School of Missionary Aviation Technology Training Equips Mission Aviation Fellowship Foreign Staff

Apprentice Mechanic Mantlibi Mafa receives her A&P certificate from SMAT President/CEO, Terry Yoder. (Photo credit: MNN)

In the United States, millions of students start a new school year this week. For a handful of others, August graduations mark the start of a new life chapter today.

Three Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) foreign staff members graduated from the School of Missionary Aviation Technology, or SMAT, on August 22. SMAT’s 12-month Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) training and its 12-month pilot training are very attractive to students who desire to move quickly into the mission field.

Mantlibi Mafa from Lesotho and Juan Antonio Rivera from Mexico graduated from the A&P program, which prepares students to be airplane mechanics. Zacharie H. François from Haiti graduated from the Flight program, having completed the A&P training in 2019.

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MAF maintains close ties to numerous schools that provide training in maintenance and flight. However, President/CEO David Holsten says MAF builds closer relationships with mission-focused schools.

“There are a number of schools we recruit from that are good from the technical standpoint of training. At SMAT, the focus on mission work shapes the type of training students receive,” Holsten says.

“Being grounded in the biblical aspects of the work as well as the specialized training provides us with a well-rounded student better prepared to serve in the isolated areas where we work. That is why we greatly value our relationship with SMAT.”

One of the new grads, Mantlibi Mafa, is the only female mechanic on the MAF Lesotho team. “There were, thankfully, people who donate to MAF so I could get this training,” she says.

“When I go back home, I’ll be working with MAF again, but this time, I will be a certified mechanic. It’s a very big responsibility, but the training I got here at SMAT helped prepare me for that.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller


  • Pray MAF graduates can apply their God-given skills and training to Kingdom-focused work.
  • Mantlibi is the sole provider for her daughter and her sister’s family. Ask the Lord to give her strength and endurance.

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