MAF Advent Adventure

Today's competition

Read or watch today’s Christmas Story to find out what special item(s) we had onboard our plane today!

Choose from the options below and record your answer on your printable Advent Log available here. Then, from December 25 – 30, visit maf.ca/advent to upload your answers for a chance to win a VR headset!

Don’t have a printer? Don’t worry. Simply use a piece of paper to record each day’s special item.

Q.

What did we put in our plane today?

Building supplies

or

Mark and Kelly Hewes

Download your advent Log to record your answers.

Advent Log Download

Day 1

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Day 1


In the attic, Mike found a diary and old map
With the story of how MAF began.
Mike decided, for his Christmas mission,
He had an exciting plan!

Each page was filled with pictures and tales,
One for each country in which MAF flies.
From the first of these nations until the last
He’d provide much-needed supplies.

Now, jump inside Mike’s MAF plane,
There’s so much to learn and see;
Though Christmas is fast approaching,
There’s still space for you and me!

Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Mike’s little plane touched safely down
In the jungles of Ecuador.
He stepped out of the cabin and looked around
It’s a great place to explore!

Up to the aircraft came a smiling man,
Jaime Saint was his name.
Many years before, his grandfather Nate,
Had visited this place in his plane.

Some violent men from the jungle
Had killed Nate and all his friends.
But their story’s inspired many folk since,
Because the warriors made amends.

‘There are snakes in this jungle,’ said Jaime,
‘They’ll harm you if they bite.
Is there anti-venom in your plane,
So our nurse can make things right?’

Mike had just the thing in his plane,
So Jaime smiled at the sight;
Happy the villagers would be okay
Whenever they got a snakebite.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 2

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Day 2


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Mike touched down at the next place on his map:
South Sudan – a dry, dusty place.
A family of six was waiting for him,
Each had a big smile on their face.

‘We’re here to help the Laarim people,
But we can’t buy fresh food, you see.
We must get our fruit and veg flown in,
If we want to have them for tea!’

‘No problem!’ said Mike, as he opened the hold,
‘You can have the fruit, cabbage and beans.’
‘Thank you, Mike!’ the mother said,
‘We’ll stay healthy by eating our greens!’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 3

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Day 3


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Landing in a place called Wanakipa,
Mike found himself surrounded
By friendly Papua New Guineans,
Looking astonished and astounded!

A lady called Harriëtte called up to him,
‘We were praying you had Bibles in your hold.
My friends want the Scriptures for themselves,
But my very last copy’s been sold.’

‘Let’s take a look,’ said Mike, looking around,
Before emerging with a crate.
It was full of Bibles in the Tok Pisin tongue.
‘Thanks,’ said Harriëtte, ‘Now that’s really great!’

‘Thanks!’ said the villagers crowding around.
‘Now we all can read of God’s love.
We hoped you’d be able to help us,
When we saw your plane flying above.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 4

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Day 4


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Mike’s next stop was the island of Papua,
Where he planned to pick up some fuel.
He’d also spend time with some children
Who attended a missionary school.

As Mike touched down on the airstrip,
A girl ran towards him, called Grace.
‘We’re going to help in a far-away village,
Could you fly my class to that place?

‘We’re going to clear stones from their airstrip,
‘Do you have anything to use in your plane?’
‘I always carry some shovels,’ said Mike,
‘For use when there’s bumpy terrain!’

So the children jumped into Mike’s aircraft,
And they flew to a place far away.
The villagers were so pleased to see them,
‘Thanks for coming to help us today!

‘We rely on your planes in our village.
With no stones, you can now land with ease;
Bringing doctors, teachers and pastors
To provide us with their expertise.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 5

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Day 5


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

The next stop for Mike was Brazil,
And the city of Porto Velho.
As he carefully landed his plane,
He was met by a very nice fellow.

‘Hello, my name’s Dr Eddie,
Could you take me to the Purus River?
With my colleagues, Tanya, Viviane and Rose,
There are toothbrushes to deliver.

‘The four of us are all dentists,
So we offer everyone our assistance.
Without us their teeth may get bad,
As the nearest town’s such a long distance.

Mike was happy to lend a hand,
So he helped the four dentists to board.
How happy they were to work together
And demonstrate the love of the Lord.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 6

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Day 6


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

The remote mountains of Papua New Guinea
Are Pastor Jinga’s home.
He needs a radio to speak to his friends
Because he can’t do it by phone.

