Joy is in the Journey

As I sit leaning against our couch in our own apartment, I am overwhelmed again by the goodness of God, and the compassion that He has shown towards us.

I could reflect on His abundance in providing an awesome job in a great location, with fantastic bosses, but that happened a long time ago.

I could reflect on His blessing me with a beautiful baby girl, her loving older brother, and the world’s greatest mother as a wife, but that was so two weeks ago!

I could reflect on His greatness in providing us time with family, with my mom who arrived hours before we went to the hospital, with Sarah’s parents visiting us for a week, and getting the chance to talk to my younger (taller) brother during the drive from the airport during a lightning-fast trip to Denver.

But the blessings that have overwhelmed me tonight lie neither in the occupational, material, nor even the relational blessings God has given us (though they are great). Throughout today I have just been reveling in the greatness of His peace, and the joy that comes from a simple life.

I have been working hard since Arianna was born. My work was very flexible to allow me to take four days off for her birth and getting her settled back at home, but after that I launched back in, picking up an extra day to make up some of the difference. Then last week I worked Sunday-Thursday while Sarah’s parents were visiting, then flew up to Denver to drive the 13 hours back to Phoenix with our new/old car (my beloved PT) on Friday. Sunday, I was back at work again, until today I finally (and accidentally) got some rest.

I didn’t realize how much I needed a break. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

Today, I spent time with my man Giolo. We wrestled and ate and did man stuff.

Today, I spent time with my lady Ari. I held her and tickled her and tried to coax a smile from her beautiful face.

Today, I spent time with my gorgeous princess of a wife. We shopped and talked and lived life together.

This is what it should be about. This is what we have been missing. It’s so easy to get bogged down by work and politics and the things of everyday life that we miss the joy of the journey. I know I do. But today has been a reminder to me that there is more to life than advancing professionally, than earning beaucoup bucks, than being up to date on the latest gizmos. It’s a life of simplicity that I yearn for.

Lord, thank You for Your rest. Lord, thank You for Your peace. Lord, thank You for Your Spirit in our lives. May all who read this thirst for and know the eternal goodness of the joy You have given us through Your name. Amen.

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Second Coming!

For those of you who don’t know, October 22 is a significant date for us Seventh-Day Adventists.  Back in 1844, there was a group of people who, through careful study of the Bible, concluded that Jesus must be returning on that date, because it marked the end of the 2,300-day time prophecy in Daniel 8.  When He didn’t come, it became known as the Great Disappointment.  That event, however, was the seed that eventually led to the creation of the Seventh-Day Adventist church.

And while Jesus didn’t come that day as expected, we know He will come very soon.  It’s clear as day.  Like the pains of a woman in labor, our world is obviously starting to accelerate into the sorrows we know must take place before He comes.

This date, however, has gained a greater significance for us as a family this year.  Just as careful study led people to prepare for Jesus’ arrival at the end of a period of time, scientific evidence has led us to prepare for a certain date at the end of a fixed time. Like many who were excited for that day, we also are excited.  And while we don’t know the exact moment, we see signs that convince us this event is right around the corner!  There will probably be some labor pains that one of us will have to deal with too…

Have you guessed it yet?  That’s right!  We have our own little second coming this October 22!


Little sister, on the way!

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Before they call…

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”  Isaiah 65:24

I cruise along the freeway, taking in New Mexico’s wonderful sunset. Soft blues and brilliant pinks shared space with small dark pockets of thunderstorms, like God was using flint in a vain attempt to relight the sky. I set aside my phone and turn off my audiobook playing in the background, and take a couple moments to reflect on God’s goodness over this trek across the length and breadth of America.

It has been a long couple of days, complete with over 1,800 miles of driving and several signs of God’s protection. An almost-accident just before crossing the Mississippi. A couple would-be tickets. He kept me from slamming our roof-mounted bike into the concrete barrier of a low clearance had I continued forward like I normally would have. He made me see a man peek through a car’s window before jumping into his own, inspiring me to tuck our bike and stroller into the hotel room with me rather than leaving them in their vulnerable travel positions atop the car. Yes, God has been guiding and protecting me.

The latest is most impressive yet, and had happened only a moment before. A storm was bristling right before me, daring me to enter its depths. The road seemed to be leading straight into the darkest section, while not 20 miles to either side the playful tints of sunset were tickling the tempest’s edge. But the storm looked deep.

