Since 1992, Dave and Linda McCleery have served the Lord in a variety of roles with MAF. Dave’s vast experience both as a seasoned field missionary pilot and in MAF management has led him to accept his current role as MAF’s Latin America Regional Director, overseeing ministry bases in seven countries in Central and South America. Additionally, Dave is involved in mobilizing new missionaries in the Midwest US since they are currently based in Michigan. Dave and Linda have two grown sons, Jonathan and Jacob.
Dave was born in Northern Ireland. His family immigrated to the United States when he was ten. After living in New Jersey for two years, they settled in Zeeland, Michigan. Through the guidance of his parents, he accepted Christ at a young age. While he was attending Northwestern College in Iowa, an MAF pilot made a presentation, which excited him as he had always had a desire to be a pilot, and the spark for missions was ignited. He received a BA in Business at Northwestern and at Moody Bible Institute he received a certificate in Missionary Aviation Technology. He is a commercial pilot with instrument, and multi-engine ratings and has an airframe and power plant mechanic’s license.
Linda grew up in Albert City, Iowa. She accepted the Lord as her Savior at a national youth convention when she was a senior in high school. She also attended Northwestern College in Iowa where she received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Sociology, Psychology and Secondary Education. Linda was influenced by the strong missions program at the school and went on a short-term summer mission trip to India. She says, “This confirmed my desire to serve Christ in some way through missions.” Dave and Linda met through a Bible study led by friends. They were married in 1986.
In the later few years when Dave served as the manager for the MAF Ecuador program, he became more impassioned to work with nationals and move the MAF program towards becoming a nationally-run entity. He also became more aware of changes in the mission world and began to see a real need for MAF to make a concerted effort to develop a more diverse international staff.
Dave says, “We live in exciting and yet unstable times. Connecting Christians and the US Church in partnership with our MAF staff and ministries overseas is vital to advance the Kingdom and for a healthy global Christian community.” Dave quotes Romans 12:5-6 (ESV) as a favorite passage, “…so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”
God calls the men and women of MAF to serve Him in unique ways. He may also be calling you to a special role in the McCleerys’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.
The U.S. offices of MAF serve as a hub for MAF services worldwide. A day in the life here includes specialized flight training, staff mobilization and counseling, purchasing and shipping of aircraft parts, finance and accounting, administration of an Internet gateway for worldwide email, fund raising, printing and mailing of various materials, and many, many more activities. Some staff serve around the country; training future pilots and mobilizing potential candidates to serve with MAF.
MAF missionaries raise support for a pooled fund out of which MAF covers salary, housing, benefits, and staff-related ministry expenses. MAF exercises discretion over the use of missionary support in the exercise of its mission and care of its staff.