Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gabon Plus...

Plus what?!?

Along the journey, Alace and I have seen doors open, allowing us to serve in ways that compliment or expand the work we're doing.  Case in point, with your help, we started up the aviation work in Gabon (our primary work), but along the way, other tasks and opportunities ("Pluses") came along- field leadership team, national church liaison, guest house management, dorm house parenting, national aviation club, shipping container logistics, and more. We are in just such a "Plus" season:
23rd Anniversary on 31 July!

Plus... Recruitment Component!
Our work in Gabon will grind to a halt unless we lay the ground work for additional teammates to join the work.  We now have the opportunity to join the Missionary Air Group (MAG) effort to recruit and train up mission aviators with a new, apprenticeship model- the first of its kind!  MAG is staffing the program to have primary training at the North Carolina base, and components of the advanced training on site at the international bases of operation (Gabon, Guatemala, and Honduras).

Plus... Equipping Nationals!
On top of the apprenticeship model that we will look for transferability to developing countries, we have been asked by the national church leaders (C&MA) in Gabon to provide first responder and flight nurse training.  Since MAG has similar training already in Spanish, our main work will be translating it and then implementing it.  We are so excited about this and can't wait to see it all come together!  The training will most likely take place at a new base near the capital city, speaking of which....

July work at PK-27, in Gabon, ramps up!
Plus... New Capital City Landing Strip!
For the first 5 years in Gabon, our work was based out of the international airport in Libreville.  There was only one runway for a relatively busy airport and, although there were many hangars, we couldn't find a home and had to park the aircraft on the ramp, exposed to the punishing elements.  Now, with the progress that the national Alliance church is making at their PK-27 social works campus, just outside of Libreville, they are ready to move forward with the planned airstrip on the property.  Our Gabonese church family has many participants in the building activity at the site and are ready to receive a team to assist in the development of the airport in the summer of 2017.  We are excited to hear that a team leader has already stepped up to the plate!  Once this landing strip is in place, we will no longer have to deal with the headaches of landing at the international airport!  Would you like to participate?  Email me at

Plus... Guatemala and Honduras!
MAG President, Sean Donnelly (L), and I meet with
C&MA church leaders about future training plans.

MAG has other bases in Central America where they are developing teams to continue their programs that have been operating there for years.  They have asked Alace and I to provide leadership in skills development for teamwork and aviation- things where Alace and I are able to share our experience and expertise.  We will start making regular visits to those sites, on top of Gabon, to serve those teams and help them thrive.

Plus... Training & Recurrency!
I, Steve, have added some great experience in the last couple years in the area of leadership, management, and administration.  However, it has kept me out of the cockpit, so it is time for recurrency and upgrading my flight instructor ratings.  MAG has training aircraft at the base in Burlington, NC, so we'll settle in for this phase, as we continue to stay on top of Gabon and the other bases.  Our address there is:  3209 Stonypointe Dr., Greensboro, NC 27406.

As we make the transition into these expanded roles, there is a blend of emotions- excitement and some trepidation.  We ask for your prayers as we continue with your support and teamwork, to be good stewards of the work that we are doing.  Thank you for joining us on this "plus-sized" journey!

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