We have had lots of questions and the same ones seem to keep coming up in spite of my efforts to be complete. Here are some of them and some we anticipate as well.
Q: Who and what is Agape Flights?
A: After hearing from missionaries in Haiti in 1980 about the need for dependable mail and delivery service, a group of friends in Bradenton, Florida gathered in Keith and Clara Starkey's living room to pray about a way to help. The result was Agape Flights. On November 15, 1980, Agape’s inaugural flight left the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, bound for Cap Haitien. The small Cessna 411 was loaded with donated emergency supplies and mail for about 25 families. Today, for about 350 missionary families in Haiti and Dominican Republic, Agape Flights is a lifeline to family, friends, supporters and supplies. Agape Flights serves Christ by serving His missionaries on some of the most challenging mission fields in the world. Agape serves over 350 missionary families in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Agape’s regular weekly flight leaves Florida just before daylight each Wednesday morning, delivers missionary mail, packages, supplies and volunteers in four cities and returns to the U.S. on Thursday afternoon.
Round trip flying time for each weekly flight in Agape’s Cessna Grand Caravan is 13 hours.
Volunteers are the backbone of Agape. Every year, over 150 local volunteers donate over 7,000 hours to Agape. Missionary families donate 5,000 hours per year as they meet the plane, process supplies and people through customs and immigration, deal with airport, customs and other government officials and paperwork and organize and staff the distribution centers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. During the last fiscal year, Agape received and distributed to missionaries and local organizations donated goods worth $740,000. The economic impact of Agape’s ministry in the local community exceeds half a million dollars each year.
60% of Agape’s financial support comes from individuals in all 50 states and several foreign countries. 33% comes from churches and religious organizations and the balance from businesses and other organizations. Agape hosts volunteer mission teams from around the U.S. each year who spend their time working at the hangar and in other local ministries. Agape arranges short-term mission trips for individuals and groups to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and other Caribbean countries. The plane lands in Cap Haitien, Les Cayes, Port au Prince, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Eleuthera.
Q: Where will you be living, working, and attending school?
A: We will be located in Venice, Florida. Agape is located at the Venice, Florida municipal airport. The offices are at the hanger, and all administrative and logistical activities occur there. I will work at the hanger. The children will attend Venice Christian School. Housing, school and work will all be within ten minutes travel time of one another.
Q: What will your work be at Agape?
A: I (Paul) will be the Missionary Director, responsible for maintaining relationships with the 350+ missionary families. I will also be serving in many other administrative capacities for Agape Flights. This will be a full time learning and working experience. I want to meet each missionary family over the next few years.Travis will be staying at home full time and assisting me with ministry needs when applicable. She will have time with the children to catch up on some lost professional mom time.
Q: How long will you stay with Agape Flights?
A: This is a full time, permanent position. We do not envision an end to this service, and potential moves to other countries in cooperation with Agape Flights are possibilities.
Q: When do you plan on moving?
A: We have a target date of August 1, 2008. If we are able to build our support team in a more timely fashion, we will move after the end of the current school year and before August 1.
Q: What do you need from a supporter?
A: First and foremost we need your prayer. Please pray for guidance, and ears that will hear God when he speaks. We need your participation in the form of encouraging phone calls, emails, notes and the like. Visits and service trips are encouraged for all supporters. Our home is open to you. Finally, we need financial support from team members willing to partner with us on a monthly basis. We need to raise every dollar that we cost Agape Flights. I will go over our detailed budget with you if you desire.
Q: How do we give?
A: Electronically from your bank account, credit card or on line at www.agapeflights.com. Pledge cards will soon be arriving with details for EBT’s (electronic balance transfers). Checks can be made out to Agape Flights (Prachar family in the memo) mailed to:Agape Flights 100 Airport AvenueVenice, Florida 34285
Contact us at email@example.com (319-360-6692) or through Agape Flights at firstname.lastname@example.org (941-488-0990). Further information can be obtained at www.agapeflights.com.
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