Monday, September 2, 2019

Transition to Africa Update

Transition to Africa  

Our Top 5 CELEBRATION Points:
Barbara, Alace's mom, second from the right.
1.  Alace's mother's cancer has stayed small with no growth over the past 6 months!  So... why not have surgery to remove it?  Her doctors have told her that the cancer is likely to remain like this and surgery will only be necessary in the rare case that it starts to grow. 

An example of a 4-seat Zenith 801
2. Trainer-Airplane donation!  A generous supporter has purchased a Zenith 801 aircraft for use as a training platform (mechanic & pilot) in Gabon!  Upgrades will happen at his house (also a hangar) in Florida from November to April. Would you like to help? Email me at  A new engine and some avionics will be added.

Making friends during language immersion in France.
3. Language Immersion in France is going great!  With sharper skills, we can better communicate.  Following a conversation, especially when a person is speaking quickly, is one of the biggest challenges.  We finish in France on September 20th.

There we are, upper right, near the fire alarm.
4.  Training Missionaries:  Alace and I had such a good time as part of the ICC staff (Inter-Cultural Communications Course) at JAARS, July to mid-August.  The staff assisted the 35 new missionaries as they worked through the challenging material and are now better prepared to face the unique path of international work- much of which includes scripture translation.   The 4 and a half week event focused on topics such as Worldview, Spiritual Vitality, Language & Culture Acquisition, as well as Partnering and Interpersonal Skills.  

5.  PARTNERSHIP!  God is at work in the West-Central Africa region (Gabon, Cameroon, Congo-Brazza, NW Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Rep.), in scripture engagement and medical missions, requiring the support of mission aviation for the foreseeable future.  Our work and the work of people trained by JAARS are the main operators in the region- I met with their US-based leadership and a stronger collaboration is developing! 

Our Top 5 Points of CONCERN:

Sam with some classmates from his semester in Korea
1.  FAMILY: Being a long way away from our kids and parents is one of the most challenging part of the field assignments in international work.  As an update:  Sam starts his final year at San Diego State Univ. after a semester abroad in Korea. Also, pray for our other two grown kids and spouses. 

A team of local believers/volunteers who just finished pouring the foundation for PK-27's first medical clinic, August 2019.
2. PK-27 Project- URGENT: Despite the national church having permits and documentation, A gov't leader is threatening to take over the PK-27 property where the social works campus, and our new runway, is planned.  As you know, we've spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on the development of this key airport, just outside of the capital city of Libreville.   Church leaders have worked equally as hard, with lawyers, to secure the documentation and have the perimeter of this property clearly surveyed and marked. 

3.  AIRCRAFT UPGRADES:  In September and October, an annual inspection and a few avionics upgrades are planned for our Cessna 207.  We're excited about the new technology and need your support to make it happen.  To make it all happen, four friends are traveling to Cameroon, where the work will be performed, many of them at great personal expense!  They are coming from Ohio, Oregon, North Carolina, and the Bongolo Hospital!  That's right!!!  A doctor at Bongolo is also an FAA certified aircraft mechanic who will be pitching in on this work!  For an overview of all that we're doing and how to help CLICK HERE

4.  LIFE IN THE JUNGLE!  Up 'til now, we've been "city" missionaries. Our new home, at the Bongolo mission will be a whole new world.  We'll be living on the mission, on the small hill above the hospital, pictured above.  There is a small town, Lebamba, nearby with a some sparsely stocked grocery stores and outdoor veggie/fruit market with limited selection.  We hope to enter this new environment with the heart of a learner and servant.  There's lots to learn in regards to how we can best serve our team and build meaningful relationships with new, local friends.

5.  RESTART OF FLYING:  Pray for good relationships with civil aviation in Gabon and for the significant costs of the 1 year flight permit to operate there ($5000).  Once we arrive and get our operations underway, I'll also be looking to build further government relations, as in the past, to seek additional support of our work.  Additionally, as you know, we will be moving towards education opportunities for Gabonese.  Please pray for wisdom and humility as we seek the best way forward.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!


Steve and Alace

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Please consider being part of our team:

Options for a tax-deductible donation:

1.  ON-LINE E-CHECK or CREDIT CARD: Visit ““ and enter “Steve Straw” where it says “Type name of worker”.  Then simply follow the directions (NOTE: there will not be an "automatic" option for the Straw's that appears.  Don't worry- it will work to enter their name).

2.  BY MAIL:  Make checks to “C&MA”, and put “Straw-mm” in the memo.  Send to:  C&MA-mm, 8595 Explorer Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80920

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  1. Blessings Steve and Alace! It was great to catch up on what God is doing in you and through you. Melissa and I will be praying for you.

    1. Thanks Aaron and Melissa!!! Love you guys! Come and visit!

  2. Should we also plan for a trip and fly in a plane for an African or European tour. Appreciate this great post.
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