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The Indian Ocean Islands boast picture-postcard beaches, dramatic volcanic peaks and an array of rare wildlife. Alongside this beauty lies corrupt governance, political bickering, failing infrastructure, and a sputtering economy. The National Anthem declares they are one people, one blood and one religion, and with 99.9% of the population being Muslims this is not far from the truth. It’s to this context that AIM is sending an aviation team, seeking to share with Islanders not only their skills and experience but most importantly, the gospel. Jon*, the team leader, shares about the vision:
Why an aviation team?
“All pilots are liars and no one can actually follow all the rules,” an Island aviation official told me recently. Sadly in Africa, that is often true. It’s into this ‘wild’ industry that we will go as Christian workers displaying integrity and professionalism. Working to the best of our ability we hope to raise the standards of the Island airline company we will work for and improve safety, not just for Islanders but for AIM missionaries, and other Christian personnel as we fly them across the Island group.
We also recognise that as pilots and aviation personnel we will have unique opportunities to build relationships with particular segments of society. People with power and influence, those who in accepting the gospel could be instrumental in helping the message gain acceptance here.
“We pray that God will raise up people for this team who will show God’s love and share his truth in their personal lives and relationships.”
Sharing our lives
We are overjoyed that professional aviation skills open the door for Christian workers to go to the Islands, letting them live, work and share their lives with Muslim people who otherwise may have no opportunity to hear about the hope that we have. We pray that God will raise up people for this team who will show God’s love and share his truth in their personal lives and relationships. We hope to see families sent who will open their homes and hearts, sharing their lives with Island families, displaying in their relationships something of the love of God.
Building the team
Recently we have heard that our first team members are on their way to join us. They are an aviation mechanic from Kenya and a nurse from Ethiopia. They are still working on the last few details but we hope they will be able to join us in early 2016. We are thanking God for this blessing and continuing to pray that he will give more professional aviators the passion and desire to put their skills to work and live out their faith in this strategic location for the kingdom. We believe that having an international group of professional aviators who all proclaim the same faith in Christ and who all live it out in kindness, love, and integrity will have a tremendous impact on those who will be watching us!
* surname witheld for security