hasties1-1024x518On October 2nd 2016, Kerry, Marie, Johanna, Ethan and Jesse flew from New Zealand to Australia to begin serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship International (MAFI). They have rented a home in Tolga, on the tablelands. It takes Kerry approximately twelve minutes to get to work at Mareeba Airport. Johanna and Ethan are attending Atherton State High School and Jesse attends Atherton State Primary School.

What exactly do you do over there?
Kerry is part of an international team of aircraft engineers serving with MAFI based at the Mareeba Airport in far North Queensland, Australia. It is the main base for the Pacific arm of MAFI. Here the engineers carry out heavy maintenance for about 35 aircraft from Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Arnhem Land Australia and Bangladesh. Heavy maintenance usually means a check involving a complete strip down of the aircraft to bring it back to its original new condition. This usually happens every 3,000hrs of flight for MAFI aircraft. They also service the five aircraft MAFI's flying school use for training pilots in Mareeba.

What's God been doing through you and your ministry lately?
We have just completed a 3,000hr heavy check on a GA8 aircraft which was desperately needed back in PNG. This aircraft was in the hangar for five weeks and has now been flown back to PNG. The pilots returned to Mareeba in another aircraft for its 3,000hr heavy check. We are also working on a brand-new Cessna C208 Caravan. This arrived from the manufacturer in the USA early November and it is currently being modified and up-graded for the requirements of MAFI's field service. It should be ready late February to start serving in PNG.

What's He been teaching you personally?
Patience. We want to have everything planned in advance, but God just lights up the path in front of us, not the whole trip. The last 23 years have been a great lesson in patience waiting to serve Him with MAFI. It also took twelve weeks for our goods to come from New Zealand, so it meant being without many of our possessions for the last two months. Having no TV has had its good moments with the kids having to keep their minds occupied elsewhere. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a verse God is trying to instill in us. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV)

What do you find encourages you most in what you are doing?
To be part of a team of Christians whose calling has been to serve in aviation has been a great encouragement. To start the working day with a ten minute devotion and a time of praise gives you that edge to serve with all your heart. We might not be on the front line of the ministries work, but without engineers the planes could not fly to the isolated people MAFI serve around the world. We also enjoy receiving cards, letters
and emails from our Christian friends in NZ and making new Christian friends in Atherton and Mareeba.

What challenges you?
Several things have been a challenge for us over the last three months. The hot weather has been hard to get used to. The first two months involved drinking lots of water. Trying to get things like driver's licence, bank card, Medicare, Centre link, has been very slow. Having to learn new skills and resurrect forgotten skills has been a steep learning curve. But the fellow engineers are very helpful. At the moment it still feels like we are on holiday. We are sure as this year goes by we will miss our family and friends in NZ more.

How have NZ churches partnered with you?
All of the churches in New Zealand we have shared with about MAFI have been very excited to partner in prayer with us, and most churches and many individuals have financially helped and partnered with us to make serving with MAF a reality. Without them we would still be in New Zealand.

What are your hopes/dreams/vision for the ministry?
Our hope is to work with MAFI as long as God directs us to, even if that means shifting to other countries. Our initial contract asks us to serve for four years, but talking to most staff, they stay at least eight years. Some have been there 35 years. My vision for the ministry would be that we stay true to God's calling and see many people saved with the help MAFI can provide to isolated people.

What was your background before you went to the field?
Upon leaving school, Kerry became an apprentice in the automotive industry. He gained his Trade Certificate, then after six years he spent one year fixing lawnmowers and chainsaws. He then worked as a parts person with products e.g. Lawnmaster mowers, Toshiba heat pumps, Hoshizaki ice makers and Miele whiteware. Kerry and Marie believe God who had shown them a direction towards serving with MAFI in the past, now wanted them to make this leap of faith towards this task. They both left their jobs and moved to Christchurch where Kerry completed a 39 week pre-employment course in aviation engineering. Kerry then started an adult's apprenticeship at Air New Zealand's heavy maintenance base. He remained there for two and a half years and then transferred to Wellington airport to work at the line maintenance. While being with Air NZ, Kerry has become a Licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineer and completed a rating course. He can now certify Airbus A320 aircraft. Four years ago, Kerry completed his Australian licence allowing him to certify Australian registered aircraft. Before coming to Australia, Kerry worked for Jetstar eleven months. Marie worked fifteen years at Land Transport Safety Authority before Johanna was born, and has since been a stay-at-home Mum to Johanna, Ethan and Jesse. A very normal NZ family.

Kerry & Marie Hastie
Day 11 – GC3 Daily Prayer Guide

 

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