Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Better Together- IAMA Conference

May 11 to 14, I attended the conference gathering for the International Association of Mission Aviation with more than 70 other colleagues from the field.  It was hosted at MMS Aviation in Coshocton, OH- an organization that is a very good friend of our work in Gabon.

An aircraft hangar- the coolest place for a conference!
There were great daily challenges from God's Word, several spotlights on member organizations, vendor presentations, and discussion from the floor all focused on spurring each other on to effective work for the Kingdom worldwide.

It's encouraging to be around so many that sense the critical need for creative logistical solutions to express the love and kindness of Creator God.  There was a great vibe in the conference and a ton of networking going on.

Some new friends with partner "Missionary Air Group"!

Here are some of the presentations over the course of the 4 days:

   - "Alternate Approach to Pilot/Maintenance Training"

   - "Top 10 Safety Concerns in Mission Aviation"

   - "Alternate Means of Funding"

   - "Aircraft Tracking"  (impressive technology at V2 Tracker!)

   - "The Need for Leaders"

The common theme that came out of the conference was "collaboration".  IAMA states that it exists to bring together organizations in the spirit of professional collaboration.  The environment at the conference backs this up, for sure.  All the presentations were stellar, but the comment that I heard again and again was that we all wanted a bit more free time to be able to connect with one another informally.  Isn't that the kind of conference you want to be at if you HAVE to be at one?!?

One of the attendees spoke about the wide diversity of the organizations represented there and said that his organization might not smile upon some of the collaboration he was doing with those from a different theological "stripe".  However, he said he was there, despite those reservations, because he valued the overall impact of linking arm and arm with others that were like minded.  

The bond that brings over 70 organizations together as members of IAMA is this: there is a Loving God who wants to use His Children to creatively express His Love to every Tribe, Tongue, and Nation.  This is true relief work.  This is true community development.  This is true compassion. 

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