support raising

February slipped away with amazing speed, as we should expect since it lacks five days. However, it has taken with it our airplane! Just as we were beginning to receive increasing requests to fly, one of the engines burned through an exhaust pipe. Thankfully, we landed safely and were even able to return the next day. But the mission has agreed we need to do some work before the plane goes back into service – we are estimating 24 March as we wait for parts from the US…

We fully understand that never in scripture does God guide through frustrated efforts. Nevertheless, please pray with us that He would clearly guide our next step. A significant factor in this is our support rising from 70% to 100%. We have absolutely no doubt God can do this – since we’ve seen Him do it in our own lives before. Our question is, will He choose to thus move people in this case?

Much also depends on decisions of the mission’s leadership over this month regarding both the flying operations and the church. So we’d also appreciate your intercession for wisdom, insight and God-given courage for our leadership as they visit to evaluate and set the direction for PMA’s future here in Palau. (And if you know of anyone looking to donate or write-off a Cessna 206 or small airliner, please let us know 🙂 !!)

So it’s been a month of perseverance development – but if we had no needs, why would we need Jesus? 🙂

The girls on one of our favorite Sunday morning walks… and us in our 20′ container office at work.

We were looking west, but not far enough. When Western Seminary in Oregon accepted Slick for doctoral studies and his boss opted to release him in August, we understood that God wanted us to move again. And we thought it would be to Portland, but apparently we weren’t looking far enough west.

When friends forwarded us an email about the need for a twin-rated pilot to fill in for one year on the South Pacific island of Palau with Pacific Mission Aviation (, starting in September, we raised an eyebrow. At first that was all, but over several weeks other events began a crescendo of cooperation.

This past Monday God led us to decline an offer here in Germany. On Tuesday we received notice that we were approved to be PMA missionaries. On Wednesday, the church that “sent” us to Africa welcomed us back to active missionary status. Another church remains committed, whenever we should return to the classic “mission field”. Today is Thursday and as we reflect on the many “fits” and coincidences and many details falling together all at once, we cannot ignore the evidence of God’s unseen hand.

The telling factors? God previously arranged that we should have theological training for mission work. He had already provided flying training for mission aviation, including sea plane ratings (which might be rather useful on a series of islands!) and multi-engine ratings (which are required for this particular post, but rare among available mission aviators). He determined that we would be available to move at the end of August and armed us with plenty of experience at moving ourselves overseas. Zoe is one year out from being “school age” and this post is for one year – until two pilots who are in the PMA “pipeline” are fully trained and ready. And finally, it just so happens that the folks who need to step away from PMA due to the challenges of age (67!) are friends whom we highly respect.

Thus, after much prayer and discussion with our pastor and several mentors over the last few months, we believe Palau is where God is leading this next step of our lives. Our only concern is that our one year in the tropics might stretch into a much longer season of our lives. Should that happen, we are certain there is no better place for our family – none other than the center of our Creator’s will.

That being said, we’d love to invite you to join our journey once again, either through prayer or financially – or both. For those who have continued to pray for us and drop us emails of encouragement, we cannot thank you enough: those tangible glimpses of the body of Christ at work have nourished us deeply. We will be re-energizing our “prayer calendar” so let us know if you want back in the gameor if you want to pick your day to pray for us and join the team (for more info, see To support us financially, please see We need to raise $4300/month and $10,300 for outbound expenses. Thank you for investing!

And thank you for considering being on the team that will work with us as we go forth. We look forward to sharing with all of you “back home” how God moves in answer to your prayers.

Funny how you never know how much one email will change the course of your life :).

Praise God for answering countless prayers – ours and yours! We have finished packing (all but the final trip to France) and finished our degrees! Slick said it seems like the monkeys have been leaping off my back. I’d like to say I feel the weight just lifted away – and I do – in everything except running 🙂 Did I mention we’re training for the 2500th anniversary of the original marathon, run on the original course? There’s never a dull day…

Seriously, we have begun the deep sigh of completion. We’ll feel like we have totally relaxed once we settle in to Albertville, France and stop moving! We really do appreciate your prayers. God has been extremely generous and gracious. He even gave us another little coincidence last week when we filled in the last line of our mileage log with the last leg of our journey. He is a God of the entire universe and yet a God of the details. We worship Him!

The view from the cabin that our very generous friends allowed us to stay in for three weeks while we sorted our stuff. In yet another "coincidence" their renter broke her lease just before we arrived...

