MAF missionaries raise support for a pooled fund out of which MAF covers salary, housing, benefits, and staff-related ministry expenses. MAF exercises discretion over the use of missionary support in the exercise of its mission and care of its staff.
Elijah and Erin Derbecker are looking forward to pursuing the desires that God has given them through service with Mission Aviation Fellowship. As a maintenance specialist, Elijah supports the pilots that interact with isolated communities to share the love of Christ through aviation. Erin will raise their daughter Anna and Sarah, and support Elijah. They are currently serving in French-speaking Democratic Republic of the Congo
Born in Calgary, Alberta, Elijah became a Christian at a young age through the example of his parents. At the age of 12, his family transferred to Katy, Texas. God worked in Elijah’s life to give him a desire for service and aviation. While on an overseas mission trip, he felt God calling him to full-time ministry. A passion for aircraft systems led Elijah to study at LeTourneau University. After graduating in 2014, he married Erin and began his career, working to gain experience in preparation for service in the field.
Erin also came to Christ at an early age. As she grew in her faith, she began to take ownership of it through the discipleship she received in small group Bible studies. She was drawn to missions on the same overseas trip. A love for education and teaching English as a Second Language led her to Oklahoma Baptist University where she studied to become an elementary teacher. After graduating, Erin taught 4th grade in the Houston area.
Elijah and Erin met at a summer camp at the age of thirteen. They formed a close friendship and were able to grow in their faith while participating in their youth group. Soon after they began dating, they were confident that they would one day marry to serve God in missions. Although God gave them differing desires on how to go about serving Him, He has synthesized their giftings to fit uniquely within Mission Aviation Fellowship.
Their life verse, Psalm 37:3-5 (“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”), illustrates their calling to service. God has gifted the Derbeckers with the desire to use their abilities to serve others. As they have committed their lives to Him, He has shown them the path they should take to change the ending for those isolated from the gospel.
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in the Derbeckers’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a ministry partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.