‘Could you set up a radio?’ the pastor asked,
‘We have no power or electrical wires.’
‘Of course!’ said Mike, reaching into his bag,
And pulling out some pliers.

Mike carefully connected the cables
To the rooftop solar panel,
So Pastor Jinga could then talk to his friends
By tuning in to the appropriate channel.

‘I can hear my friends!’ the pastor cried,
‘And speak to my head office too.
Thank you, Mike, for all your help.
God bless MAF, and God bless you.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 7

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Day 7


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

On Mike flew, for miles and miles,
Across the blue Indian Ocean.
He landed in Kenya in Africa,
Where he heard a great commotion.

Mike heard a call, ‘Hi, it’s Alpha here!’
Then he saw a great giraffe!
The pair had been friends for years and years,
And had shared many a happy laugh!

‘Come and see RedTribe’s beadwork;
They make jewellery to sell.
It gives these ladies the money they need
To buy medicine and food as well.’

Remembering Christmas was coming near,
Mike thought of an excellent plan.
‘This jewellery would be great for my mum,
May I buy some if I can?’

Mike thanked the ladies for the jewellery,
Which he soon stowed safely inside.
Then he turned with a grin to Alpha,
‘Will you join me for a ride?’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 8

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Day 8


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

After a couple of hours in the air,
The friends landed in the DRC.
Heading towards the hangar,
They were greeted by MAF staff with glee.

‘Hello Mike, and Alpha too,
Could you help us with your plane?
We need to get some measles vaccines,
We’re so happy that you came.’

‘We’d love to help you,’ Mike replied,
As he unloaded vaccines they could use for injections.
‘Where do you want them delivered?’ he asked.
‘You will need to give us directions.’

‘They’re to go to the village of Lisala,
But be careful they don’t get too hot.
Because they’d no longer be effective,
And we’d have to throw out the lot.’

The people gave a sigh of relief,
‘Now our children will be protected!
Measles is a nasty disease,
But thanks to you, they won’t be infected.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 9

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Day 9


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

After crossing the Atlantic Ocean,
The pair arrived at MAF’s Suriname base.
In the middle of a tropical rainforest,
It was a hot and sweaty place!

‘Hello, Mike, can you help our friend?
She’s about to have a child.
We need to get her to hospital now!’
‘We’d be happy to help,’ Mike smiled.

Alpha helped the lady up the steps
Into the back of Mike’s plane.
He made space for a nurse and the baby’s dad,
And then they took to the skies again.
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No sooner had they left the ground,
When Mike heard a little cry.
A tiny baby girl had been born
In the air – 200 feet high!

With mother and child both doing well,
To the hospital Mike flew.
As he safely landed his little plane,
All would be well, he knew.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 10

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Day 10


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Following the map, Mike and Alpha flew
Across the world to Australia.
They were met on the runway by a smiling man,
Carrying a huge box of paraphernalia.

‘G’day,’ said the man, ‘My name is John,
I’m an MAF engineer.
I fix our aircraft and keep them aloft,
Would you like to help me here?’

Mike grabbed his trusty toolbox
From the back of his little plane.
He joined friend John in the hangar,
‘Let’s get these planes flying again!’

The pair worked all day with their spanners and pliers,
Paintbrushes, hammers and drills.
Soon one of the planes looked shiny and new,
Ready to fly far over jungle and hills.

Once the paint was dry, Mike thought about
The adventures the planes had had.
John gave him a spanner as a souvenir,
Which Mike thought he’d save for his dad.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 11

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Day 11


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Northwards Mike flew on a fine sunny day,
To a place all covered with sand.
‘We must be in a desert,’ he thought.
‘It’s Chad,’ Alpha said, ‘a dry land!’

Down below, Mike spotted a camp,
With little tents all in a row.
‘I’ll land and help these people,’ he said,
‘They may need me to fly some cargo.’

Mike landed the plane and was met by a man,
‘I hope you can help us,’ he said.
‘We’re catching some very rare dama gazelle,
So that poachers don’t trap them instead.

‘We have a gazelle that needs taking
To the safety of our game reserves.
Would you fly her in your little aircraft,
So she can live the life she deserves?’

With tubes on her horns to protect the plane,
Alpha helped Becki the gazelle inside.
They flew her to the safety of her new home;
She seemed to enjoy the ride.

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

Day 12

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Day 12


Diary checked and journey logged,
Mike folded the old map away.
As his plane took flight, soaring high,
He wondered who he’d meet today!

