Chad and Andi Irwin with their children, Josiah and Olivia, have served with MAF since 1999. For 15 of those years, the Irwin family lived and worked in Shell, Ecuador. Chad served as the chief pilot while Andi worked as the librarian and school board president at the Nate Saint Memorial School where the children attended.
Over the last 5-7 years of their time in Ecuador, the Irwins began helping the Ecuador program transition to a nationally run entity. Chad’s role in that implementation was to help train Ecuadorian pilots to continue the work. As the transition to nationalize the Ecuador program progressed, the Irwin family faced difficult decisions in regard to their ministry in Ecuador. In 2016 the Irwins prayerfully decided that it was best to leave the program to allow the Ecuadorian staff to reach their full potential in leading the ministry.
The Irwins now have a much more global outlook as they serve at U.S. headquarters in Nampa, ID. Chad currently works to evaluate and train new pilots coming into the organization. Andi works in the Ministry Partnership department to train new MAF missionaries and support longtime members in raising and maintaining their ministry partnership support team. While Chad and Andi miss their team and those they ministered to in Ecuador, they both feel that their efforts are having an impact for the Kingdom all around the MAF world.
As the Irwins lived through the exciting changes in Ecuador and now at headquarters, they have been supported by God’s words to them in Jeremiah 29:11. Chad says, “I appreciate this verse because it speaks to God’s unfailing concern for those he cares about. There can be no doubt that what God has for me is for good. It may not feel good as I go through it, but I can trust him to know the outcome of each and every trial/situation we face and to use if for His glory.” Andi states, “Sometimes it is easy for me to succumb to worry. During those times, I like to think about this verse and how the God of the universe is busy planning out my life. He’s not worried because He knows how all those plans work out. It’s a gentle reminder to me that God has not forgotten us and that He leaves nothing to chance.”
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 Irwins’ 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.