Mission Aviation Services: Faithfully Flying for 50 Years

NORTH CAROLINA — For the past 50 years Mission Aviation Services has allowed Samaritan’s Purse to rapidly provide relief supplies and deploy emergency personnel in Jesus’ Name anywhere in the world.

Seth Harris

For the last 50 years, Samaritan’s Purse has been delivering aid and help around the world in Jesus’ Name, and Mission Aviation Services has been a huge part of that effort.

We have many aircraft that we use to accomplish this. We have DC-3. We have a DC-8, and then a Bell 206 helicopter. We also have other airplanes.

ME: We have airplanes all around the world. We have some stationed in Alaska, in Africa, here in Greensboro, in North Wilkesboro.

Mike Embree, Samaritan’s Purse

Samaritan’s Purse Mission Aviation Services exist in order to get supplies and people to different locations at a rapid pace. We can’t do that just by boat or by vehicle. These international locations we have to get to fast.

George Kalbfleisch, Samaritan’s Purse

Whenever a disaster hits anywhere in the world, we’re stocked with supplies and ready to respond at a moment’s notice to any crisis, any place. The DC-8 is the largest plane we have in our fleet. You can look at the Caribbean three back to back hurricanes that rolled through there. We were running kind of a hub and spoke system out of San Juan and St. Martin and Antigua. So we had to caravan a helicopter, our turbine DC-3 down there, and we could make all of those airplanes help service the DC-8.

So we could land in the morning with freight, they could load it onto those other airplanes to reach smaller locations. And then with the helicopter, we were able to get to places that roads weren’t even accessible. We’d sling load the freight into the backyard of houses and be able to service anyplace on the island.

In East Africa, the area is huge and you’re going through a lot of expanse with not good infrastructure on the ground. So being able to get there by plane allows you to get in and out of the same location in a day versus taking several days to get to where you want to go.

Mike Embree

When we hear on the news that there’s been a disaster somewhere in the world, especially in the Caribbean during hurricane season, we immediately come here and prepare for what we have to do. Now the airplane is kept ready to go at any time, and pilots are ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Our work here is not just about airplanes. It’s not just about cargo. It’s not even just about relief supplies and helping people in their immediate need. It’s about sharing the love of Christ with people, and that’s what motivates us.

George Kalbfleisch

There may be catastrophic injuries from a disaster or big storms that have rolled through, and you’ve got people without shelter, without clean water, without hygiene, and in dire need of medical aid. So every minute counts.

It’s amazing to end up at a place in the world and see how bad the destruction is, and how a piece of plastic or a hygiene kit or some basic water and supplies can change somebody’s life out there after the disaster, and how many lives are impacted by being there. It’s a true honor and a blessing to be able to do that.

Rachel Wall, Samaritan’s Purse

Galatians 6:9 says to not grow weary in doing good. This was something that was laid on our heart, knowing that what we were doing was not only bringing much needed relief supplies, but also taking good news.

Seth Harris

Early on in the disaster, you fly around and all you see is devastation. And as time goes on, you’re able to see streets getting cleaned up, houses getting repaired, more and more blue Samaritan’s Purse tarps. And you just know that the work is getting done, and you know that the Gospel is moving forward. And that’s just an incredible feeling.

Mike Embree

When we fly, we take this ministry to other locations, and we share the love of Jesus. That’s what our mission is.


Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program is committed to meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster. We stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever disaster strikes. The DART specializes in providing water, food, shelter, and medical care while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

CONTACT: Melissa Nystrom, [email protected]


Read more news on Humanitarian Services and Disaster Relief on Missions Box.


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