How one MAF staff member serves behind the scenes to keep the ministry running
“When I get a request from overseas, I try to make that the highest priority so they can keep on going,” said Darryl Cedergren, who handles MAF’s payroll, insurance programs, and cash management from MAF’s headquarters.
Darryl and his wife, Debbie, began their journey with MAF 28 years ago as a pilot/mechanic family in Venezuela, where they served for eight years. Back then, MAF served New Tribes (now Ethos360) and other missionaries that were bringing the gospel to the indigenous people.
While using his technical skills to operate a small aircraft in the jungle, Darryl enjoyed caring for others. Whether that meant bringing a two-liter bottle of Coke or a box of Frosted Flakes to a remote missionary, avoiding flying through clouds so passengers would have a smooth ride, or even handling the finances there.
Today he applies the same care for MAF staff around the world.
“I want to serve our staff so they don’t have to think about the issues of money,” said Darryl. “There are so many other pressures they have to deal with. It’s one less thing they have to worry about.” As for her husband’s current role, Debbie says, “God has gifted Darryl with a keen awareness for financial details such as budgeting, saving, planning, and projecting future outcomes. I feel that over the years God has prepared him for this.”
Debbie continues to follow God’s call on her life and serves as an educational coach for children who struggle with learning. She’s also still very involved in communicating with their donors, writing letters, and visiting supporting churches.
Just as Darryl helped missions move forward in Venezuela so that people would come to know the Lord, now he works behind the scenes to make sure MAF can continue to reach isolated people around the world with critical help and the hope of the gospel.
“It’s like engine oil,” Darryl explains. “I’m not providing the main power, but without the engine oil—without money—your engine’s going to seize.”
While Darryl’s role is behind the scenes, it’s a vitally important one that ensures payroll for MAF staff, manages 14 insurance programs, and makes sure the field programs have sufficient cash flow.
When an MAF pre-fielder arrived at their assignment in Haiti, he located a car to purchase. He’d already raised the money for it, but now he needed to get the cash there to purchase it. Many of the countries in which MAF serves are cash economies, by the way. Darryl wired the money to the seller, and now that MAF missionary has a family car to use in Haiti.
That’s just one example. And Darryl adds, “If payroll does not go through, I’ll have 328 people rightfully upset with me all around the world.”
Due to rising costs, MAF missionaries have had to increase their monthly support goals this year by $600. As a result, the Cedergrens are looking for prayer and financial partners to join their team.
“It will be encouraging to have new families and churches come alongside us and be a part of the greater ministry of reaching others for Christ through MAF,” said Debbie.
“I believe the Lord is calling me to be here. I evaluate that every three to five years,” explained Darryl. “And here we are, coming up on 28 years with MAF. We’re moving the gospel forward, by God’s grace, and that’s why partnering with us is important.”
Would you like to play a crucial role in reaching isolated people through the Cedergrens’ ministry? Visit maf.org/cedergren to learn more or join their team today.
A shorter version of this story appeared in the Winter 2021 edition of FlightWatch. Read the full issue here: