The last week of July is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s when I am able to rub elbows with aviation enthusiasts from around the world at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, affectionately know as “Oshkosh” to flying fans. It’s the world’s largest aviation exhibition, and they say that some 500,000 flying fans pass through the AirVenture gates each year.
For those who have never attended Oshkosh, I’ll try to give you a sense of the scope. Have you ever been to a state fair or similar event? Envision that fair, replace the animals and agricultural exhibits with everything aviation, multiply the size by 100, and there you have it. Vintage aircraft, untralights, helicopters, missionary aviation displays, gizmos and gadgets … whatever your flying passion, you’ll find it at Oshkosh.
Here are my favorite things about the AirVenture event.
10. Fly to the event and camp with your plane! That’s what so many do. As you approach the event site you’ll drive by acres and acres of small planes parked on grassy fields, with a tent tucked under the wing.
9. Aviation History. It’s in the museum, on T-shirts, in the air. It’s everywhere!
8. Amazing airshows! Be part of the audience as vintage aircraft fly in formation and acrobatic planes tumble across the sky.
7. Missionary Aviation Collaboration. MAF, JAARS, New Tribes, MMA, SMAT, and so many others involved in mission aviation … we share a display area and work together to tell the missionary aviation story.
6. Meeting those who have travelled far! It’s so fun to hear the different accents and meet those who have encountered MAF in different countries.
5. The Orbis plane. It’s an eye hospital in a DC-10, on display at AirVenture!
4. The amazing MASA people! This team of local folks cares for all the missionary aviation personnel at AirVenture, providing all meals, ground transport, and housing. We couldn’t do it without you!
3. Daily devotions. Every day, after breakfast and dinner in the MASA tent, missionary aviators share from their hearts.
2. Spending time with those who dearly love MAF. AirVenture provides a unique opportunity to connect with those who hold MAF close to their hearts. Thanks for all you do to enable this ministry!
1. Opportunities to tell others about the love of Jesus. Every day, staff from MAF and other missionary organizations have opportunities to share about our savior with flying enthusiasts. The harvest is plentiful!