686 Black Road, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Service Times: 9:30am (Lord's Supper), 11:00am (Family Bible Hour and Sunday School), 7:00pm (Evening Service)

Ben & Deana Fairburn - AIM International - Kenya

Ben and Deana Fairburn

Field of Service: Kenya

Mission Organization: AIM International (www.aimair.org)

Ministry: We are the Fairburns, currently serving in Kenya with AIM AIR, an aviation support ministry, serving the broader work of Africa Inland Mission along with several like-minded organizations. In Africa there are close to 1,000 Unreached People Groups. It is our heart to serve the hardworking missionaries on the frontline, in these hard to reach places. Ben is a pilot/mechanic for AIM AIR and Deana is homeschooling Norah, as well as caring for Allison and Blake.

Contact Info: www.instagram.com/fairburnsflyafrica

Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Praise & Prayer:
Fairburn Update - July 2020
When you move to a different continent with your family there are bound to be some unexpected hiccups and some unmet expectations. Looking back, we were prepped for this in many ways throughout our training with AIM. There was extensive training on culture fatigue and the challenges of language learning. What we did not expect was to have to endure all of those challenges of a first year in ministry during a global pandemic. Restrictions on movement equalled a major slowdown of language learning with language helpers as well as a slowdown of cultural understanding and adjustment. Mandated isolation also made it harder to navigate new ways of living as a family and learning from others more seasoned. It has been a challenge to say the least. 
But the big surprise was the health of AIM AIR when we arrived. The day before we stepped onto the plane in Toronto, excited about all we were expecting in Africa, we received an email that AIM AIR was determining whether or not it could continue to operate. We showed up in Kenya at the most unstable time in AIM AIR’s history. They were pretty deep into a crisis and they got handed the Fairburn Family a few short months before being further rocked financially by a global pandemic! (Air travel isn’t a thriving business during this crisis, as you’ve probably noticed). As we hung on for the rollercoaster of our first few months, the cultural fatigue went almost unnoticed compared to the uncertainty of the ministry within AIM we had just joined. Talks of closure, downsizing, moving locations, changing leadership, financial viability, identity, and strategic moves were all on the table. This unstable situation was already happening before our eyes and then was accelerated greatly by the COVID pandemic.
After many months of wrestling with our purpose for being here in the above context, it became clear that, for the continued health of our family, a decision needed to be made. The current ethos and situation at AIM AIR is certainly not what we witnessed during our five week visit in 2014 and upon which we based our decision to begin the long process to come to Africa. This current assignment at AIM AIR is not what we signed up for – nor realistically will be anytime in the near future. We moved to Africa in obedience to the Lord’s calling, in part, as a response to a need for pilots at AIM AIR at the time. But current and projected flying, based on the way AIM AIR is currently structured, has made it difficult for us to see the need for us anytime soon. Even AIM AIR’s plans for training me are bleak for the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, the amount of time, energy, finances, prayer, and difficult goodbyes that were required to get our family out here becomes painful to weigh against the situation we currently find ourselves in. It has not been easy to process all of this, as you can imagine. 
Philippians 4: 6-7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These verses have been an anchor to us during the last few months. We read verse 7 differently now, especially the word “guard”. We humans have such fragile hearts and minds, but the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will GUARD our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. As we have wrestled with the most difficult decisions we’ve faced in our life, we have certainly felt the Lord guarding our hearts and minds, and we pray that he continues to do so as we continue to process this tough situation. We have prayed a lot for “the peace of God” (Phil 4:7a) to help us know the best decision to make. We first felt that peace about leaving AIM AIR, but we were not certain at first about going back to Canada. Through the process of deciding to move on from AIM AIR, God has given us peace now about going home. That does not mean it is easy or pain-free, but it is peace about the direction God has us heading. And HE still has our hearts and minds and we are thankful for that.
It is really hard to explain how we went from inspired and enthusiastic about our dreams of flying with AIM AIR to where we are today. Going home is a painful and sad decision on many levels. We really wrestled with all of this and did not take these decisions lightly. We slowly let go of all of our expectations and tried to embrace AIM AIR for what it currently is and to be patient to see it become what it could be eventually. But neither embracing the current reality with AIM AIR nor waiting on this side for things to change is something we are comfortable with.Still, we feel the pain of the loss of time and money invested in getting our family here and that is something we are still working through. We would appreciate your prayers as we struggle to make sense of all of this. Undeniable in all of this, however, is the fact that we have been truly blessed to see so many individuals and churches join us in this journey. Right now it can feel like this journey has a sad ending, but God uses all situations for His glory. Maybe we will see the way God uses this past year soon, or maybe we never will. Regardless, God has been faithful through all of this. 
We are leaving Africa with a deeper love for God and a deeper understanding of his desire for us to love Him above all else. He has been our strength and our anchor through all of this. This ongoing love story between us and God has us returning to Canada in the near future.
Psalm 36: 5-9
5Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
6 Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. 
Ben and Deana Fairburn
Norah, Allison and Blake


Sunday Service Times

Lord's Supper - 9:30 am
Family Bible Hour - 11:00 am
Sunday School - 11:00 am
Evening Service - 7:00 pm

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