Aviation Mission Across the Globe
Marcel Boers ’04 is about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of his life. In just a few weeks months, Marcel and his wife, Kelly will be leaving on a consecutive four-year term mission to Angola, Africa with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). Marcel will serve as an aircraft mechanic, and Kelly will offer her time as a teacher at the local English school.
Missions was never something that crossed my mind as a career choice. I used to think it meant doing a short term thing here or there, and the really hardcore people who wanted to go long-term would have to learn some weird language and pastor a group of people in the jungle. Wow was I way off!”
Marcel’s journey towards overseas missions work began in Mr. Aper’s guidance office at HDCH.
A Grade 12 Conversation
“I remember being called down in the early days of Grade 12 to figure out what it was I liked doing,” said Marcel. “We had it boiled down to ‘something with airplanes’ and ‘working with my hands,’ but I never considered something that combined both. He recommended a career in aircraft maintenance, and I’ve never looked back. It’s crazy to think how everything that has happened since is directly related to that conversation we had in Grade 12.”
Once Marcel graduated from HDCH, he knew what college he wanted to attend, and what program he wanted to take, but he wasn’t quite ready for post-secondary studies. Instead, he took the year off to work at a golf course and drive a zamboni. The following summer, Marcel moved to North Bay to begin the Aircraft Maintenance Technician course at Canadore College.
After he graduated from Canadore in 2007, God provided work in London, ON as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with Air Canada Jazz.
“When I started work in London, I thought, okay, this is good. Let’s give it five years and then see where life goes,” said Marcel.
In his fourth year with Air Canada Jazz, Marcel married Kelly and started looking for other work opportunities with different airlines around the world, including MAF. A couple of months later, Marcel received notice from his employer that the air base would be closing—two months after his fifth year with the company.
“Normally a layoff notice is unfortunate news to receive, but I took this as God’s way of telling me that if I wasn’t going to move on after five years, He would make sure I did,” said Marcel.
Beginning in the spring of 2015, Marcel’s job will be to keep the fleet of three aircraft based in Lubango, Angola maintained and ready to fly. MAF uses these planes to bring spiritual and physical transformation to isolated villages. Partnered with roughly 1500 other organizations like Compassion, World Vision, and Samaritan’s Purse, MAF delivers medical supplies, mail, groceries, doctors, etc. to areas that would otherwise take days or weeks of driving or hiking.
“It really is a lifeline for many missionaries and villagers in 30 countries around the world,” said Marcel.
While the Boerses’ are in Africa, there are several ways you can stay in touch. The easiest way is to sign up for their quarterly newsletter which updates what they have been doing and what lies ahead. They also have a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/marcelandkellymaf) and a blog (www.marcelandkelly.blogspot.ca) that get updated more frequently. If you wish to support Marcel and Kelly financially, visit their webpage https://mafc.org/missionarypages/boers/ or email Marcel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcel and Kelly have been very encouraged to see friends, family, and even complete strangers partner with them on this journey, and they are excited to see where the next few years lead.