NAMPA, Idaho – David Holsten, a veteran missionary pilot-mechanic and former regional director of Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Indonesia, was recently inaugurated as the organization’s ninth president and CEO.
MAF is a Christian non-profit ministry that uses airplanes and other technologies to share the gospel and make life better for those living in isolated parts of the world. Globally, MAF supports some 2,000 churches, mission groups, medical organizations, relief agencies, and development groups working in remote areas of Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America.
“David brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and understanding to the role of president and CEO,” said Robert Swanson, chair of MAF’s board of directors. “MAF is a unique organization, and God has uniquely prepared him to lead this organization.”
Holsten said he is humbled by the opportunity to step into this new role and looks forward to working alongside those who help MAF impact some of the world’s most isolated people.
John Boyd, outgoing president and CEO, was recognized for his 20-plus years of service at MAF, including 10 years leading the organization. During Boyd’s tenure, MAF replaced a significant number of its aircraft with turbine-engine Kodiaks, expanded its disaster response work, and began an expansion of its Nampa campus.
Following the inauguration, MAF dedicated its newest airplane, an amphibious Cessna Caravan, which will soon be serving isolated communities along the rivers of Papua, Indonesia.
“This aircraft will transport everything from school supplies to medicine to Bibles and solar panels,” said Holsten. “It may carry medical personnel or government workers offering essential services, or evangelists and missionaries ministering to the spiritual needs of these remote communities. Many times it will be the only viable link to the outside world for critical medical flights, and will be the only amphibious airplane operating in all of Papua.”
Holsten and his wife, Natalie, joined MAF in 2000. They were assigned to Indonesia, where Holsten served in a variety of roles, including pilot-mechanic, chief pilot, and program manager before becoming the regional director for Indonesia in 2014. In that position he oversaw MAF operations in Papua, Kalimantan, and Aceh, Indonesia. MAF has 150 staff and 15 airplanes at seven bases across the vast island nation.
Holsten grew up in Colorado and Georgia. He received a B.S. in Missionary Aviation Technology from Moody Aviation and holds a commercial pilot’s certificate with multi-engine rating, as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic’s license.
Mission Aviation Fellowship was founded in 1945 by World War II pilots who had a vision for how aviation could be used to spread the gospel. Since that time MAF has grown to a global family of organizations working in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Indonesia, and Latin America.
The ministry’s recent work includes helping combat an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), providing food and other necessities for thousands of refugees in the DRC, and supporting the work of missionaries, evangelists, and Bible translators around the world. MAF’s U.S. headquarters is in Nampa, Idaho.