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Mission – Free Church and MAF

January 2016 | by Gordon Bell

A Free Church of Scotland congregation on the Isle of Lewis has entered into a 12-month mission partnership with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Uganda.

The partnership with Back Free Church was formally launched at the congregation’s annual evangelism conference in November 2015, at which Major Iain Alasdair Macdonald spoke on ‘Prayer: a call to battle’.

MAF’s church partnership programme gives the opportunity for churches to engage with gospel outreach and world mission, with a focus on one specific country. The initiative is called Country Lifeline. Back will partner with MAF Uganda prayerfully and financially for one year. This will bring the congregation right to the heart of MAF’s work.

Back has a direct link with MAF through one of its deacons, Alex Chalmers, who is MAF’s area representative. Mr Chalmers said, ‘This initiative allows Back to partner with MAF, becoming a lifeline to the world’s forgotten peoples — those living out of sight, out of mind and out of hope. 

‘Over the next year, we look forward to engaging in prayer for MAF Uganda, actively fundraising and hosting MAF’s creative and inspiring photographic exhibition, called “Every picture tells a story”.’

Crucial work

Back also has strong ties with Uganda through one of its elders, Kenny John Mackenzie, who is currently in the African country, developing and extending a school/nursery and accommodation complex for children, many of whom are orphans. 

Minister Rev. Calum Iain Macleod said, ‘At our conference Major Iain Alasdair spoke of the proactive mission work of the Free Church Mission Board, of which he is a member. He encouraged us all to develop a prayer-driven missionary, visionary enterprise in all aspects of outreach and evangelism. This partnership allows us to do just that’.

Across the world, with land access often denied due to natural disaster, war or economic crisis, thousands of communities remain completely isolated. This is why the work of MAF is so crucial. 

Operating 140 light aircraft, MAF’s pastor-pilots fly into roughly 1800 remote destinations. They land in deserts or jungles, on lakes, rivers, tracks or roads — going the extra miles to provide an essential lifeline. 

By joining with MAF, churches can enable practical help, physical healing and spiritual hope to be delivered to some of the remotest communities on earth.

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