“Oh Lord,” I cried out, “I am on pace to get to Albuquerque by 9pm already. If I have to power through, I may not arrive until 10 or later! I don’t think I have the strength in me for an extra hour, particularly after battling such a storm.” I inch closer and closer to the storm, still appreciating New Mexico’s 75mph speed limit despite the extra haste into the impending doom.

“But You have been with me. I was looking forward to the easy drive tomorrow, only 6 hours instead of 14! But if you want me to stop in Tucumcari for the night, I’ll accept the extra 2.5 hours tomorrow.”

Just then the road turned about 45 degrees right. Then another right turn. Before I knew it, the road had taken a route just skirting the edges of the storm, and I raced around it, receiving only a couple of sprinkles on my windshield. I couldn’t believe it!

“Before they call, I will answer.”

Sure enough! God had answered my prayer 40 or more years before, when he guided the builders of the road to make a bend at just that moment, and take a new route! Hahaha!  Is there anything our God can’t do?!

I continued to reflect, and God opened to my eyes wonderful things, very simple and straightforward, to understand His plan for our lives.

Pulling into my hotel for the night in Albuquerque, I was greeted by a nice gentle Irish accent, and a surprisingly reasonable room rate. Yes, God has been good to me. On this trip, and through all my life. He is my God, and I find rest in Him.

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Well, the sweepstakes are over, and the results are in. After fully or partially completing 20 applications, 4 phone interviews, 5 full interviews, a turned-down job, and a final little push, we have accepted an offer of employment.

We are going to Phoenix, Arizona.

I’ll be a flight instructor for TransPac Aviation Academy at Deer Valley Municipal Airport (north of downtown Phoenix). I didn’t really want to go back to flight instruction, but I guess God knows best. They actually offered a pretty decent payscale and benefits package, considering many entry-level flying jobs really seem to be geared towards kids still living with their parents with no financial responsibility.

The deciding factor of this job, though, is that they were willing to give me Sabbaths off, guaranteed. Plus I’ll be home every night, which was important to us since we still need time to reset and reestablish who we are as a family here in the U.S.

Thank you all for your prayers and support, and especially a very special thank you to our friends who gave us the ability to get my CFI back. You know who you are!

We’ll be packing this week, and next week I start the long drive from New York to Phoenix so that I’ll be ready to start training September 19. The company will lodge us for 5 weeks in a furnished apartment while we find a place of our own. Any contacts who might be able to help us with this are appreciated!



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Stand Still…

Here’s just a little update since our post last week:

Praise God, I (David) was able to make it out to Southern California for my grandpa’s memorial service. It was a good time for catching up with family, and celebrating the life of another man who I take after. I’ll be posting a little of his story in another post soon. Hearing his story helped me understand myself a little bit better as well. But that’s for next time.

Concerning Cape Air, I had to turn down the job. As I had mentioned, I had some questions still, questions concerning working on Sabbath hours. I asked if I could have any assurance that the company would even be willing to put any effort into helping me keep Sabbath, since I’d be signing what would be at least a 15-month contract with steep penalties for backing out mid-contract; they were unwilling. So as much as I would love to work for them, I would rather walk in God’s way, even if it takes the sacrifice.

Just a couple days ago I shared this with a friend, just while we were catching up on life. This friend turned and handed me a wad of cash, saying, “Go get your flight instructor’s license back. I believe God will honor you because you are honoring Him by standing firm on the Sabbath, and I want to help.” Wow! I thanked them profusely, and am amazed at God and how He provides in all situations! And God will bless these friends even more, I know.

The amazingness didn’t stop there. With the cash as the catalyst, I messaged an old friend of mine in Dayton who could get me reinstated. I saw him today. He gave me his time for free! And I got my CFI back! Amazing how God continues to work.

While I was chatting with him after the paperwork had all been completed, I mentioned that I was still looking for a job, and that the biggest thing that’s kept me from getting one till now has been my commitment to keep the Sabbath as a day without work.

That opened a door, and he started asking questions.

“Why are you so firm on keeping Saturday? What difference does it make?”

“Well, it’s to remember that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, and on the seventh day he rested.”

He shared his beliefs on the subject, and that he didn’t think the Bible had much merit or reliability to it (even though he says he’s a Methodist), and truth can come from any number of areas.

