The 2018 Smoketown Aviation Fair is sponsored by IAMA.
This is the International Association of Missionary Aviation.
IAMA is comprised of individuals, schools and ministry organizations,
encouraging a spirit of collaboration and cooperation
as they serve Christ around the globe.
Mission Aviation Promotions (MAP) was created to carry on the Smoketown Aviation Fair. MAP is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, a program of Zadok Foundation.
Mission Aviation Promotions Board members:
Board members at a breakfast planning meeting
Statement of Faith
Mission Aviation Promotions invites various Christian organizations to participate. Care is taken to ensure that one organization or denomination is not given excessive exposure above the others. Each exhibitor is requested to affirm our Mission Statement.
Comments from those who have attended the Mission Aviation Fair:
- "I've wanted to be a missionary all my life."
- "Enjoyed working with the other volunteers. . . ."
- "Relaxed environment . . . real, not stuffy."
- "My kids LOVED the barrel trains!"
- "Everything was great. The Lord is working in awesome ways! Thank-you to all the volunteers & exhibitors & speakers. Well done! To God be the glory!"
- "I am preparing for missions as a missionary pilot. . . . I have been down to Smoketown Airport for the Mission Aviation Fair a couple of times. I love the fair, it is an awesome way of promoting missionary aviation. I am grateful for the team that makes this fair possible."
The third week of August, hangars are partially emptied at Smoketown Airport
to provide the venue for the Smoketown Aviation Fair.
History of the Aviation Fair
The Mission Aviation Fair has been held in one form or another for many years.
In the late 90s, the Northeast Regional Office of Wycliffe Bible Translators began having an annual “Wycliffe Family Weekend.” This was an expansion of the MATA (Missions at the Airport) Program that JAARS has been doing on weekends at airports around the country for many years. When Wycliffe’s Northeast Regional Office was closing, local businessmen expressed an interest in continuing the event, but opening it up to other interested missions that were also involved in using aviation programs in support of their ministries. Along with John Bush, former Director of Wycliffe’s Regional Office, they explored some existing organizations that specialized in similar events. They chose Missions Fest International and obtained a franchise for our area as Missions Fest Lancaster. At the same time, World Mission Associates (WMA) was interested in promoting local interest in missions—in addition to their international involvement in promoting avoidance of unhealthy dependency in missions. WMA helped make it possible to get Missions Fest Lancaster started.
Following the guidelines of Missions Fest International, we held a large annual missions conference each winter for three years. The setup was to use the involvement of sponsoring churches to finance, help organize and carry out the events. We also included other events under our franchise: the Aviation Fair, a Women’s Spring Luncheon, a Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Course and monthly Lancaster Missionary Fellowship Luncheons. The annual conferences involved huge expenditures which were difficult to manage without additional sponsoring churches, even with the help of some generous patron donors. Also, the conference attendance was not as high as we expected. We decided to discontinue the conferences as all the effort and cost didn’t seem to justify the results.
At the same time World Mission Associates was reorganizing to a more virtual management situation and their building, where the Mission Fest office was located, was being sold. It was a blessing to be able to relocate to the small terminal building at Smoketown Airport. The monthly mission lunches were taken over by Lancaster Bible College. And the Perspectives course moved to a classroom at Lancaster Bible College. The Women’s Luncheon was discontinued. But we were very happy to have been able to continue the Smoketown Aviation Fair for many years.
At the end of the 2016 Aviation Fair, John Bush retired as director. The local committee decided to take a break in 2017, so no Fair was held that year. Then IAMA stepped in to sponsor the 2018 Fair, along with help from the local board.
Read the final Missions Fest Lancaster Newsletter. Download PDF