The Whiteheads began their missionary service with MAF in Nicaragua in 1993. They then served in Venezuela and after 11 years, accepted an assignment as Program Manager in Shell, Ecuador, in 2005. In 2009 the MAF program in Ecuador transitioned to a national program, and Dan was very involved in that transition. After a four-year stint as the Regional Director for MAF in Latin America, Dan has recently returned to working full-time with the MAF national affiliate in Ecuador, Alas de Socorro del Ecuador (ADSE). ADSE continues the service that MAF began in Ecuador almost 70 years ago. Dan enjoys working with the Christian national staff of ADSE as they use aviation to minister to isolated people in Ecuador. Dan shares, “I keep returning to God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10 when I start to worry or fret about things. He is the One who keeps me and gives me strength.” Away from the hangar, he continues to enjoy music and act as worship leader and Sunday school teacher at their local church.
Tracey juggles a multitude of ministries, in addition to creating a loving Christian home for her family. Many people still stop by to visit the Shell base because they were touched by the story of the 5 missionaries, including MAF pilot Nate Saint, killed by the Waorani Indians more than 50 years ago. Tracey helps the Shell base by coordinating the use of the guest apartments and the historic Nate Saint house. By purchasing supplies and coordinating their shipment to remote interior jungle sites, Tracey provides a valuable service to the interior jungle missionaries too. She also enjoys participating in the ladies Bible studies that are always available in the mission community. Tracey loves Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”She says this is her goal, to love the Lord with all her being.
Dan grew up in Iowa, and Tracey in Virginia. Both had Christian families and accepted Christ as young children. They met while they were participating in the Continental Singers, a Christian singing group. Tracey says, “During our time with the Continental Singers, God was preparing us for a future in missions. We can look back and see how God used that time to teach us about missions, other cultures, and ways we could be used to serve overseas.”
Dan attended the Advanced Studies Program at Moody Bible Institute, and earned his commercial pilot’s license with instrument rating at Moody Aviation in Tennessee. Dan and Tracey married while Dan was attending Moody Aviation and Tracey took Bible correspondence courses there. They have three children, Jake, Nick, and Lydia, who have grown up in Latin America.
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 Whiteheads’ ministry. Please prayerfully consider becoming a Ministry Partner with them through prayer and/or financial support.