Once again we’ve been receiving the benefits of your prayers for safety and sanity while on the road this past month…thank YOU for keeping us before Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine! (Eph 3:20)

We should have expected it. Saturday, 10 July was our last deputation visit with two families of friends. We were certain they would become prayer partners even before we realized there were only two spots left on our prayer calendar. We began last November in South Carolina with a goal of three people praying with us per day, 93 per month. When we left the state for good in January, God had already surpassed that mark. His abundance continued to flow as He flooded us with more than five per day by April. We settled on the final goal of six per day. Double the initial goal. God’s abundance evidenced.

Departing Pennsylvania at the close of the 20,000 mile journey, the calendar was filled exactly with six per day. If that weren’t enough, back in February when I began to build the picture book of our prayer partners (so we can see your faces as we pray) I had laid out the pages with six pictures on each day. Coincidence? Absolutely: “a small miracle where God chooses to remain anonymous.”

A.W. Tozer wrote, “If we allow the gloomy voice of unbelief to whisper to us that God will bless some other time but not now, some other place but not here, some other people but not us, we might as well turn off the lights [of the church].”* Praise God that by His gracious power He does bestow His special favor upon…US…HERE…NOW…and in supernatural ways!

We now begin sorting all of our “stuff” into three piles (two overseas shipments and one storage) while battling the heat and humidity of Virginia in August and finishing our last classes for seminary. We would appreciate your prayers for organization and motivation (packing again – yech!) and for focus to glean all God has for us to learn from our classes.

Sunset over the Mississippi River as we paused for the night before crossing from Illinois to Iowa.

We enjoy capturing pieces of God’s artwork on film! View more. 

*Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church

God proved yet again that He provides all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). Fellow Africa-bound pilot Ben and his family felt God leading them to stay in Idaho as they finished preparation for departure. But when his flying training ended, they needed housing. At just the right moment, someone offered the organization a house to be used for missionaries. Rent was whatever the tenants could afford. Becky, Ben and their kids’ new home now provides a daily reminder of God’s abundant provision.

Shortly after that, someone who rents a big hangar in Nampa offered our friend Tim a parking spot in his hangar. True to character, Tim is as excited about someday sharing Jesus with the man as he is thankful to God for providing his little Luscomb (two-seat, high-wing taildragger) a new home!

Forest Service strip called Graham in the mountains east of Boise, ID

We’ve now met six of Slick’s nine sisters and one brother. He didn’t even know that many existed until mid-May when they all connected via the illustrious FaceBook. And for the first time ever, we’ve met his Dad, father of them all, who was never a part of Slick’s life…until now. We’re excited about that. And we’d greatly appreciate your prayers for them all as we join forces with Wendi, Terrie and Kim (a new believer) in effort to win the others to Christ.

Zoe is up to 28 states as we continue eastbound, stopping for a week to focus on homework, rest and recovery…and a great rail-trail (bike trail). One final push eastbound will bring us to many friends and family before we depart in August.

The Petersons - Wendi, Molly, Michael, Jacob & Scott (l to r) - and us

With unexplainable peace and endurance this past month, we’ve experienced God’s response to your intercession – thank you for praying! Please continue to let us know how we can pray for and praise with you.

From the vantage point atop a steep airstrip we watched a second little airplane set up for landing. It turned and descended, lining up with the runway, then disappeared below the hill’s crown. Pregnant silence followed as sagebrush and grasses muffled the quiet engine noise. Suddenly the red-tipped wings reappeared, rising smoothly up the flattening slope and rolling to a stop abeam our airplane. My instructor, Scott, spoke briefly with the plane’s occupants, shouting through the open window, before they pushed the throttle forward and rolled back down the hill. Again they disappeared over the hill, but flew gracefully into view a moment later, skimming along the lush Idaho valley below us. That was the entertainment during our lunch break at Moriah Airstrip, which starts at a ten degree slope and levels off to just two degrees at the top.

Even more thrilling was the lunch we had a few days later, when God moved one of Slick’s sisters to begin a relationship with Jesus! “Lord, thank You for drawing Kim to Yourself. Please help her to become firmly grounded in knowledge and experience of You!”

With flying training complete, we embark on the last block of our support-raising journey which will traverse roughly 17 states in the next two months. Knowing the effectiveness of your prayers, please join us in petitioning for safe travels, productivity on the road as we begin our final seminary classes, and the ability to encourage the people we visit.

See you in the “throne room” 🙂 !

In His grip –
Slick & Donna

Where are we now? View the map.

 Fellow trainee and mission pilot from New Guinea, Tim prepares to drop a package toward the “drop zone” on the dry lake bed (can you see the open window?).

 Here are more pictures from our training and travels.

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