Grounded

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It is a timeless question to ask, “Is the glass half full or half empty?” It seems a matter of perspective.

We are currently facing a difficult but not altogether new situation here in Indonesia. Two of our three flight programs have been shut down for a lack of security clearances. There are a number of challenges that are presented to a non-profit organization using airplanes to serve and support the local community, even more so a company tring to do this in another country. MAF has been serving in Indonesia for over 60 years and we have a great safety record and reputation in the government as well as with the people in the community. However, we are often facing challenges with visas, work permits, and security clearances for pilots and for the airplanes.

Currently, none of our airplanes have security clearances so we have been grounded for the past four weeks. We come to work ready to fly but we don’t have permission. We have done all of the maintenance that we could do on each of the planes, including weighing one of the planes, replacing a stringer (support structure made of aluminum) in one of the Kodiaks, checking our survival kits, and finally preserving the piston engines for “short-term” storage. Now, we are working on the process to operate more like a commercial airline as opposed to a private operator.

Even as I look at this situation and am tempted to feel disappointed or frustrated, I can clearly see how this will work out for good. The Indonesian government is providing MAF with an opportunity to improve our flight and maintenance manuals as well as improve some of our operating procedures. This is a procedure that all of our programs are in the process of completing. This just gives the Indonesian program a bit of a more incentive to complete the process! MAF is here in Indonesia to serve the people, which includes honoring the government and abiding by the rules and laws of the land. We are excited to be working on this process because it actually provide MAF with more opportunities to serve as well protect us in the case of any legal action. It is a hard situation to face but we know that our love and grace is best shown when tested and tried. Our hope and prayer is, not only that we would be allowed to fly as we finish the transition process but, to humbly submit in love to the governing authorities that it will be a blessing for them to work with us, and vice versa.

I was encouraged by a verse given to us from one of our bosses.

And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 2:24-25

Thank you so much for your prayers. We are not distressed or discouraged. We are so blessed to be here in Indonesia. We are so blessed to get to know our teammates here in Tarakan. We are blessed to get to know our Indonesian neighbors, co-workers, and new friends all over the town who love to take our picture. It is blessing to know that I can brighten someone’s day just by smiling as I ride my bike on the way to and from work. God is good. God is faithful. He has a plan and we choose to live in gratitude!

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5 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. Merry Christmas to the Vana Fam! Also, hello from Suthida Kerr … I recently discovered that Jessica did Bible studies with Suthida a few years back. I have been helping her with a host of adventures and we are developing a growing friendship. Suthida was excited to hear an update on your family. Blessings & Love, Maria & the tribe 🙂

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