“True,” I said, “But remember that Jesus Himself prayed that God sanctify believers ‘by [His] truth; [His] Word is truth.’ If we can’t believe what the Bible says, what else is there to believe in?”

I left it at that, not wanting to push him more. We talked a little more, then, hoping for a mite of hope from someone who’s spent his entire life in the aviation world, I asked, “Is there any pilot job you can think of that would be willing to work with me on getting Saturdays off? I’ve only ever heard of one, but it’s in Alaska [and we’d rather be closer to family; I’ve applied, and haven’t heard back from Alaska anyways].”

“Not really,” he replied. “You’d be better off just changing your religion.”

How easy it must be to give up something you don’t believe in. Fortunately, I believe in the power and truth we find in God’s word.

All seems to be lost, there seems to be nothing available that will satisfy my occupational desires while still meeting my spiritual, familial, and financial needs. I’m burned out by searching page after page of job postings. I have nowhere else to turn.

Praise God!

When we have nowhere to turn, but we know God has led us to where we are, that’s where God parts the waters. That’s where God turns the enemy one on another. There is nothing impossible with Him. The binds that have kept many faithful Adventist pilots in the smaller quadrants of aviation because of the unavailability of Sabbath respecting jobs will not hold sway, because God will provide an answer. He has not led me to this point for me to be another statistic of Adventist aviators with broken dreams. But it won’t be because of anything I have done, but it will be God’s power in action. And those who don’t believe will see it and know God’s power to save.

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you.” (If you need help finding where that quote’s from, ask me).

By this you will know God has pleaded my case, if I get a job that will:

  • Guarantee cooperation in giving me Sabbaths off
  • Bring me home most every night
  • Be financially sufficient for our family
  • Be flying passengers to various points throughout the U.S. and the world

“Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.”

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God always provides!

Today we have been shown greatly the goodness and provision of God.

Over the past month and a half, I (David) have been looking for a job to provide for us now that God is bringing us back to the US. I’ve been knocking on all sorts of doors waiting to see what will open. 15 applications, to be exact. Of those, 10 have replied, 5 have done at least a preliminary interview by phone or one in person, and had 2 full interviews, one about three weeks ago in Connecticut, the other this past Wednesday in Boston.

It has been a very informative search; I can’t imagine what kind of difficulties other pilots go through, particularly those with less time than my over 1,000 hours. On top of all that, we’ve been trying to prioritize towards jobs that would allow me to be home more often than not, which is hard to find among most pilot jobs.

Finally, this afternoon, I got a phone call from the pilot recruiter for Cape Air, the company I interviewed with last week. Within a matter of seconds, our hopes for a job went from hopeful to ecstatic. They’ve offered me a job! Of the group of 10 that I interviewed with, 5 of us will be hired. To top it off, we had been shown the spaces left available for the next several training classes. I was offered the soonest class, starting September 7, which will affect my seniority within the company once we get going, and which also gives me more options for where to base compared to my fellow interviewees. It’s the best situation I could possibly get right now for this position with Cape Air. One last verification of some questions with the chief pilots, and I hope to move forward with the job!

Unless we miraculously get a job offer from Corning, Inc. just down the road from us here in NY within the next couple days. That would be an absolute miracle considering we’re currently at the step of “friends within the company are looking into it and asking around,” but I suppose anything can happen with God.

The other providence of God today has come in the form of a specific answered prayer. A couple weeks ago, my mom’s father passed away at 93 ½, just 10 weeks after my grandpa on my dad’s side passed away. The memorial service for Grandpa Goude is this week, and I really wanted to make it to CA for it, but we didn’t have the money for me to make the trip. At all. But I prayed about it, and I let God know that I’d really like to be there, but I refuse to buy on credit to get there.

Also happened today, my mom called to say a friend had saved up money for us, and wanted to help me get to the service. Not knowing our needs, she gave almost exactly the amount we needed for me to get to SoCal in time, and I quickly bought the ticket.

God is so good, and His mercy endures forever!

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Our dear friends, supporters, and prayer warriors,


Over the past few months, we have spent a large amount of time in prayer and reflection concerning our work in Chad.  Through this time of careful soul-searching, we have confirmed that God has called us out of Chad.We have hesitated to make this public because we do not know where our next step will be, whether we will continue as missionaries, or return to the workforce in America.  It is also humbling because some regard us as heroes, and stepping away from that will be seen as cowardice, poor spiritual strength or endurance, or ignoring God’s calling in our lives and running away like Jonah.  But we are confident that God is leading us, and that He will make our next step clear to us.


