Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Straw Family Update!

So, "what are the CRAZY STRAWs doing this summer?!?"  I'm glad you asked...


Sam is wrapping up his high school career this week!  We are so very proud of this young man!  Despite a life-threatening bout of malaria several weeks ago (Read More), he has really enjoyed his school year- participating in sports as well as being the student council vice-president.  (ps. Sam would like all his adoring fans to know that he HAS registered his graduation wish-list on Amazon.com- CLICK HERE)

Sam's Plans:  With no clear direction on a field of study or career, Sam has wisely decided to take
some community college courses, get a job, and re-enter life in the US with a fellow RFIS graduate, Nathan.  Nathan's parents have some properties in San Diego, where they can live cheaply.


Megan wrapped up her Sophomore year at Nyack College, still working toward a degree in social work.  She was also working as a nanny to help make ends meat.

Plans:  This summer, Megan is working with our home church, York Alliance (PA), in their children's ministry, as well as looking for some part-time work.


Joe & his girlfriend, Laura (also a Guinea intern!)
As many of you know, Joe is finishing his Junior year at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago).  Actually, he has already done 1/2 of his senior year so that he has time for a 6 month internship in Guinea, West Africa.  At Moody, he is studying Theology and has a great job in the computer services office.  He's learning a lot and honing his skills with photography and videography.

Plans:  Joe's internship with Envision (C&MA), will be working with missionaries who run a youth center in the capital city of Conakry called La Zone.  They do English classes and other events to draw students into an environment where not only get great education, but see and hear about the Gospel.  Joe will use his tech skills to develop promotional and educational tools for the center.  He is seeking people to help fund this trip, so please consider this opportunity to partner with him.  Here is his latest update:

Some of Alace's ladies in Cameroon.

Alace has really enjoyed CONNECTING this year.  If you know her, you know this is her specialty!  People... relationships... going deep.

She took a break from her college studies (counseling major, Liberty U) for a couple modules since we were traveling quite a bit.  We enjoyed the conference in Thailand, and then our visit to Gabon to check in with the work we oversee there.

Plans:  Alace will be back into the books as her modules will restart later in the summer.  We'll be reconnecting with some friends in the US, get Sam settled into San Diego life, and then spend time in North Carolina (Burlington) as Steve does some aviation training and she becomes the team care person for Missionary Air Group (MAG)!  She is really excited about this new assignment!  More to come on that.


Steve has really enjoyed the challenge of being the aviation manager for SIL (JAARS) in Yaounde this year.  It took some getting used to a larger team and fleet of aircraft.  This was on top of his work as program manager for the Gabon work, where pilot Rob is on site, keeping operations moving along.

Plans:  Since Steve has been mainly in administrative roles recently, it is time to get recurrent so that he's ready for the cockpit again.  There will be a time of training in the US for a few months as well as time spent in a standardization course to prep him for his new role with MAG as chief pilot.  He'll give oversight to an even bigger team of pilots and aircraft fleet.  More on that to come, as well.

God-sized dreams are still a big part of what we're being called to.  Along with the national Alliance church in Gabon, a dream is starting to become a reality.  At the end of this blog, you can watch a video describing some of this ambitious project.

In short, for June and July, will be mainly in PA visiting family, friends, and enjoying connecting with our home church, York Alliance.  In August we'll start looking at the MAG program in NC, pilot training and member care, as well as getting Sam to San Diego for college.

Wings for Africa from Stephen Straw on Vimeo.

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