MAF began with some World War II pilots who had a vision to help those in need. The idea was to use planes positively to spread the peace of God – rather than negatively to spread the conflict of man. After the war, Murray Kendon, Stuart King and Jack Hemmings worked with the Mildmay Movement to raise the funds required to realise their vision.
In 1948, the first survey flight of Africa was completed and Sudan identified as a country with need of an aircraft to help further the gospel. In 1950, the first MAF base started in Akobo, Sudan. At the same time, similarly minded Christian pilots started missionary organisations in the US and Australia, eventually also becoming known as MAF. Able to provide medevacs to missionaries in remote areas and help reach the isolated communities, the visions of those early pioneers became a reality. Within 15 years there were operational bases opened in Sudan, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Ecuador, Kenya and Ethiopia.
What started off as the dream of a few Christian air force pilots is now a global movement with 123 aircraft serving in over 25 countries worldwide. Tens of thousands of remote communities now have access to healthcare, education, community development, disaster relief and the Good News of Jesus Christ.
A lot has happened over the 70 years since MAF was formed, but through the change, through all the developments in technology and aviation practices, the heart of MAF has stayed the same: to see isolated people changed by the love of Christ through serving together to bring help, hope and healing through aviation.