Mission Aviation Fellowship operates a fleet of 51 light aircraft from 17 bases in seven countries in Africa, Asia, Eurasia, and Latin America. Pilots save valuable travel time and cover seemingly impossible distances in minutes or hours compared to days by foot, road, or river. Each year, MAF flies over two million nautical miles to speed the work of some 600 Christian and humanitarian organizations. MAF flights support indigenous churches and local evangelists, create access to medical care, provide disaster relief, and make community development projects possible in some of the most remote places on earth.
Blayne and Bethany Sterling are overjoyed to serve with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Kalimantan, Indonesia. Bethany will fulfill a lifelong dream of educating the children of missionaries overseas. She is excited to provide students with an engaging learning experience while allowing their parents to more fully engage in their ministries. Blayne will be assisting the Base Operations Manager in making necessary repairs around the base and helping with the upkeep of the school and missionary homes. Both Blayne and Bethany are looking forward to serving the missionary families and the people of Tarakan.
Blayne was born in Roseburg, Oregon and grew up in the church. When he was in high school, he dedicated His life to Christ and plugged into whatever church ministry was in need. This included participating in children’s ministry, youth group, young adult programs, as well as playing instruments on the worship team. Over the years, he has gained valuable experience from working various jobs mostly consisting of skilled manual labor. He completed his Bachelor’s in Biblical and Theological Studies at Multnomah University in 2014.
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Blayne shares that Matthew 23:11-12 is important to him. “It reminds me to follow Christ’s example of humility and servanthood. I believe God has gifted me in many different ways, and I enjoy using those gifts to serve people. This verse gives me encouragement and purpose to serve God and people.”
Bethany was also born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon. From a very young age she felt God calling her to be a missionary. Her first job at the YMCA, coupled with various mission trips in high school, led her to discover her desire to teach children overseas. She graduated in May of 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and is eager to put into practice the skills and knowledge that she has acquired from her experience with children.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” Bethany shares, “Philippians 2:1-11 wakes me up to the fact that in order to be like Christ, I have to put others before myself and lay down my pride. This is especially necessary when relocating to a new culture – to enter with a sense of humility and a desire to learn from those who have more experience and knowledge.”
Though they grew up in the same small town, Blayne and Bethany did not meet until August of 2013 when Bethany started at Multnomah University in Portland. They were married in the spring of 2015.