On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, Lake Stevens residents Denny and Darlene Brawford welcomed dozens of donors and supporters of Mission Aviation Fellowship, a company based out of Nampa, Idaho that delivers supplies to people all over the world.
MAF’s new airplane, a Quest Kodiak seaplane, landed on the waters of Lake Stevens on Sunday, September 1, next to the Brawford’s dock.
Supporters were able to look at the plane, sit in it and five lucky winners were able to take a ride in the newly dedicated plane.
“We have a strong base of people in this area who give to this organization, so we wanted to celebrate that here,” CEO and President of MAF John Boyd said. “The designer of this plane comes from Snohomish.”
The plane was designed by Tom Hamilton.
MAF has been around for 63 years and globally has 134 airplanes. Indonesia and Africa are two of the largest areas they fly into delivering supplies and missionaries to remote locations.
“This airplane is heading to Indonesia and will carry everything from mission teams, doctors, pastors, food, medicines and villagers,” Boyd said. “We really cater to the human side and spiritual side of things.”
Brawford, 73, who has been a pilot for over 40 years and who flew 747s at one time, wanted to host the event because he has also piloted planes for MAF and his a strong supporter of the fellowship.
Brawford performed the dedication prayer before the plane was loaded with the winners of a lottery drawing for a free flight.
Brawford has seen many blessings since becoming a pilot for MAF.
“When we think about our lives and what we think about what counts, God goes beyond our wildest dreams,” Brawford said. “I have never been so blessed as when I wrote a letter to MAF and said, ‘I’m available.’”
The plane’s pilot Dave Rask, is also MAF’s Director of Aviation and has been flying for 33 years.
He has worked in Indonesia and has a special rating making it possible for him to fly seaplanes.
“Docking this things is a special challenge,” he said. “It can weigh up to 7,000 pounds and can carry up to 3,000 pounds.”
Rask explained how expensive it can be to fly some airplanes in to certain countries, countries that don’t have gasoline readily available. This plane uses jet fuel, or kerosene.
“Gasoline is very expensive and hard to find. This plane takes jet fuel which can be found anywhere on earth,” Rask explained.
According to MAF gasoline in some parts of the world can cost up to $20 per gallon and jet fuel around $5 per gallon.
“The Kodiak will become the work horse of our fleet,” Rask said.
Another MAF pilot, Jeff Turcottes explained that these planes can cost millions of dollars and are all funded by donors.
“MAF has been in Indonesia since 1954. The place is so remote and the terrain is difficult,” he explained. “It can cost $3.5 million to replace an older plane. We work in God’s economy.”
It was a great opportunity to share this new plane with the Lake Stevens community before it takes off to help those in Indonesia.
“This backdrop is the prettiest backdrop of all of the MAF events,” Boyd said of Lake Stevens. “People’s lives are changed physically and spiritually through MAF. That’s what our heart’s passion is.”
To find out more about MAF visit www.maf.org.