Grady and Holly (Clark) Nace served with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Mozambique, Africa. Both Holly and Grady are pilots and used the gifts God gave them to fly national pastors, Bible translators, missionaries, medical teams, and air ambulance flights. Grady is also a mechanic and so worked inspecting, maintaining, and repairing the aircraft MAF uses in Mozambique. After their first term health reasons caused them to make the difficult decision to begin roles stateside instead of returning as planned.
Now Holly is privileged to combine her flying skills with her flight education degree. She works for the MAF training department; developing new course curriculum. As the world requires more and more of MAF to become commercial operators to serve in remote countries, new training courses are necessary to maintain our programs. Holly works part-time from their new home base in Tennessee. Grady has taken on a new challenge as well, outside of MAF. He works as an aviation high school teacher in a high poverty environment which gives him the chance to impact many young lives on a daily basis.
Their life revolves around more than just planes! They are busy raising their sons, Diego and Lucas. Diego is in fourth grade at his new school and Lucas will begin kindergarten fall 2020. Both boys loved life in Mozambique and their church and friends there. It is a slow adjustment for the whole family as they return to life stateside.
Grady grew up in Ferndale, WA, and was led to Christ at an early age by the example of his parents. Grady’s grandparents, missionaries on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, sparked his interest in missions.
Born and raised in Texas, Holly is the daughter, granddaughter, and niece of pilots. With aviation deep in her blood, she became a private pilot in high school. She was also blessed to grow up in a Christian family and trusted Christ at an early age. She credits God for an amazing scholarship that opened the door for her to attend the University of North Dakota (UND). Her relationship with the Lord deepened and grew more intimate as a result of her interaction with the many committed Christians she met there (including Grady!).
Grady and Holly met through InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and became good friends as they earned additional pilot and instructor ratings. They began dating while flight instructing at UND and were married in 2008, during their time as CRJ First Officers for Pinnacle Airlines. As their hearts opened more fully to pursuing missionary aviation, they took a leave from the airline, and attended Portantorchas Bible School in Costa Rica. Their son, Diego, was born while they were there, in 2010.
After Bible school, Grady received an aviation mechanic internship near his hometown in Washington. Both Grady and Holly feel blessed to have flown smaller aircraft part-time for a local air taxi while Grady completed his mechanic certification – just in time to interview with MAF in the fall of 2013. Their youngest, Lucas, was born the year the Naces officially joined MAF, and was just old enough for Grady and Holly to do their MAF flight standardization on time in spring 2015.
God’s timing is perfect, and as Grady and Holly look back on their lives and how the Lord has prepared them, they are working hard, through the Lord’s strength, to daily “run the race” entrusted to them. Even when that race takes an unexpected course and some blind faith to run.
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 Naces’ 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.