December 2014 Passing the Baton Twenty-one years ago Dick Snook took the baton from Founder, Don Beldin, to begin his tenure as the second President of MFI. All he wanted at the time was “God’s continued grace for the ongoing outreach of Missionary Flights International.” As evidenced by the current facilities, the two turbine DC-3s, and MFI’s partnership with 400 missions in the Caribbean, Dick’s leadership and vision have led to the blessing of MFI. Now it’s time to pass the baton again as Dick transitions to President Emeritus and Joe Karabensh takes the title of President of MFI. Take the Matching Gift Challenge Fifty years ago, Don Beldin founded grows continually and MFI envisions Missionary Flights International to expanding to more countries in the better serve the needs of missionaries coming years. living in the Bahamas. In order to keep In an early report to meeting the needs of supporters, he indicated “... keep in mind that the mission community, a need of $200 per any gift given to MFI MFI must expand its month to operate the towards this project fleet by adding a third one airplane MFI will actually double turbine DC-3. MFI has owned at the time. The this year.” been raising funds since current fleet of two last summer and the turbine DC-3s and one Cessna 310 exciting news is that a foundation has require a slightly larger operating awarded a matching grant toward this budget than that. third plane. For every dollar given this MFI now serves 400 mission organizations compared to just 250 a mere five years ago. The number of flights and usage of the planes year toward the new turbine DC-3, the foundation will match up to $50,000. As you consider your end of the year giving, keep in mind that any gift given to MFI towards this project will actually double this year. As the Lord has blessed you, please consider how you can be a blessing to MFI and the missions it serves. You can give through the enclosed envelope or online at www.missionaryflights.org. Affiliated Mission Spotlight Mission Emanuel - Dominican Republic Promoting discipleship through short-term mission trips focused on community transformation. In a partnership with the Association for Dominican Rehabilitation (ADR), Mission Emanuel’s pediatric physical therapy clinic has hosted an annual trip each of the past seven years. The purpose of this trip, in addition to discipleship, is to deliver custom wheelchairs and other rehabilitation equipment to the ADR and Mission Emanuel. This has always been difficult with respect to the space and financial limitations placed on getting the equipment from the United States to the DR. However, thanks to MFI, Mission Emanuel was able to provide custom wheelchairs to 70 children. In addition, over $250,000 worth of equipment arrived in the Dominican Republic for rehabilitation services This is significant because children having disabilities with diagnoses including meningitis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other syndromes do not fit in a standard wheelchair. They are too old to be carried by their parents but have too specific of needs to be safely and The wheelchairs on the ramp in Barahona, DR. comfortably transported in a stroller. It took a team of six wheelchair specialists nearly five days to fit 70 children for chairs that are custom to their needs. Gabrieles is a 10-year-old child with osteogenesis imperfecta which results in bones that are very easily fractured. Due to this, both of his knees were stuck Gabrieles in his new custom wheelchair. bent and he walked on the back of his hands with his feet crossed and curled underneath him. He has normal cognition, social interaction and wants to be a pediatrician when he grows up. He attends public school and makes good grades. However, his ability to be included as a social equal is an uphill battle due to his disability. He must be carried on his mom’s shoulder for long distances or outside the home to prevent damage to his hands. He has never had a wheelchair. The Mission Emanuel team was able to deliver a custom chair that was adapted to his body with scoliosis that he could push independently. He immediately took to it and was spinning circles before anyone could give him instructions. 2014 George Knoop Volunteer of the Year - Jim Stewart Jim Stewart served as a Palm Beach County Circuit Court judge before retiring in the late 1990s. Shortly after his wife passed away, Jim began looking for opportunities to serve in the area when he came across MFI. MFI needed dedicated people to help with loading the aircraft and other duties around the organization. Jim receiving his award from President Dick Snook at the Ft. Pierce Banquet in November. MFI created this award in honor of George Knoop, an MFI volunteer living in Port-au-Prince. He was murdered in May of this year at his home in Haiti. 2 Fifteen years later, Jim still volunteers every loading day (normally Monday and Wednesday). He selflessly works with the MFI staff and other volunteers selecting the cargo for the flight and then loading that same cargo onto the planes. Some of the staff remember Jim riding his bike to the Palm Beach International airport each day with his lunch box and a cooler filled with sodas for the loading crew. The only time Jim doesn’t show up to volunteer is when he is off visiting one of his three children or grandchildren. Jim Stewart personifies dedication and commitment to missions. The ultimate example happened in 2006 when MFI moved from West Palm Beach to Ft. Pierce. Instead of staying in West Palm, where he had lived and worked for many years, Jim chose to move with MFI so he could continue to serve MFI and its many affiliated missions. Standing in the Gap for Missions in the Caribbean A Legacy of Missions Moving Forward DICK SNOOK ON HIS TIME AS MFI’S PRESIDENT AND THE FUTURE. For the past 28 years it has been my privilege to