formerly "The View From Up Here"

Formerly titled "The View From Up Here" this column began in the Liberty Gazette June 26, 2007.

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September 16, 2008 David Slack: Missionary Pilot, part 1

The Liberty Gazette
September 16, 2008

The View From Up Here
By Mike Ely and Linda Street Ely

Growing up without material wealth, one might get caught up in the trap of self serving activities where a society emphasizes materialism as the savior of all things worthy. There are those who have responded to God’s call to be His hands extended and are blessed with what really matters: being an active participant in His plan. David Slack, of Mont Belvieu, is one of those.

To the glory of God, David and his wife Laverne are and have been involved in missions to Mexico since shortly after their wedding over 47 years ago. Following his service in the U.S. Navy David used his G.I. bill to learn to fly. After obtaining a commercial pilot license with airplane single engine, multi-engine, instrument and instructor ratings, he became a certified flight instructor and airframe and power plant mechanic. With these skills David began to serve missionaries and ministries in Mexico.

While he uses his airplane for business within the U.S., David’s helium leak testing service has taken him and his technicians to chemical and power plants as far away as Canada, Mexico, Aruba and Pakistan. His was the first business of its kind in this area. But his heart is in serving God.

Linda: In 1994 while serving at an orphanage, “Casa de Luce” in Mexico, the challenge to provide desperately needed medical assistance was made. David saw it as a way to help the people and share the Good News. He began a search for doctors who could commit to making a mission trips each year. Many were interested, but few would or could set aside the time. The late Dr. R.K. Smith from east Houston was the first to join. The need for dental services soon became apparent and Dr. William Andres, a Pasadena Texas dentist was the first to answer the call. Now fourteen years later, doctors and dentists from several states have joined the mission trips.

With the help and support of his church, Maranatha in Mont Belvieu, David and others converted a bus into a mobile clinic to reach the un-reached places of Mexico. He showed us photos of the inside of the bus. Its conversion is a testimony in itself. With a fully equipped pharmacy, dental areas and a medical consultation area it is possible for doctors and dentists to share the skills God has given.

The trips remained under the auspices of Maranatha church until 2004 when with the blessings and support of his Pastor Dr. Ronnie Trice the group became a mission organization called “Sus Manos Extendidas”, literally, “His Hands Extended.” The group makes four to five week-long mission trips to remote parts of Mexico each year, where people of all denominations that love serving and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ work side by side in “love and unity.”

Come back next week and read more about one of your neighbors with a real servant’s heart – one local pilot making a difference.

Mike and Linda can be reached at

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