Tali Grace is currently training to become a pilot at the MAF Flight Training Centre at Mareeba. Her journey to MAF began when her Dad took her to visit PNG in 2008. On her first flight in a small aircraft, Tali sat beside the pilot and found the experience exhilarating. She feels this is where the seeds of wanting to become a pilot were planted.
While in Year 12 she was particularly exhausted on the Friday before a school band performance. Her Mum suggested she stay home and rest, but Tali felt that missing that day could result in her missing something life-changing. During the final class of the day brochures were given out about a camp in Melbourne for year 11 and 12 students interested to find out about flying with MAF. This seemed to be a significant piece of the puzzle—she felt that becoming a missionary pilot could definitely be for her.
That dream was kept alive for another eight years, during which she joined a gliding club, confirming her love of flying. In 2016 she applied to MAF, but initially she did not get a response. Her dream seemed to have stalled.
At this time, Tali had two significant experiences which greatly affected her. First, she felt “the weighty presence of God during worship, telling her to give her dream away.” About a month later, Tali had a dream about her aviation career falling apart and “everything disappearing”. She had the overwhelming sense that God was telling her to relinquish her dream—and she reluctantly did so.
Not sure what to do next, Tali spent some time teaching in Cambodia and Myanmar. She then traveled to Chin State, in a remote part of Western Myanmar. The 180 mile trip took over 10 hours on treacherous roads. Having seen just how incredibly vulnerable the people of Chin State were, she knew immediately that she wanted to do something to help.
Over a year after Tali had applied to MAF, out of the blue she received a telephone call asking if she was still interested. Tali prayed about what He wanted her to do and strongly felt “that her dream had died so that God could resurrect it as His.”
Within six weeks Tali had raised $25,000 and was on her way to the Training Centre in Mareeba! To this day Tali says, “I still don’t understand how this all happened”. Many people had faith in her and their generosity astounded her. She knows without doubt that God opened the door for her and she is passionate about letting people know that, “God has something for you, something that you were made for”.
Today Tali believes that her future is in Myanmar, a country she is in love with, as part of a new programme MAF is developing there.