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  • Rebecca Stevenson

ADVENTIST WORLD AVIATION: Update from the Home Mission Field

Kris and her family at Butch’s memorial service.

While Adventist World Aviation (AWA) frequently flies over foreign soil, we also fly over homegrown soil here in the US of A. From AWA’s HQ hangar and office, just outside Raleigh, North Carolina, God orchestrates some amazing local missions that inspire and bring transformation!

One of those missions involved a woman named Melanie. Melanie is an extraordinary woman of faith who had been battling an incorrectly diagnosed form of cancer. The disease was killing her, and her only option was a high-risk surgery that she was told would yield one of two outcomes: either she would die on the table, or never walk again. When AWA got the news of this risky surgery, we doubled down on our prayers and called for a team of prayer

warriors at church. We placed her in God’s hands and waited.

Melanie taking her flight with AWA.

Then we got the call that Melanie had made it through the grueling 18-hour surgery and was wiggling her toes! She was alive and able to move! She went through about three weeks of rehab near Johns Hopkins, and when we went to pick her up to take her back to South Carolina, she was walking with a walker—no more cancer—and was ready to see her family! What a blessing it was to see her reunited with her loved ones after a month of separation!

Little Walter was a young Chippewa boy AWA flew last fall who had stage four neuroblastoma cancer. While he has been through trial and fire since then, we have prayed and watched throughout his many treatments. Through them all, this little boy hasn’t given up or given out. He had a tube in his nose for feedings, but he is now without the tube and is beginning to look a little healthier. God answers prayers to extraordinary degrees. Though Walter still has a

ways to go, he has in fact improved, even if in small increments. That is worthy of our joy!

Another of our recent flights was for a widowed husband and father, Butch. His wife had died from complications from Covid and his daughter, Kris, needed to relocate him from Georgia to her home in Durham, North Carolina. Pastor Ric Swaningson, AWA director, came to the rescue with the offer of an angelwing flight, and Butch was transported to his new home. Once he was settled in, the joyful adventure was just beginning. Kris and Butch began doing Bible studies with Pastor Ric. They fell in love with the Word of God like never before, and before long, both Butch and Kris found themselves standing in the baptistry at the Wilson First Seventh-Day Adventist church in Wilson, North Carolina.


Angels sang as they were submerged in the baptismal pool and began their committed walk with Jesus. Sadly, Butch fell ill and was in and out of the hospital, the doctors finding a brain bleed and other troubles that he would not recover from. Butch died on May 19th in the VA hospital of Durham, and though our hearts are saddened by this, what a beautiful beginning to eternity. He fell asleep in Jesus, and to him it will be but a moment before he sees his Lord

and Savior on that glorious resurrection morn! Kris holds that bright hope, and is in awe that

God has used Butch’s passing to open the door to witness to her other family members.

These are examples of the impact your prayers and donations have on those served by AWA. You keep us flying and bringing hope into the lives of many precious souls. Thank you for our support and for being a part of this journey with us. Learn more at

—by Rebecca Stevenson

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