Thank you all for your support and love throughout our time in Chad.  Really, from the depths of our heart, thank you!  You brought us encouragement, strength, and hope.  You were God’s hands supplying all our needs.  You made an impact in the lives of hundreds of babies, as well as all who hear the gospel through the continued ministry of the aviation program.  We literally could never have done any of it without you, your prayers, and your support.  Thank you!


We ask your prayers as we seek God’s next step in our lives.

With love,

David & Sarah


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Thank you for all the prayers and encouragement these past few weeks. We will be taking a break and going back to New York this coming week. We are looking forward to time to reflect and rest. Thanks again for your continued prayers. 
With love,


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What I Wish I Knew Before Going into the Mission Field:

Did you know…?

“In Holmes and Rahe’s original study on stress, they found that when people scored 200 points or more in a given year the cumulative stress had an impact well beyond that year. They found that 50% of those scoring 200 points were hospitalized within the subsequent two years for heart attacks, diabetes, cancer, or severe illness. The average cross cultural worker scores around 600 points. With around 800-900 points the first year of ministry.” (Heartstream ministries).

I was curious what our score for that same test would be from this past year. Sure enough, we are just like most cross culture workers scoring more than 600 points in a given year. And I thought this year was going better than the previous two years we have spent in Chad…

The truth is, this past year we had a lot of stress building up ready to explode like a time bomb. After having our amazing beautiful baby boy, just two weeks later we were on the road covering 25 states mostly by car going for 5 months doing presentations and attending General Conference and Adventist Layman-Services and Industries along the way. The whole time we didn’t have a home or bed to call our own for more than two weeks at a time.

We were so ready to go back to our simple life in Africa but then things got complicated. There was a mass missionary evacuation in Chad and we weren’t sure whether to go back or to stay in the states longer. So we had to change our tickets at the last minute and drive from Denver to New York one last time. Once in New York, David left for Chad without Joel and I for two weeks. We finally met up with him there and we were ready to get back into our “normal” daily routine here if that really exists. But the first night I spent in Chad I got very sick and found out that David also got really sick as soon as he got back onto Chadian soil. We laughed it away as a nice welcome home, but in reality, was it our bodies just telling us they were done with all the traveling and stress we had put them through?

We re-adjusted back into speaking French, no electricity, constant misunderstandings, corruption, and so many other things that resemble normal to us. As I write this Joel is playing in a termite mound. You get the point; things are different here and it takes time to cross cultures.

Although, stress builds up here too. From goat strikes, to non-operating fuel selectors, to needing a long list of airplane parts, the plane has been down for roughly 7 months. It has been one roadblock to the next. Volunteers also came one after the other and I was cooking for all of them without a refrigerator. Then we finally had a “break” going to the game park, but David was sick the whole time and was working 6-7 hours a day. Then we finally moved into our new house with electricity and clean water! After the move we both got very sick for several months and we now realize that must have been our bodies telling us again that enough is enough! Soon after, David’s grandpa’s health declined and he then passed away, so David went back to the states for two weeks to be with family during the difficult time. While he was gone, I got sick again from the stress of being alone here, and then Joel got malaria. After that David finally came back home and got tonsillitis. And now my uncle just got diagnosed with cancer and is struggling for his life.

There’s our year in a nutshell. Not to mention, people coming to us during this time with requests of loans to feed their families, and mothers needing money to pay for their severely malnourished child’s medical bill, and church members coming to ask for help with their child’s school bill, and a constant bombardment of requests for us to help them.

This is just this past year. All along our journey of 2 ½ years of mission work we have dealt with a lot of change and a lot of stress that has just been building up over time. Our breaks have been for language school and always trying to increase awareness of our projects, which really isn’t a break at all.

But we realize something we never saw before: we are burned out. No wonder we feel so compassionless, so dissatisfied with our work, so discouraged, and broken. Because when you live like this, your re-charge time is eaten up by knocks at the door, and the time you have with your spouse is always at a cost of that or more sleep, and the time you take with God can be missed or shortened because of a crying baby or running out of gas for the stove while trying to make breakfast. There is always something demanding our attention it seems.

