This issue’s interview is part two with Chester and Amy Davis. I’ve known Chester and Amy for 15 years now. They live with their four young children in Lincoln, Nebraska while Chester finishes up a mechanical engineering degree.
Chester and Amy present some ideas here that are challenging and outside of the norm; I was hoping for this when I emailed them about doing this interview. In their own words, they are living intentionally. Their intention: To serve God in the area of missions that uses their gifts and fills a need. They are as dedicated as anyone I’ve personally known in living out this desire. While not everyone will agree with all of their observations or exhortations, the sacrifices they’ve made along the way are something every aspiring missionary needs to seriously consider.
Propel: How long have you been interested in long-term missions? When and how did this interest begin?
Chester: I was brought up in an environment where it was not possible to be completely self-absorbed and where ministry in all forms was encouraged. So it really has never crossed my mind to not be involved in some type of ministry. Going the standard route of fifty-plus hours a week and watching football on weekends has been something that is near repulsive to me. The only specific change I recall is that while in the Military my heart was enlarged towards other nations and cultures.
Amy: When I was young my parents wanted to be missionaries, so I’ve always looked up to missionaries as some sort of celebrity, hoping that someday I would be that cool. With age that has taken different forms; I chose to major in computer science in college so that I could perhaps use that computer skill to work with Wycliffe. During college I was involved with International student ministry, then I wanted to go to India or a Muslim country. After getting married, we learned that JAARS does research and development in the missionary aviation field, and think that this is a good match for the passions and abilities that God has given us.
Propel: You’ve been pursuing missions aviation for a number of years now. How and why is aviation important to missions?
Chester: Aviation remains a key component to world missions because of the lack of transportation infrastructure in the undeveloped portions of the world where missionaries are doing Bible translation and humanitarian oriented ministry. While the need has declined since the advent of radio and satellite communication, some locations simply require access for supplies and personnel that is not feasible by other means. Missions and aviation has always turned my crank, and so when the opportunity to combine these things exists why would I look for anything else?
Propel: You’ve committed to a significant amount of schooling in order to fulfill a specific need in the missions community. How does a person interested in missions weigh the pros and cons of such lengthy preparation in lieu of getting to the field more quickly? (more…)