Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Bongolo Eye Clinic Story

Thirteen years ago, a 15 year-old boy named Stoll prayed fervently that his uncle, who was like a father to him, would be healed.  God didn't answer that prayer, and his uncle died.  In anger Stoll turned away from God.  

Three years later, Stoll was in a car accident where the vehicle flipped four times; his body was pulled from the wreckage and he was thought to be dead, but Stoll saw a vision of Jesus putting His hands on the wound in his abdomen.  He returned to life and survived, but still would not let go of his bitterness toward God.  

Then finally a few nights ago while sleeping, he saw another beautiful vision of Jesus, and the next day he brought his sister to Bongolo Hospital for abdominal surgery.  

While waiting for her, he spoke to another patient about his vision in the night and she told him he needed to come hear the message at the eye clinic.  There, he heard the eye clinic chaplain talking about how God was always faithful to His covenant with Abraham, and how He will always be faithful to us; He will never give up on us.  Stoll considered how God kept seeking him out personally.  His heart finally broke and he was healed from his long-harbored anger toward God.  He was given a Bible that he is excited to read, and he can't wait to join a dynamic church he knows of in his home town.

It's exciting to know that God is pursuing us, even when we are not aware of it!  Have a great week!

Submitted by Eric H. at Bongolo

Monday, January 8, 2018

2018 PLANS... Help us to Launch!

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT US

We Need Sustaining Supporters!  

Our important work only happens when the resources are supplied.  Please pray that generous partners join us to make this work sustainable.

Please pray that these 
plans become reality!  
As we put together our 2018 plans, we realize that without a significant increase in sustaining supporters, we will not be able to execute or participate in some of the following special events:

Alace will join the JAARS staff (Waxhaw, NC) to equip new missionaries for spiritual vitality, multi-cultural sensitivity, and relational maturity.

Every few years, attending this course keeps Steve sharp in his pilot skills so he can better supervise the team of pilots he serves.

This is the first of 5 events at the Missionary Air Group hangar (Burlington, NC) for groups of up to 20 to participate in a blended work day / missions activation event.

APR:  Central America Visit
In Steve's leadership role at MAG, it's critical to visit our operation bases and partners.  This trip will be to Guatemala and Honduras.

MAY:  Debrief & Steve trains new missionary Pilots!
Since our transition into MAG leadership from field work in Africa, we have not yet completed a field debrief.  We're looking forward to this event in Georgia.  We'll participate with MAG's first ever pilot apprentice will be ready for advanced missionary training in a Cessna 206 aircraft.  We'll be doing some of that in the US and then overseas.

JUN:  Gabon Airstrip Construction
For the second year in a row, we'll be back in Gabon to serve the national church's runway program at the PK-27 project.  Are you interested in going with Steve?  Send an email at steve.s@flymag.org 

JUL:  OSHKOSH Promotion Event & 25th Wedding Anniversary
Oshkosh (WI) is the largest airshow in the world!  Many mission aviation organizations join together to promote Kingdom work.  Then, on the 31st, we celebrate 25 years of marriage!!!


AUG:  Celebrating, Refreshing, Planning
Following our anniversary celebration, we'll be busy- MAG's fiscal year cycle is resetting in 2018.  We will start the new year in September, so August will be the month where all our planning comes together so that we're in gear and ready to go.

SEP:  Fund-Raising Half Marathon
Steve will be participating in a half marathon, along with some family members, in Chicago for the purpose of his health and for fund raising!  More details to follow.

Remember...
You are the wings beneath our wings!!!


CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT US

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Work Days at the Airport

In 2018, Come and help us accomplish God's work at our airport work days!
MISSIONARY AIR GROUP
336.792.5200

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OPERATION : SERVE

WHO: Church groups- youth, men, women, small groups, etc. Up to 20 each event.

WHAT: Service Projects! Teaming up with MAG in some practical facility care and operations projects, while learning about God’s heart for the remote people groups of the world & how to reach them in Gospel-centered compassion efforts.

WHERE: The MAG hangar at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, Burlington, NC

WHEN: Call and reserve your date now!
  • March 10: 9am to Noon
  • May 12: 9am to Noon
  • July 14: 9am to Noon
  • September 8: 9am to Noon
  • November 10: 9am to Noon

WHY: MAG is a small, faith-based, non-profit organization that executes critical international ministries, only with the generous teamwork from volunteers.

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Missionary Air Group Mission:
To deliver Medical Care & Relief Services
among remote people groups of the world
through the use of aircraft, showing genuine compassion
so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ 
is credibly presented



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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

Dear Loved ones, 

We hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a wonderful new year!  We pray that, in 2018, you sense His presence on the exciting journey He is calling you to.  

Peace and Love,

Steve & Alace


STRAW FAMILY PICTURE (left to Right):

Sam (our youngest): Graduated from Rain Forest Int’l School (Yaounde, Cameroon) in ’16, moved to San Diego, student at Mesa College; transferring to San Diego State next year as International Studies major; an official resident of California!

Megan (our middle child):  RFIS ’14 grad; then 2 years at Nyack; now on her second “gap” year in Chicago enjoying life as a Starbucks barista and nannying and very involved at her local church.

Alace:  member care coordinator for Missionary Air Group (who the Gabon aviation program merged with), based in Burlington, NC (oversight care for 12 staff units & H.R. duties); also serving on staff with JAARS for their Inter-Cultural Communications Course.

