After 17 years of service with MAF in Indonesia, David and Natalie Holsten have transitioned to the U.S. where David now serves as MAF’s President and CEO. Looking back on their time in Indonesia, David and Natalie are grateful for the relationships they had with both nationals and teammates, and the opportunities they had to show God’s love to others, especially those living in isolated areas. Their first 10 years in Indonesia were in the province of Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, and for the last 7 years they lived in the province of Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya. Throughout this time David served in a variety of roles within the organization.
David shares, “Throughout our time with MAF we have faced numerous challenges, but we have also been blessed to see the hand of God clearly displayed. It has been so rewarding to be part of a work that provides a service to others that is critically needed. It is our desire to not only be a part of addressing the significant physical needs of others, but to also be a part of impacting them spiritually, helping them grow in their walk with the Lord. We want the message of the Gospel to be clearly displayed in what we do.” Hebrews 6:10 is a verse David turns to when faced with demanding challenges. “In the midst of difficulties it is encouraging for me to remember that the Lord will not forget our efforts to minister to others.”
Natalie has had involvement in a variety of ministry during their time in Indonesia, including kids clubs, leading small group Bible studies with Indonesians, teaching high school English, and mentoring a group of high school Papuan girls. While she misses living in Indonesia, she is excited to be involved at MAF headquarters. “Our time overseas has taught me so much about the goodness of God, and His faithfulness. Zephaniah 3:17 has been a special verse for me this past term. It says, ‘The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.’”
David was raised in a Christian family on a farm in northeast Colorado, and lived as a teen in Savannah, Georgia. He became a Christian at an early age and was nurtured in his faith through his family, his church, and youth group involvement. He received a B.S. in Missionary Aviation Technology from Moody Aviation, and holds a commercial pilot’s license with multi-engine rating, as well an airframe and power plant mechanic’s license. Prior to joining MAF he worked as a flight instructor with Moody Aviation for two years.
Natalie was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She credits a strong Christian heritage and her grandfather as the instruments that led her to Christ at the age of 11. Natalie says, “My interest in missions grew through volunteer work at my grandfather’s inner-city church and through a mission trip when I was 15.” Natalie received a B.A. in English from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. After finishing college, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Tennessee. David and Natalie met in high school, dated long distance during college and married in June 1996.
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 Holstens’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a ministry partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.
The U.S. offices of MAF serve as a hub for MAF services worldwide. A day in the life here includes specialized flight training, staff mobilization and counseling, purchasing and shipping of aircraft parts, finance and accounting, administration of an Internet gateway for worldwide email, fund raising, printing and mailing of various materials, and many, many more activities. Some staff serve around the country; training future pilots and mobilizing potential candidates to serve with MAF.
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.