serve with Missionary Flights International. When my wife, Linda, and I moved our family to Florida in 1986 to join MFI, the ministry was pretty small. Over the years we have seen the Lord bless MFI to what it is today. What a joy it was for me to work with Founder Don Beldin in those early years. On December 31, 2014, I will step down as president of MFI. As the ministry continues to grow, there is a need for someone to represent MFI to churches and supporters. For the next several years my wife Linda and I will be ambassadors for MFI traveling the U.S. and Canada hosting banquets and representing the ministry. When the Lord called An airplane cannot accomplish its purpose unless it is “moving forward.” Once the airflow over the wings has enough velocity, then sufficient lift will be produced to launch the craft into the sky to fulfill its mission. So it has been with Missionary Flights International under the leadership of Don Beldin and Dick Snook. MFI has been “moving forward” for the last 50 years to “Stand in the Gap” for missions in the Caribbean. As times have changed, MFI has been able to adapt by upgrading equipment, airplanes, and even hangars in order to fulfill its mission of spreading the Gospel. It has been my pleasure to be part of the team at MFI and to work with Dick these last 18 years. I have learned a tremendous amount from him and have appreciated the way he took me under his wing shortly after my wife and I moved our family to Florida in 1996. When I joined MFI as a pilot and mechanic, I never imagined that one day I would have the incredible responsibility of being the next MFI president. In 2001, I was given the title of Executive Vice President and worked closely with Dick on a daily basis as we transitioned into turbine aircraft and eventually moved our operation to www.missionaryflights.org us here, many years ago, it was a lifetime commitment so we are not retiring, only changing positions. Linda and I will serve MFI as long as the Lord gives us strength. Please pray for Joe Karabensh as he becomes the next MFI president. Joe has served with MFI for the past 18 years and he is a capable leader. Harold Martin, who has been with MFI for 12 years, will step into the vice president’s position. With Joe and Harold’s many years of experience and love for the ministry, MFI will have quality leadership well into the future. May the Lord bless you for supporting us and MFI. Ft. Pierce, FL. I am both honored and humbled by this important leadership role that God has placed before me. I am thrilled about the team of godly men and women that God has brought together to serve at MFI. I know there will be challenges ahead and I trust that God will give us the wisdom and guidance that we need. I, as well as all the staff, covet your ongoing support and prayers as we seek to provide reliable transportation and logistical support to hundreds of Bible centered missions. It is my desire to see MFI continue to do what we have done for the last 50 years and to keep “moving forward” by adjusting and fine tuning the ministry as we advance further towards excellence. I am excited to see where God will take us in the next 50 years. 3 Turbine DC-3 versus Piston DC-3 The turbine is 55 mph faster than the piston - which translates to an hour savings on a flight from Florida to Haiti. Since most days are round-trip flights for the pilots, that savings in time can shorten the flight day by up to two hours. N200MF (turbine) outside on the ramp. MFI began flying piston DC-3s in 1977 and flew them regularly until 2011. The first turbine DC-3 arrived in 2003 with the second one being put into service in 2011. Why the change and what’s the difference? MFI personnel are often asked those questions. The many advantages of flying turbine DC-3s over piston DC-3s are realized by the passengers, pilots, and mechanics. Because of its heavier engines, a piston DC-3 weighs more than a turbine DC3. This translates to 18% more cargo and passengers by weight that can be carried at a lower cost per flight hour. Piston airplanes use Avgas for fuel while turbine airplanes use Jet A. Avgas sometimes costs as much as $2/ gal more than Jet A and hasn’t been available in Cap-Haitien since 2004. There are also many intangible benefits associated with flying turbine DC-3s. Turbine engines are more reliable - meaning less unscheduled maintenance in Florida and abroad. N300MF (piston) shown from above. Also, the overall cost to operate a turbine DC-3 is less which benefits MFI and the missionaries it serves. Please help MFI purchase its third turbine DC-3 by donating to this project. You can use the enclosed envelope or give online at www.missionaryflights.org and remember that any gift given by the end of the year towards this project will be matched up to $50,000. Upcoming Events You can find more details about the below events at www.missionaryflights.org/events. Feed My Starving Children Event When: January 10, 2015 Where: MFI Hangar in Ft. Pierce, FL MFI Family Day When: March 7, 2015 Where: MFI Hangar in Ft. Pierce, FL West Palm Beach Banquet When: March 20, 2015 Where: Airport Hilton, WPB, FL Support MFI by doing all your amazon.com shopping by going to smile.amazon.com and selecting Missionary Flights as your charity. Amazon will donate a percentage of the price of your purchase to MFI. Registration has begun and is available at www.missionaryflights.org. Come join 600 other volunteers to help pack 125,000 meals on Saturday, January 10 at MFI’s hangar. Thank You for Voting. Because of the time you took to go online and vote for MFI, out of 15 organizations, we finished 10th - which was worth a brand new Lightspeed headset. Thanks again for your support. The 50th Anniversary book will be available in December. You can buy it by contacting the MFI office or on the website.
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