Phil was born in Toronto, Ontario but spent his first 18 years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary kid. Phil’s interest in mission aviation began while travelling to and from school on the mission plane. He returned to Canada after high school and initially trained and worked in advertising and graphic design in London, Ontario.
Merilee grew up in Toronto, Ontario and became a Christian at a young age. After high school, Merilee attended university in London, Ontario where she graduated with an Honours Degree in Kinesiology. While in London, she met Phil and they were married in 2004.
Phil and Merilee attended the Urbana Missions conference with a church group in 2003 where their call to full time mission work was confirmed. After they were married they moved to Three Hills, Alberta where Phil completed flight training at Prairie Bible College in preparation for serving with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
Phil and Merilee, together with their three girls Kaitlyn, Lily and Evelinne, have been living and working in N’Djaména, the capital city of Chad, Africa since 2013. Piloting either the Cessna 208 Caravan or Diesel 182 Phil transports missionaries, doctors, dentists, linguists, pastors, aid workers, medicines and supplies across the central African Sahel region and up into remote airstrips in the Sahara desert. Merilee’s focus is taking care of the family and practically living out God’s love to those around her. She has developed a vibrant outreach in their neighbourhood training and encouraging single moms to run self-sustaining small businesses.
Please prayerfully consider partnering with the Henderson family as they continue to serve the Lord with MAF in Chad.