On May 11, 2015, several of MAG’s staff members joined together in Coshocton, Ohio to attend the 4-day International Association of Missionary Aviation (IAMA) annual conference. This year the conference was hosted by Missionary Maintenance Services (MMS), a partner organization which provides maintenance services for MAG aircraft.
The conference was attended by over 70 participants with presentations by MMS CEO Dwight Jarboe, Liberty University Associate Dean Sean John Marselus, Director of Flight Operations at Moody Aviation Jim Conrad and our own MAG CEO Sean Donnelly, among others.
Sean presented a new model for missionary pilot-mechanic training as he outlined the training partnership that has been implemented by MAG and MMS Aviation. “A key tenet of the program is “transferability”, Sean shared. “The fact that MAG is not a flight school, but rather a front-line mission organization building capacity into its own training department to accommodate pilot training for the broader mission aviation community, means this: If MAG can do it, other organization can too!”
Collaboration became a topic of spontaneous discussion throughout the week. Says Steve Straw, Founder and Program Manager of Aviation Médicale de Bongolo, “It’s encouraging to be around so many that sense the critical need for creative logistical solutions to express the love and kindness of Creator God. There was a great vibe in the conference and a ton of networking going on.”
The conference itself was held in a hangar, encouraging cooperative and creative solutions to challenges faced by many missionary aviation organizations. Straw affirms, “Discussion from the floor all focused on spurring each other on to effective work for the Kingdom worldwide.”
Session titles included “Top 10 Safety Concerns in Mission Aviation,” “Alternative Means of Funding,” and “The Need for Leaders.”
Straw sums up, “The bond that brings over 70 organizations together as members of IAMA is this: there is a Loving God who wants to use His Children to creatively express His Love to every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation. This is true relief work. This is true community development. This is true compassion.”