After releasing a landmark study expected to shape mission strategies worldwide, Mission Aviation Fellowship is ready to make a major shift for expanded programs and better service f rom its headquarters. The faith-based ministry will begin its relocation f rom California to Nampa, Idaho, in July.
"After 60 years of having our headquarters in Southern California, doing our training here and sending missionaries around the world f rom this headquarters, we're making a move up to the Boise, Idaho, area," said Kevin Swanson, president of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), according to Mission Network News.
A large reason for the move is to help free up finances to direct it more towards the agency's mission work overseas.
"Our desire and anticipation is that once we're moved up there and settled in, it will free up a lot of organizational finances that we can use for ministry overseas which is where our focus is," Swanson told The Christian Post.
Projecting significant savings in organizational overhead, the ministry head is already looking into new programs and developments including the expansion of their traditional MAF flight programs in countries with restricted access.
"Now we've got a new opportunity to open a new separate work in that country (Central Asia)," said Swanson.
MAF flight programs overseas runs between $400,000 and $500,000 a year and first-year savings could allow for two more.
The master plan for the move is a $13-million project that includes the building of a new facility, a new hanger and office building, along with apartments, maintenance building and an R-V park for volunteers helping the organization. More than half the staff will make the move and others will be hired f rom the Boise area. There are currently 200 families in Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Swanson made clear that the relocation is not about having a large headquarters infrastructure but to see the ''resources go overseas to where the needs are.''
MAF plans to hold a celebration to dedicate the new facilities on Sept. 23. Following the dedication, leaders f rom various ministries will gather in October to translate the new study "Operation ACCESS!" into building mission strategies and prompt "mutual discovery" as Swanson stated.
"Our hopes are that it (the conference) will encourage them to want to get together, partner and talk with other like-minded groups that are discovering the same data," said Swanson. "We thought facilitating a conference would be the right next step."
The organization had first planned to relocate in the summer of 2005 but found it to be too big of a project. With new staff already hired and being trained, MAF is now prepared to execute its master plan.