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Flying high for Jesus: Chrisanne Lynn Onny, 18, on a mission to bring hope and restoration to the world’s most remote regions

When Chrisanne Lynn Onny was a child, her father would bring her to a McDonald’s located by the airport runway. There, they would watch planes come and go.

“My dad was a pilot who flew experimental aircraft, so that’s probably where I got my love of flying from,” Chrisanne shared with a laugh. 

The 18-year-old, who is currently in Miri, Sarawak, has charted her course: after finishing her studies, she will be entering flight school in Cairns, Australia with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). 

She hopes to become a missionary pilot, reaching remote places and communities with practical provisions and God’s love. 

“I don’t want to become a commercial pilot. I want to fly small planes,” she said. When I was around eight years old, I told my dad I wanted to become a baker and fly a plane to bring people food!” 

Chrisanne, 18, has a deep love for flying and missions.

A solid foundation of faith

Chrisanne grew up in a Christian family and remembers always being surrounded by stories of Jesus and His life, the Bible and faith. 

She accepted Jesus into her heart at four years old during a Sunday school altar call. 

“Who I am today is attributed to how my parents raised me and what God has brought me through over the years,” she shared thoughtfully. “With the life I live, faith is very important every single day.”

The young woman speaks from experience, as her parents are missionaries who live by faith. Trusting God to provide for their daily needs has been their default. 

But Chrisanne is not living on her parents’ faith. In 2022, she experienced God’s miraculous provision for herself in a big way. 

Faith, flight tickets and school fees 

That year, Chrisanne took a year off her studies and travelled to New Zealand to join a Discipleship Training School (DTS) by the international missions organisation, Youth with A Mission (YWAM). 

She applied for DTS together with her sister, and costs for the six-month school (including visas, school fees, flights, accommodation and daily necessities) came up to RM64,000. 

“We definitely didn’t have the money to pay for our DTS,” Chrisanne said with a laugh. The two sisters had enough to cover flight and visa costs, thanks to generous donors. 

Walking by faith, Chrisanne has learned to trust God to provide for all of her needs.

So, armed with flight tickets and faith, they flew to New Zealand. 

“Throughout our time there, we just kept praying. And God provided all of the money that we needed to complete the DTS,” the young woman testified. 

Preparing to take flight

It was at DTS that Chrisanne read a book, On A Wing and A Prayer. It sparked something in her, and she began intentionally exploring missionary flying as a future career. 

“I just feel my purpose is in missions. Also, seeing my parents in missions wows me,” she said simply.     

Having experienced God come through for her time and again, Chrisanne exudes a quiet peace and does not seem anxious about her future. 

The homeschooled lass has started paragliding training but will only embark on flight training with MAF after finishing high school. 

Chrisanne has begun her paragliding training and is set to begin flight training after finishing high school

It certainly seems that God has planted this love for flying within her. 

“For me, I know I’m passionate about something when I get excited.  Every time I see a plane pass by or hear the roar of a plane engine, I get excited,” she said enthusiastically. 

Asked if she has any words of wisdom for others her age seeking direction, Chrisanne’s encouragement is to turn to God’s Word. 

“Even if you don’t have a community that supports you, the Bible has everything you need to embrace your purpose,” she declared. 

For this adventurous spirit, God’s plans are perfect and can be trusted. 

“We just have to have faith and obey, because obedience will lead us to God’s path and His path is always the best,” she said. 

To learn more about Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), click here. If you would like to get in touch with a local MAF representative, email hello@faithour.com and we’ll connect you!

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