Can you put a price on hope?

So what does it cost to do a year furlough? And why do a furlough anyway?

As far as why I had to take a furlough, there are several reasons. First and foremost was to gain some new support and also to sure up existing support by reporting on our Arctic ministry. There are other reasons for taking a furlough but we will just leave it at financial reasoning for the purpose of this update.

What does it cost? I could bore you with the details of each expenditure, but I think two bits of data will put the cost into perspective. We drove 65,226 kilometres or 40,529 miles on furlough. $12,399.06 was spent on diesel fuel for our furlough. That’s .19 cents per kilometer or .30 cents per mile.  If we drove 500 miles to a meeting, on average it costs $150.00 in fuel alone to attend the meeting. One way.

God again and again met our need and through the obedience of His people the horrific cost of travel was covered sooner or later. God has met our need according to His riches.

You might ask, “What was gained for the cause of Christ?” God honoured the preaching and many were stirred and made decisions of eternal consequences. Young people heard and saw how the Lord is working in our corner of the world. I believe preachers were encouraged and their resolve to be obedient in the area of missions was solidified. Several believers were unnaturally intrigued about missionary work and the call to the ministry. The Arctic received exposure as a truly “forgotten” mission field. And last but not least, hope for the indigenous people of the Arctic was facilitated with the logistics of adequate financial support for we who are called there.

Can you put a price on hope?

Back in the Arctic

Our furlough has ended with a grand total of 65226 KM driven or 40529 Miles. Many great memories were made and souls were touched in many services. The Lord gave us safety in our travels and the vehicle was outstanding serving our need.
Now we are gearing up to begin a push toward Tuktoyaktuk and seeing what the Lord will do there. Lois and I are relatively healthy yet tired and happy to be on one place. Thanks for your prayers and Lord willing the updates will be consistent and informative.

April 2012 Newsletter


Minus 40 Report

2012 Final Furlough Report




Dear Praying friends,


The scriptures tell the believer in Ephesians 3:20, Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,


This has always been one of those verses that I believe – because it is in the Bible, but had never really thought it was going to happen to me. (The part about, “above all I could ask or think”) Now the Lord has always fully met my need and more. He has met the desires of my heart. He has been absolutely wonderful every hour of every day and faithful with every heartbeat and breath.


But recently that, ‘above all we can ask or think’ part came to fruition twice.  While in Florida a small, inexpensive part failed in our truck and in the end caused the clutch and surrounding parts to fail. We were looking at nearly two thousand dollars worth of repairs. Lois and I figured how to scramble up and redistribute some funds within our checkbook, never thinking the finances would come from sources outside our own bank account. But God provided the total cost of the repair through a supporting church in Florida who knew of our plight. I never thought that it would not be our personal funds paying for the repair – but God had a better plan!


About that same time we received news that an offering had come in from the membership of a supporting church to cover the cost of a new snowmobile! Now I had thought and asked for the funds for a snowmobile, and three thousand dollars had come in toward that, but this topped off the remainder of the need and… The gift was so magnanimous that several thousand dollars were left over and were designated to go toward the renovations needed for the apartment within the church building in Tuktoyaktuk! Now I hadn’t even thought about that! Clear as a bell and without a doubt, God did that which was exceeding abundantly above all that I asked or thought!


I think about the souls in Tuk learning of and believing in Jesus Christ for salvation. I think about Tuk Baptist Church being solidified and strengthened into a lighthouse of truth in Tuk. I think about lives chained by sin and Christ breaking those chains and freedom experienced by the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic. I think about believers in Inuvik and Aklavik who have faithfully prayed for their relatives to be saved, receiving a call to hear of a loved one trusting Jesus. Oh, I can do some thinking. And God can and will do exceeding, abundantly above that, more than I have even thought about!


So far this furlough we have reported to many of our supporting churches and the Lord has seen fit to add six new supporters! Three opportunities remain to present our ministry and three whom we have already presented to will make a decision soon. There are two churches that are prayer supporters and will financially help us if they can. We are humbled at this and consider our furlough a success.


On or about the 21st of May we will start driving North. This newsletter will be the last of my furlough letters. Lois and I will once again leave behind family, friends, loved ones and the familiar sights and sounds of our childhood, youth and early adult years. Goodbyes will be tearful. But we will set our compass North. Toward a truly forgotten people and land.  And as our tears dry a resolve will set in our jaw and an expectation in our heart to see the Lord do that which is exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.


Thank you for your prayer and support.


Steve & Lois Donley

minus40 report

February 7, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter

Dear Praying friends,

A bit over 100 days and we will begin our return to the Arctic. We have added three new supporting churches with two pending since we started furlough. We have reported to many of the churches that currently support us if they contacted me and asked for a meeting. Our travels have taken us recently to Texas, Florida and Ontario. I’m writing this from Buffalo, NY and will be in Western Ohio this coming Sunday. Meetings in Michigan, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida will keep us busy through March.

Please specifically pray that the meetings in Wisconsin and Michigan will result in new support. Also please pray that the work of reporting to supporting churches will result in God meeting our needs for the far North. I have scaled back our wish list to two items on a must have list. We need our truck’s 4X4, shift on the fly feature repaired and we need a snowmobile in Tuk.

