The Dream Takes Shape
The dream these two men shared was still in its fledgling stage, when Murray went to visit Dr Thomas Cochrane, president of the Movement for World Evangelism at the Mildmay Centre in London. Murray poured out his passion and the possibility of using planes to enable missionary work, and Dr. Cochrane's answer was swift and direct:
"God has laid this on your heart, Murray, perhaps He wants you to do something about it yourself. You pray about it, write an article, and I will publish it."
Thus, on 5th July 1945, the first recorded thoughts about a MAF-type operation were published in an English Christian newspaper, "A Christian Weekly". This article was embraced by a number of Christian pilots from different countries. They recognised the opportunity for using their aviation skills to serve and build, rather than to destroy.
In 1946 Murray flew to America to connect with Christian Airmen's Missionary Fellowship, which had begun with Betty Greene two years prior. Through this inter-continental meeting, the aviation group in the USA found their vision and names almost identical, and decided to work alongside Murray’s organisation. They later took on the common name of Missionary Aviation Fellowship.
In New Zealand from 1945 onwards MAF was promoted, prayer groups were formed and funds raised to support the MAF work in Africa. In 1946, Trevor Strong returned to New Zealand, setting up the MAF committee in 1947. By 1959, MAF New Zealand was officially incorporated as a society.