So, what is it that I wish I knew before going into foreign missions? I wish I knew that it is a common thing for missionaries to burn out. One blog I have been reading said that, “The statistics are scary: 80% of missionaries burn out and don’t finish their term. 46% of missionaries have been diagnosed with a psychological issues, and of those 87% are diagnosed with depression.” I wish I knew this so we could have been building in real breaks and boundaries all this time. I wish we could have realized, the front lines that mission work is, that it’s common to have casualties and wounds and side effects of the war, so to speak.

So now you know… we are burned out, spent, and adrenaline fatigued. We need a break. A real break without presentations or meetings to go to or prepare. A time to restore back to health and recover from being on the front lines of working for God. I know you never would have known if we never told you so we wanted to make our needs clear. We don’t have the funds to do this and we feel selfish for asking for a vacation, but if we don’t we know we won’t last much longer in overseas service.


During this time we ask for your prayers and your support whether it be monetary or emotional. We love all of you and know we are safe to say these things because you care for us and you want to see the work move forward just like we do. Thank you for always being there for us.


With love,


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Bob Macomber

I look out the airplane window as we approach N’Djamena. There are storms in the area, and lightening lights up the clouds with flashes of brilliance. The desert below me is blocked from view by the dust, which covers the landscape like a layer of fog. Sunset comes, making the sky a brilliant royal blue, casting light on the clouds, and long shadows behind. The beauty, marking the end of the Sabbath, inspires me to quietly sing to God.

“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from the world of care,
And bids me, at my Father’s throne,
Make all my wants and wishes known.

In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief.
And oft escaped the tempers snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”

Tears well up in my eyes as my song triggers memories of another flight, not even two weeks before.

It was night, and the lights of towns and cities shone up at me. Water refracted the light of the moon. There were also thunderstorms in the area. But this time, I was not admiring the view. Suspended in the air above southeast Michigan, my heart was 2,000 miles away, beside a bed in Riverside Community Hospital, where my dad, his four siblings and their mother were gathered to sing and celebrate the life of their father and husband, the Honorable Judge Robert D. Macomber.

He served in Europe during World War II, then spent 10 years teaching Chemistry before deciding to go back to school to fulfill a life-long dream to be an attorney. After some time, he became a judge, which he continued in until retirement. Even after he retired, my grandpa would sit in as a visiting or substitute judge in various courthouses throughout Southern California until 2012, when he was 86. He was well-respected by all, and widely regarded as one of the most straight-forward and integrous judges. In appreciation for his service to the city, the La Sierra Branch of the Riverside Public Library was named after him.

My dad emailed me about a month ago that Grandpa was slowing down, and starting to fall regularly. With several other family members in poor health, I had mentioned to Jonathan that I or we may have to leave soon for a funeral. So when Grandpa fell and cracked a vertebra, I was on high alert. A day or two later he was moved to the ICU for reasons unrelated to the fall, so after consulting with my Dad, I left Sarah and Joel at home, and jumped a bus to N’Djamena Monday night, heading back to the US. By the time I reached my last layover in Washington DC on Wednesday night, the decision had been made to remove my grandpa’s life support at 9:30pm and let him pass into the sleep of death, surrounded by his family, singing hymns and sharing stories.

Thus it was, at that set time, that I found myself on the plane, looking out over the Great Lakes, bawling and singing with songs of my own. He died that same night, just an hour after I arrived home to Denver. I then continued on to California to be with the family.

I can’t tell you all the courts where Grandpa Mac served, or the various boards he sat on. But I can tell you he was a man who lived his passion, and loved his family. As kids, we went to their river house in Arizona during the summer. We rode the Colorado River on jet-skis, and boated all over Lake Havasu, my grandpa smiling at the controls the entire time. When we saw each other, he’d often greet us, “Who dat?” The proper reply was always, “who dat who say ‘who dat’?” Then, “who dat who say ‘who dat’ when I say who dat?” He would keep going with more who dats than my young mind could ever process, and laugh as I stuttered through an attempt to add even more. He always had witty little comments that came out at unexpected times. For instance, one day, when we were eating mixed peas and carrots for lunch, he reminded us all to “eat every carrot, and pee on your plate.”

Praise God for the life that he lived, and the example he was. Praise God for the hope and promise of the resurrection. I can’t wait to see him again.

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Isaiah 6:8

Isaiah 6:8


Isaiah 6:8

Olen and Danae

Isaiah 6:8