Next stop on their Advent adventure,
The friends flew to Kalimantan.
On the Indonesian island of Borneo,
They were determined to lend a hand.

Standing below by the airstrip,
Three MAF ladies were waving a greeting.
‘Could you fly us in your plane, please Mike?
We have to go to an important meeting.

‘We’re helping to translate the Bible
From English into Punan,
So people can read the Good News
In the language of Kalimantan.’

The ladies thanked Mike, and Alpha too,
‘You’re playing an important part
In enabling people to read God’s Word
In the language of their heart.’

Mike climbed back into the pilot’s seat
And began his important checks.
He turned to the next page of the diary
To see where he’d be flying to next.

MAF began serving in Madagascar in

1989

Did you know?

MAF wanted fly in Madagascar in 1975, but it took so long for the Government to give MAF permission that the base didn't open until 1988, after many application forms!

Look around

You’ve probably heard of Madagascar because of the film! It’s the fourth largest island in the world, with lots of animals as well as plenty of people who need MAF.

Here in Canada, we think that Madagascar is a paradise with sunny beaches, but most local people don’t have enough to eat. They are afraid of heavy storms called cyclones which flatten houses and trees. It’s normal for poor families to force their daughters to get married very young so their parents can receive a cow or money in return. MAF is helping by flying doctors, church pastors and charity workers to provide people with food, education and clean water. Above all, MAF wants to share God’s love with those who are hungry and afraid.

View pictures Watch video

A little more about Madagascar...

Location

The country of Madagascar lies off the east coast of Africa and is the largest island nation in the world.

View map

Time

9:59am, 13th May 2021

UTC +3

Fascinating Fact

Because of the large number of animals and plants found in Madagascar, the country is considered to be ‘megadiverse’. The strange and unusual animals living there include the giraffe-necked weevil, whose long neck helps it roll leaves into tubes for its eggs; the aye-aye lemur, whose long fingers help it find grubs hiding inside trees and the Malagasy giant rat, which can leap three feet into the air!

Weather

Current Weather: 13°C, Clouds

December, the hottest time of the year, sees the start of the wet season – with temperatures averaging 28°C across the country. In the rainforests in the north and east, tropical storms bring heavy rainfalls.

Mud, mud, glorious mud!

Mark and Kelly Hewes make films and take photos, so you can see the work of MAF for yourself. They often fly to these locations, but last year they decided to walk the nearly 100-mile route from the village of Mananara, Madagascar to the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara to show the difficulties of road travel.

They set off on day one, driving until the road stopped and became a walking path. ‘Everyone told us the roads in Madagascar are bad. That didn’t fully sink in until we started down this one!’ explain MAF Field Resource Co-ordinators Mark and Kelly Hewes.

Two Malagasy guides, Gaston and Akim, showed them the way. After walking for more than six miles, the team rested in the home of Akim’s relative, and had a meal of cassava root, rice and shrimp.

At 5.30 the next morning, Mark and Kelly began their trek along a well-worn path through the rainforest. ‘One thing that makes transportation difficult is the hills and dense rainforest. From the MAF plane, this landscape looks beautiful. But when you’re on the ground, there is nothing pretty about the endless ups and downs.’

Day three, and the Hewes’ set off again. The path was very muddy and wet after rainfall during the night, making it hard to walk. ‘For someone who was sick or frail, this slippery, mucky trail would be even harder!’

The last day saw the couple reach a town with a road again. They got on a ‘bush taxi’ truck along with many others – which was a bit of a squash! After five hours, the truck finally reached the hospital.

This would be an even tougher and more perilous journey if you were unwell. Fortunately, MAF planes reduce the journey to hours rather than days and ensure a much safer and more comfortable ride.

Watch video

Malagasy

Things are described as Malagasy if they come from Madagascar

Cassava root

Cassava root is a edible root, full of nutritious starch, commonly eaten in tropical areas

Frail

Fail means weak and very poorly

Read

Matthew 2:1

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.

Pray

Dear God, today we thank You for MAF planes. Many people around the world must travel for days and days when they are ill, just to reach a hospital. Thank You for the MAF flights that can save people’s lives by making travel quicker and safer. Amen.

Today's Challenge

Have a tech-free day (after opening the Advent Adventure!) where you set aside your phones and have family time

I have completed this challenge

We help vulnerable people in hard-to-reach places, but we couldn’t do it without you

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