On April 22, 2017 over 300 supporters of Missionary Air Group descended upon the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, in Burlington, NC, for MAG’s first ever Open House and for the Dedication Ceremony of MAG’s new ministry headquarters. It was a special day to recognize and honor the many donors, businesses, and volunteers who played a part in making the new facility a reality. It was also a great opportunity to expose the community to the work of Missionary Air Group and to missionary aviation in general. But, more than that, it was a day to honor God and to testify publicly to all that HE has done throughout the course of this project. It was a day for His people to rejoice and worship Him together. And, it was a day to consecrate the facility (along with all the staff and aircraft that will occupy it) to God, setting it aside for His service.
Special guests in attendance included Dr. Davis Goodman, founder of Harvesters International Mission; Mr. Phil Maddux, CEO of MMS Aviation (Coshocton, OH); Mr. John Watt, Director of Compass Aviation Ministries (Shelby, NC); area pastors Rev. Larry Lamberth from Harvest Baptist Church, and Rev. Todd Felkel from Bethlehem Christian Church; and, Mr. Dan Danieley, Manager of the Burlington Airport, who brought greetings from the Burlington Airport Authority. Leading the worship was the (Lifeway) FUGE Philadelphia Band, led by Meghan Donnelly.
The celebration wrapped up with some delicious, home-smoked BBQ prepared by MAG Board member Eric Foehr aided by his crew of volunteers from New Covenant Fellowship Church.
The entire MAG Staff and Board of Directors was on hand to participate. US-based teammates were joined by all our MAG international missionaries from Gabon, Guatemala, and Honduras. This was actually the first time everyone had been together at one time. Attendees to the open house were able to visit with the missionaries while touring the MAG facility.
The building features a 1200 sq. ft. flight operations and training wing, a 4900 sq. ft. aircraft hangar, and the newly constructed 1500 sq. ft. administration wing, built over the period of roughly a year with manpower coming from a total of 60 individuals from 18 churches in 8 states along with help from 23 area business and suppliers. The result is a modern, welcoming, and functional space from which MAG staff can support our growing international work.
Also on hand for visitors to tour was a training aircraft – a Cessna 206 (photo below) – just like those used by MAG at our international locations. These 6-seat aircraft are capable of operating in and out of small, rugged airstrips in order to meet the physical and spiritual needs of remote people groups. The majority of MAG’s efforts focus on bringing genuine love and compassion to remote and marginalized people through the delivery of medical care, bringing credibility to the Gospel message.
Special thanks to the crew at Compass Aviation for volunteering to man the aircraft display as well as direct traffic and park cars, etc. , freeing MAG staffers to meet with the public and enjoy the day. You guys are awesome!
Another aspect of the day was educating visitors about some of the current financial needs of the ministry. In this photo (below), one such need was on display – this engine needs to be replaced by a new one ($77,000) in order to power a recently refurbished MAG aircraft, so that it can start serving in the fleet and saving lives. Please consider becoming part of the MAG support team by helping with this effort. Visit www.SupportMAG.org.
The event was a good time for the whole family. Our Kids Zone area featured fun inflatables along with special crafts designed to help kids (and parents) imagine life in far-off places around the world.
MAG is in need of more teammates! Perhaps these young ones (below) will one day join us. Will you consider joining the MAG team? We need YOU to join us in praying, in giving of your resources, and in staffing our programs both in the US and around the world.