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 30, 2008 David Slack: Missionary Pilot, part 2

The Liberty Gazette
September 30, 2008

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

So what’s it like going on a mission trip with Sus Manos Extendidas? “We have anywhere from 25-32 people from all walks of life going on each trip,” says pilot David Slack of Mont Belvieu, “people with all types of skills, not just medical. A couple of ladies who go with us every time are in their seventies. They are just great! They work out in the heat and cold taking vitals and treasure the opportunity to serve.”

Patients are served out of a bus converted to a mobile clinic. “When the bus was donated we didn’t have money to outfit it,” David explained. “After work began donations started coming in; ministers at Maranatha built the cabinet, a friend installed Formica, a dentist gave us his dental compressor, dental chair and x-ray machine; many others with the necessary skills joined. We are so blessed. The body of Christ working together is awesome!” After 10 years of service the group is hoping to replace the mobile clinic starting with a new diesel bus, “because each mission depends on everything operating.” But for now, thanks to the group’s mechanical skills, they have learned to “fix it” even becoming amateur dental equipment technicians.

As we listened, I wondered how flight operations in Mexico have changed over the years, considering today’s drug trafficking. Aircraft theft to support drug trafficking is high, and a common trick is to plant drugs on an airplane. “Yes, things have changed for us,” David answered. “We only fly into federally secured airports now, where the military is on guard.” As a result, there are fewer places to land without the threat of running into drug smugglers, but the group has been cautious and has never had any problems.

Linda: David is one local pilot making a difference in the world. He invites people of all denominations to join him on a mission trip, and you don’t have to be in the medical field to go. “I love taking people on their first mission trip because I know how it changes people’s lives. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Baptist or Catholic or Methodist or whatever. My bible doesn’t have those words in it. In Roman 10: 9-10 it simply says; ‘That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.’ (KJV) It’s the individual’s own responsibility to ‘work out their own salvation’ in light of the word of God. (Phil 2:12-13) We just love to introduce people to the mission field where we hope they get a vision for service.”

If you’d like to talk with David about mission trips to Mexico, contact him at 281-808-7892. You won't know what you’re missing until you go.

Mike and Linda can be reached at

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