Norwich couple on flying mission to Uganda
2006: A Christian couple from Norwich have this week given up their jobs and flown out to strife-torn Uganda to work with the charity Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
Adrian and Jacqueline Went from Old Costessey left the UK on Tuesday (November 14) to work in Africa where Adrian will take up the position of Operations Manager for MAF in the country where the infamous Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have waged war on the Ugandan government for the last 20 years.
Adrian will oversee flight operations, checking which pilots and planes are available and liaising with partner organisations which use MAF to provide the best service and to get spiritual and physical help to people in places where aircraft provide an essential lifeline.
Last week, Adrian retired from the Police after 30 years. A Police Inspector in Norwich for the past 5½ years, he was involved in community policing, setting up various projects to reduce crime in the area. Last year, he was based at the Police headquarters in Wymondham, working in the area of community safety, developing strategic ways of encouraging children and young people to get involved in positive activities rather than crime.
Jacqueline has been involved in voluntary youth and children’s work, as well as helping with general administration at their local church, Surrey Chapel, near Anglia Square where the couple both worship.
The couple are both excited about the move and Adrian said: “We are looking to play our part in helping in the situation that people there find themselves in, especially in the north where people have been traumatized by the LRA.
“It’s amazing that, during our busy lives, there has always been someone around praying for us and the work we were doing. We are grateful for the support of friends and family, and for the support given by Surrey Chapel.”
The couple first heard of MAF in 1991 when Adrian started flying lessons at Earls Colne flying club in Essex. It was there he saw a notice about MAF. Adrian gained his private pilot’s licence at Earls Colne, and later his private instrument rating at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk.
Over the years, Adrian and Jacqueline maintained their interest in MAF, but never thought that one day they would be going to work with the organisation overseas.
As Adrian approached retirement, they started to think about going into full-time Christian work with MAF. In May this year, Adrian applied for the position of Operations Manager in Uganda.
In August, Adrian was offered the role, and after praying about it and talking it through with their church, the couple decided that they should accept. A flying visit to Uganda at the end of August gave them a taste of life out there and the opportunity to see the work first hand. Adrian joined a flight into northern Uganda to see how MAF and its partners are helping meet the needs of people displaced by conflict.
In northern Uganda, the LRA has waged war against the Ugandan government for 20 years. With negotiations currently taking place between key LRA leaders and the government, there is some hope for peace. But with up to two million people living in internally displaced people camps after fleeing their homes, there are many needs to be met. MAF planes regularly fly into the north carrying supplies and staff from the numerous agencies which are helping those affected by this conflict.
MAF operates over 130 light aircraft in more than 35 countries in the developing world. Flying in support of churches, missions, and aid and development agencies, MAF reaches remote areas with vital food and medical supplies, as well as bringing evangelists and pastors to share the Gospel.
If you are interested in supporting Adrian and Jacqueline, or finding out more about the work of MAF, you can write to Mission Aviation Fellowship, Castle House, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone, Kent, CT20 2TN or call 0845 850 9505.
Adrian and Jacqueline Went from Norwich.