Mission Aviation Alumni

Ken Bailey, Wycliffe Bible Translators - JAARS, LETU Class of 1973

"In the case of JAARS, the primary focus of missionary aviation is providing communication and logistical support to our linguists, so that they can stay on task doing Bible translation. The linguists do Bible translation with the God-given gift of language. I do Bible translation with my God-given gift of working with things mechanical."  Read more...


Keith Betsch, SIL International, LETU Class of 1983

"When I was in sixth grade, the Lord called me to be a missionary pilot through hearing one speak in my church. I remembered thinking how fun it would be to do something fun like fly and airplane and still be a missionary. I grew up in Vietnam and Indonesia as a MK, so becoming a missionary was always a possibility in my thinking. As I got into high school, I began to doubt the reality of becoming a missionary pilot because of the cost of schooling and licensing." Read more...


Bruce Hansen, Wycliffe Bible Translators - JAARS, LETU Class of 1987

"My name is Bruce Hansen. I attended LeTourneau as a married student from 1984-87 majoring in aviation technology. My wife Jenny worked as a R.N. at Good Shepherd Medical Center for many hours to help put me through school. After I graduated from LeTourneau, I worked as a flight instructor at LeTourneau for another few years to build flight hours. We had planned all along to go into missionary aviation after finishing school." Read more...


Brad Hopkins, MAF, LETU Class of 2002

"Born and raised in Indiana, I grew up wanting to be a pilot. But I always wanted to fly and live my life with a purpose. The only “purposeful” flying I knew of was military flying. So, I joined the Army, hoping to ultimately get a college scholarship to be able to learn to fly and become a military officer and pilot. While in the Army, I volunteered with a youth ministry and developed a passion for ministry." Read more...


Zach Osterloo, JAARS, LETU Class of 2006

"My name is Zach Osterloo, and I graduated from LeTourneau University in 2006. I am currently serving my first term on the field and am in the process of learning the local language. We are new to this line of work, and I am really looking forward to my first flight. I am a pilot/mechanic serving in Southeast Asia with a well-known humanitarian aviation support organization." Read more...


Randy Smyth, New Tribes Mission, LETU Class of 1984

"The early years of my life were spent in the Seattle, Wash. area. Boeing had a very large presence in the area, so we would often see the new airliners as they finished final assembly. There are many smaller airports in the Seattle area, so smaller aircraft were frequently overhead, and we often saw float planes operating off of the lakes." Read more...



Steve Straw, Air Cavalry, LETU Class of 1993

"Recently, the country of Gabon has been highlighted via the popular American reality television show, Survivor. During the first episode, I am told that one of the contestants was hurt. Within moments, a medic arrived and attended to his injuries. Sadly, this is not possible for rest of the men, women and children of this beautiful continent. The average person in Sub-Saharan Africa is a two-and-a-half day walk away from medical care." Read more...


Bill Wulff, JAARS, LETU Class of 1975

"My name is Bill Wulff, and I still consider myself an Iowa farm boy. During the summer between my junior and senior years in high school, one of my friends from church, Vernon Swartzrock, was piloting a rental aircraft from Charles City, Iowa back to LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. He crashed on take-off from Fayetteville, Ark. in a severe thunderstorm and was not discovered until many months later." Read more...


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