Steve:  Chief Pilot & Interim CEO for Missionary Air Group; it’s been a challenging year- taking on new roles that were a bit unexpected; praising the Lord for an opportunity to serve.  MAG has bases in Central America and, now, in Gabon!  Please pray for our main needs in recruitment and another pilot/mechanic to serve with the Peterson’s in Gabon.  We are consulting with three Alliance efforts (two in Africa; one in Central America) about collaborate ministry using aviation.  Please pray with us for discernment and effective use of Kingdom resources for the Gospel.

Laura: our newest edition!  Married to Joe this past September in Chicago; Moody Bible Institute Grad ’17; Intercultural studies/Linguistic minor; works at Moody in the admissions department and some nannying jobs.

Joe;(our oldest child) RFIS Grad ’13; Moody Bible Institute Grad ’17; enjoying the honeymoon!; working at Moody in I.T.; he and Laura will get grounded in their marriage and life in Chicago for a bit and see missions in their future.

Christmas Miracle!

Baby Isaac has mad ASTOUNDING, MIRACULOUS steps forward in his health!!!


Many of you have been faithfully praying for baby Isaac, son of Rob and Bintou Peterson.  Rob is our Gabon pilot/mechanic, and Bintou is a doctor in the ophthalmology residency program at the Bongolo Hospital.  They were in the US to work on citizenship for Bintou when they found out they were pregnant.  They decided to stay for the pregnancy and, had they not, it is almost certain that baby Isaac, who decided to make his appearance at week 26, would not have lived. 

Baby Isaac has spent everyday since his birth in a hospital room, on a roller coaster ride, with his esophagus being the area where development was struggling to happen.  The doctors were certain that he would have to have a tracheostomy, but Rob and Bintou asked if they could hold off just a couple more weeks.  In these past two weeks, miraculous healing has occurred!!!  PRAISE GOD!!!

READ THE LATEST UPDATE HERE


Monday, October 9, 2017

Shaking Off the Rust

After a lot of time helping on the admin side of things, it was time for me to try and sharpen up my pilot skills to better serve the cause.  

Thankfully our good friends at JAARS were able to fit me in and run me through my paces.










My very own cubicle!

JAARS has some great aircraft, like this Pilatus Porter...
unfortunately, I didn't get around to flying it.


My recurrency training was in the Cessna 206


My recurrency focused on mastering the aircraft in many configurations/scenarios.  Along the way, I was sharpening skills, learning a lot, and filling gaps.  My journey into mission aviation was a bit non-standard, so it was great to train with those that are among the leaders in the field and know what to look for to help pilots and mechanics succeed.

I'm very thankful for the aviation training department at JAARS and their desire to be a resource for all who are looking to advance Kingdom causes!

I'm also very thankful for all of you that have made major investments in keeping us resourced on this journey.  This training was possible to one particular donor that is so special to us.

Recurrent training will be a regular part of this work.  Please join me in praying for the ongoing resources necessary to keep me sharp and safe for the mission ahead.

More Airplanes Needed!



As many of you know, we are working hard with our organization, Missionary Air Group, to develop the first-of-its-kind Apprenticeship Pilot program for aspiring missionary aviators.  This is in concert with our partner, MMS Aviation (Coshocton, OH). 

Why is this work so important?  Some major road-blocks for those desiring to prepare and deploy as international mission pilots and mechanics, is that training and paying of the debt of training takes so long.  The apprentice model that we are creating will assists to shorten the overall time as well as leave no debt at the end of training.  The training also happens all during the context of working on mission aviation aircraft and under the roof of a mission sending agency, plus at least 30 hours of flight time on the field on their way to over 400 hours of flight training. 


Thank you for supporting us as we seek 
more efficiency for Kingdom work!  

We have an advisory team from larger mission aviation organizations to make sure that what we are creating leads to the outcomes that are actually valuable and desirable.  These same agencies are also looking into similar ideas under their roofs as well.

Alace gets to know the aircraft owner, Darrell, as he
opens the cowling for a closer look.
Training new pilots means giving them the right type of instruction in the right types of aircraft.  We need additional aircraft to expand the training experiences.  In the coming year, we are looking for the following:  a Cessna 182 with retractable gear ($85-$95K), a Cessna 206 G model outfitted as a field aircraft ($250-$300K), and a Super Decathlon tail dragger ($80-$90K).  Please pray for the provision of these aircraft.

In August, I traveled to Texas to inspect a Cessna 182 RG (retractable gear) whose owner is considering a lease agreement with MAG with the idea that it may lead to a sale, down the road.

In December we'll be doing some familiarization flights with the Cessna 182 RG and starting to train our first apprentice in January or February.  Thanks for being along for this journey!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Joe's Wedding!

Joe and Laura were married Saturday, September 30th, in Chicago!  It's hard to believe.  
At the reception... the hard part is over!  ...well... at least for that day!
Joe and Laura met at Moody Bible Institute, where they both graduated this
past May.  MBI asked both of them to stick around, so both are working
in Chicago for the time being, with an eye on some sort of int'l work in the future.


At the rehearsal. Pastor/missionary Stephen Albright traveled from Guinea (West Africa) to
perform the ceremony.  Stephen supervised Joe & Laura's internship, last fall, in Africa.

Here's the wedding party just after exiting the ceremony.
(venue: Columbus Park Refectory, Chicago)

Thanks to all your prayers for our family, especially the newlyweds.  They honeymooned in
Cancun, where Hurricane Nate passed overhead two nights ago with some high winds
and rain, but no damage or wrinkles in their plans.

Will my son hate me for posting this?!? 
Only if someone tells him I did...   ;^)
(taken from the airplane departing for the honeymoon).