Winter, 2020

When disasters strike, it can be hard to personally grasp the devastation that the people directly affected experience.

With homes gone, loved ones lost or missing, their lives are disrupted and often changed forever. As we read the news and hear the numbers from a distance, it can be hard to fully relate to what they are going through.

When Hurricane Dorian devastated islands in the Bahamas this September, I heard the news about this horrible storm and the destruction it had left in its wake. I was thankful that our Disaster Response Team had been deployed to help the relief efforts with logistics support and supply distribution.

A few days later, when a woman contacted us through our Facebook page, the impact of the hurricane suddenly became very tangible as I corresponded with her.

She lives in Canada, but her family in the Bahamas had been stranded by the storm. The last note she had received from her niece, who also has a baby to care for, told her that they were running out of food and water and, with a dying cell phone battery and unreliable signal, they needed to find a way to evacuate the area.

She shared screenshots of the texts from her niece with me. She shared photos of her relatives. Suddenly, the impact of this natural disaster had a very real human face. It became very personal.

I knew I needed to connect her with tangible help on the ground, so I got in touch with our team in the area. Minutes later Vaughan Woodward, MAF’s Hurricane Dorian Disaster Response Manager, responded. When I asked who I should put this woman in contact with, Vaughan’s reply was “Me.”

It really hit home that this is what our Disaster Response Team is there for. They deploy at a moment’s notice and rush into areas that most are trying to leave. They work to ensure that help reaches those that need it most, when the conditions are the most difficult.

This is why I love working at MAF – every day our staff are reaching out to those in desperate need around the world. Oftentimes we are the link that connects them to the necessities they need for life and hope that would otherwise be out of reach.

I can understand why the sound of the airplane means hope and life to the many isolated communities around the world that MAF serves. As you read this edition of Flying for Life, I hope that you will look at the faces of the people in the stories and photographs, and know that you are also a part of their story. Your generous support makes our work to bring them hope and help possible. Thank you!

PS: In her last update, this woman shared that her niece and baby were able to take a boat to Nassau, but her siblings were still missing and hadn’t been heard from in days. Please join me in praying for them, and all the other people still searching for their loved ones and trying to recover from this terrible disaster.

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In 1988 Brad co-founded Campana Systems Inc., a Waterloo based software development company serving the healthcare and auto club industries. For the last 25 years Brad has served as the company’s Chief Technology Officer where he was responsible for software development of the company’s products and services. In his senior leadership role in Campana Brad was instrumental in growing the company organically and through acquisition to an innovative technology based firm. Campana was sold in 2014 and Brad is excited to follow God’s call in this next stage of his life.

Brad is deeply committed to the Christian community. He began his academic career with a one year study program at Emmanuel Bible College before studying Math Computer Science for five years at the University of Waterloo. Throughout his career he has participated in and supported a variety of missions with his time, talent, expertise and financial support.

Brad has served on the Board of Seeds International, a ministry that helps local churches follow-up with new believers, as well as six years on the Board at Crossroads International, the Christian media producer for programs like 100 Huntley Street, where he helped the organization through a period of transition from retiring founder, David Mainse, to a new CEO. Over the years, Brad has also held positions on the Board of the Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly.

Brad and his wife Darlene have been married for over 25 years and live in Waterloo, Ontario. They attend Waterloo Pentecostal Assembly. Brad and Darlene have two children, Mallory and Brieanna. Mallory is in University and Brieanna is married with four children.