meaning 'to heal'), an organisation that enters war-affected zones to offer trauma counselling to displaced and traumatised victims of war. READ MORE
Kids love planes – and pilots
Pilot Dave Forney, serving with MAF in Uganda, shares 'Kids love planes. That’s pretty universal. Anywhere in the world, if you introduce an airplane to a group of kids, they go bonkers. Especially in places where it’s not an everyday occurrence...' READ MORE
Flying Rowan Williams to promote peace in South Sudan
MAF was privileged to lend logistical support to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, when he visited South Sudan in July in his capacity as Chair of Christian Aid. READ MORE

Urgent prayer needs:
The ongoing unrest which has forced 1.3 million people to be displaced in their own nation and a further 449,000 to flee the country.
The impending severe famine meaning 3.9 million people face the threat of food insecurity.
The response of the international community to the humanitarian crisis. Pray it will be timely and sufficient.
The rainy season has cut off parts of the country, making access difficult. There is barely any infrastructure and insecurity is a real issue. Pray that food aid and medical care can reach those in greatest need.
Women and girls are at particular risk of violence and abuse in conflict situations. Pray for God's hand of protection.
As for MAF, the demand for flights is stretching us to full capacity in what is already a tough environment to live and work in. Pray for strength and wisdom.

The nation:
Pray for the Church as they seek to bring peace and reconciliation.
Pray for the government to rule wisely, justly and selflessly.
Pray for genuine transformation in the hearts of people deep in a culture of cattle. raids and revenge to peace and the will to build and develop the nation.
Pray for peace and unity within and with neighbouring countries.

Pray for safety in flying and wisdom to discern airstrip conditions in the rainy season.
Pray for strength for our growing team and those we partner with. The heat is relentless and stifling.
Pray for good relations with the authorities.
Pray for wisdom to prioritise which flights are most urgent.

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