Dear Family and Friends,
In my last prayer letter, I mentioned that MAF is going through some changes here in Ecuador and asked you all to pray. I would like to update you on the situation and ask you for continued prayer.
The current foreign missionary MAF pilots have not been able to fly since last December. We were told that we were missing adequate paper work and did not receive a permit. I mentioned that we have two Ecuadorian pilots who would be able to continue to fly. About a week and half ago, one of those pilots left MAF saying he had a family emergency. He said he only needed a month off, but now is showing signs of never returning to work here. So, that leaves us with one pilot to complete all the flights usually run by 6 pilots. As you can imagine, that’s impossible!
The administration has been working hard to make all the necessary changes needed to receive another permit for foreign pilots to fly. Part of their changes has been to update the various manuals stating their standards. The administrators have been back and forth to Quito (a 5 hour drive from Shell), meeting with officials on almost a weekly basis. Every visit ends with the officials telling them that there is yet another change that needs to be made.
I would like to ask each of you to please take time, maybe even every day, to pray about this entire situation. Here are some specific ways in which you can pray.
- That God would allow MAF to start flying full-time again. Whether that means bringing new qualified Ecuadorian pilots to Shell or allowing the foreign missionaries to fly again.
- That God would encourage all of the missionaries here with MAF. As you can imagine, this is a discouraging and frustrating time for everyone involved, especially the pilots and administration. It seems as though every day is a different story and no one has a clear picture of what to do to receive approval from the officials.
- That God would give wisdom to the leaders of MAF, not just in Ecuador, but also in the States. We are definitely going through a time of transition, and some major decisions need to be made soon.
- That the people who normally benefit from the services of MAF in Ecuador would continue to find the help they need from other companies.
- That Fernando Pastor, the only pilot allowed to currently fly with MAF in Ecuador, would stay healthy, alert, and encouraged.