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 to carry out its mission and care for its staff.
Brian and Connie Shepson are missionaries with Mission Aviation Fellowship. The Shepsons, along with their children Stephanie and Steven, spent three terms in Shell, Ecuador, as a pilot/mechanic family before returning to serve at MAF headquarters.
Brian says, “As one of the five flight instructors in the training department, I help evaluate new MAF hopefuls, train new MAF pilots, and travel the world checking MAF pilots on the field. We consider it a privilege to help equip new MAF technicians all over the globe. Seeing them grasp the techniques and principles that will keep them safe and effective on their overseas field of service gives me much satisfaction.”
One of Brian’s favorite verses is Proverbs 10:5 (NIV), “He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.” Brian shares, “The crops are ready and we need more workers to help us with the harvest.” For Brian and Connie, their role as harvesters took them to the jungles of Ecuador where Brian was the flight operations manager, an instructor pilot and flew for several mission agencies. Now Brian helps prepare new, young workers to go out into those fields.
Brian, the son of a pastor, was born in New York and grew up in Minnesota. At age five, he made a personal commitment to Christ. He shares, “A missionary pilot stayed in our home for a few days when I was seven. I was greatly impressed that the Lord could use technical skills in His service and from that time on never wanted to be anything else but an MAF pilot.” After attending Saint Paul Bible College (now Crown College) and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, he earned a B. S. in Mission Aviation Technology at Moody Aviation in Tennessee. Brian is a commercial pilot, a certified instrument flight instructor and an airframe and powerplant mechanic.
Connie was born and raised in Chattanooga, TN. She came to know the Lord at age 19. She earned a diploma in Bible and Theology from Moody Bible Institute. During her time in Ecuador, she accomplished many different tasks: flight following by radio, grocery buying for isolated missionaries, leading Bible Studies and Sunday School, teaching in the Nate Saint Memorial missionary kid school, and raising two delightful children. She has worked in various roles at MAF Headquarters including Teacher Mobilizer and Director of the Advocate Wing. Brian and Connie met while they were members of the Moody Chorale, a mixed touring choir. After courting for three years, they were married in June 1979.
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in Brian and Connie’s 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.