By Karen McBride
Missionaries depend upon the aviation industry in order to fulfill their dreams of spreading God’s word to remote locations throughout the world. Lakeland’s Sun ‘n Fun is the perfect opportunity for missionaries to let aviators know what they are doing and how the aviators can help them to achieve their goals. However, to some missionaries, attending events such as Sun ‘n Fun, can be cost prohibitive. Missionaries need a place to stay, food, and transportation in order to inform people in the aviation industry about their organizations.
This is where John Hoke, a local businessman, stepped in. His desire to develop a strong support structure through local churches led him to assemble a team of volunteer coordinators to help make this a reality. In 2009, John founded Mission Aviation Support Association of Florida, now known as Aviation Ministry Support Association (“AMSA”).
Christ has commanded us to “go and make disciples of all nations” and bringing AMSA to the Sun ‘n Fun event is just one way that John is obeying the command. Missions are not just for evangelists, preachers r those with Biblical degrees. Each one of us can open our hearts and understand we all have a purpose within the “Body of Christ”. AMSA helps educate those who come to Sun ‘n Fun of the missions around the world, while helping to build valuable relationships with pilots and those in the aviation industry.
AMSA hopes to open the eyes of participants to the opportunities to volunteer locally and out on the mission field. By attending the Sun ‘n Fun event, it may “open doors to new people that want to get involved in different ways, ultimately opening doors to new efforts and resources that may not have been available before seen by those who want to get involved.”
The Sun ‘n Fun is an annual event, and will be held April 2-7, 2019. Participants include owners from all over the United States and Canada who fly their aircraft to the event. Many pilots fly their own vintage, homebuilt aircraft or restored ex-military aircraft.
The kickoff will begin with a “Big Gathering” on Monday, April 1, at 6:00 pm. The mission aviation organizations that AMSA invited will be there. The event will be held at Ardella Baptist Church in Lakeland. This is a ticket event and people can register on the web site at www.masafl.org.
The missionaries are also available to speak at local churches to further spread the word about their missions. If you are interested in having a missionary speak at your church, contact Dave McClamma, AMSA Chairman, at 863-640-1461 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to volunteer to provide food, shelter or transportation for participants, please contact Kathy Hoover at 407-579-9380 or email@example.com. For more information on the aviation ministry, go to http://www.masafl.org or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/masafla . For the Sun ‘n Fun event schedule, go to https://www.flysnf.org/sun-n-fun-intl-fly-expo .