Missionary Mechanic

Story by MAF pilot/mechanic Dave Petersen, who serves in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo with his wife, Ashley. It’s not just airplanes that need fixing, as Dave explains here.


If there is one thing that can be said about our life here in Nyankunde, it is that there is always something to be fixed. These past few months we have had to replace multiple parts of a turbine engine in a plane, split the tractor in half and replace the transmission case, rebuild two chain saws, put up more solar panels, swap two engines in our land cruisers, clean eight carburetors, rebuild a motorcycle engine, weld countless broken parts on everything that moves, and much more that I cannot remember.

Dave installing a turbine engine wheel at the maintenance base in Uganda.

If you are wondering at this point how I was trained for these things, the answer is that I wasn’t. Each day is a challenge and a new adventure. With a little bit of courage and a lot of tools, everything that breaks can eventually be fixed. Google and Youtube are your best friends when knowledge fails.

Swapping engines in one of the MAF base vehicles. They get incredible abuse on the local dirt roads.

The truth is that every small thing that is fixed is another piece of the big story that God is weaving together here in Congo, for His glory. Even the chain saw will be used to process lumber from the forest in the village of Itendey to build new hospital wards bringing the blessing of healthcare.

Splitting our tractor to replace the transmission case. Teammate Lary Streitzel (pictured here) mows the local soccer fields in his time off as a gift to the community which has no mower.


Thank you to everyone who gives and prays so that Dave and other pilot/mechanics and maintenance specialists can serve in this vital way.

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