While stopped waiting for traffic a driver in a minivan plowed into the back of our truck right before Christmas. The eventual repair actually improved the overall condition of the vehicle. As well, we had a $2700.00 engine repair in Texas that solved a serious and potentially dangerous problem for Arctic extremes. You may also remember the heater core issues of September 2011 that were resolved in Ontario. Barring new difficulties and addressing the remaining 4X4 concerns, our vehicle will be in better condition than it has been for years. (By the way, it is a 2002 model with 226,000+ kilometers on it)

To go to Tuktoyaktuk without a good, reliable snowmobile would be foolishness. I said in an earlier wish list that $6,000.00 would get a reliable used snowmobile. I stand by that figure, but I am actually asking the Lord to provide His choice for me. Less or more, whatever He wants. So could you pray the remaining meetings might bring provision for this need as well?

Angie is in College in Florida and Lois and I are bona fide empty nesters. Adjustment is part of life and some changes are welcome and some are not. We constantly find His grace is sufficient. Our camper is pretty empty without Ang, but we are happy she is preparing to serve the King someday. We prayed for the Lord to put each of our children on the front lines and that is exactly what He is doing. Becky is in Rankin Inlet, Steven is currently in Inuvik, and Angie has inquired about Islamic people groups. Our hearts yearn for our 3, soon to be 4 granddaughters. However, Lois and I agree we would have it no other way. Children in the centre of God’s will are more to be desired than fine gold.

The ministry in Inuvik is operating fine without us and we sorely miss the people there and are counting the days until we meet again. Under new leadership they will have to look elsewhere for pastoral guidance and direction, but they will always be the recipients of our love and prayers.

Our sending church is going through a pastoral change and we are in prayer it will all turn out well. I have tried to be pulpit supply as often as my schedule allows. Leadership transitions are rarely crisp and precise events. Difficulties rise and fall and change is inevitable. These changes should be smooth with the Holy Spirit, but experience has us taught us to keep our eyes open. I will keep you informed of pertinent victories or necessary changes.


Thank you for your prayer and support,

Steve & Lois

Texas/Florida update

The holiday season came and went and we were blessed to spend it with family and friends. It was truly a joy to have some friends from the Arctic with us and the blend of North and South was special for us. We said goodbye to Becky, Nathan, Hayleigh and Alayna as they returned to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Lois, Angie and I are currently in Houston, Texas visiting her brothers and then we are on our way Pensacola, Florida to take Ang to PCC. We then will be official “empty nesters.” But we are so happy Ang is getting to go to college. It has been a dream of hers for some time. She has delayed college a couple of times to stay plugged into and invested in our ministry in the Arctic.

Our trip down to Texas was almost uneventful other than a nagging camper 12 volt problem. While here, our truck developed a starting problem and while it is in the shop for repair I have a bit of time to update our website.

January has been a bit on the lean side financially, as the meetings have been sparse. The post Christmas and New Years weeks are usually this way and thus our scheduling the Texas trip. But the Lord has been good and we are going to be fine.

Just before Christmas a guy rearended me and my truck was damaged. Insurance covered the repairs and a great body shop called “Walt’s Body Shop” near Columbiana, Ohio did an awesome job with the repairs and it was finished just in time to take off for this current trip. The truck is a 2002, and it looks better than it has for years! Roman 8:28 proves true again!

Dec 2011 Newsletter

minus40 report



This newsletter is a bit different in that I need to provide vital address changes and news. I do want to first express thanks to the Lord for his blessings and safety on our furlough. We have 3 new supporting churches so far and was recently informed a fourth church will add us to their mission family very soon. That makes four out of six. The remaining two churches have indicated they desire to support us but financial constraints are delaying their doing so.

                Canadian supporter should take note of the support address change. Please send your support to


163 Pine Valley Drive, Unit 16

London, ON  N6J4R1

Nothing about PNBM-CA has changed except the books and banking will be done in London ON by a professional. Any questions about this change may be directed to me personally or Bro. Gary Forney at 867-777-3360.

There are no changes for PNBM-USA and American support.

                We have a cell phone that can be used to reach us while on furlough whether we are in Canada or the US. It is 907-347-7993. You can text us as well if you prefer. Yes, I know I said “text”. Old dog, new trick. Miracles never cease.


                Below are some praises to report:

Vehicle repair/maintenance:

4 – LT 265/75R/16 load range “E” all-season tires – Need met by a Canadian church

Front windshield – Need met by a Christian businessman

Aluminum diamond plating for the front of our Camper that was damaged due to traveling on gravel roads. – Need met personally

New heater core and related parts – Need met by Canadian churches



SPOT 2 Satellite Messenger (emergency locator device) – Funds provided by an assistant pastor

Antenna for a Marine Radio – Need met personally



Balance of our Camper loan – A huge portion applied personally. Under 5 K left

Travel funds – Need assisted by our sending church


Additional blessings

We have had an electric fireplace and mantle given to us by a wonderful church in Hagerstown, Maryland.

Many good love offerings have sustained us.

Alaskan churches and friends met our needs over and over again this past summer.

I purchased a new parka with a financial gift from a friend.

Last but not least, we have seen several come to Christ in the services where I preached. Several have been challenged by the messages and I am honoured to be used by our Lord.


                Please pray for continued safety as we travel, and for our truck to endure the rigors of furlough. We have traveled 28,706KM or 17,837miles since leaving Inuvik in June. Also, Angie will be going to college this January and we hope you will pray for her and Lois and I as we officially become empty nesters.

                Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support. We are truly thankful and recognize the difficult financial times we live in. Your support is seriously appreciated and considered precious.

                We also want to wish each one of you the best over this CHRISTmas season.

Steve, Lois, and Angie Donley

October 2011 Update

In mid-October we took a week to deer hunt in Southeast, Ohio. All of our kids and Grandkids were with us. This was an amazing feat since they live all over the Arctic. Nathan, Becky and their two children Hayleigh and Alayna; Steven, Holly and their little Eve; and our Angie were all camping together. No “deer” were seen or harvested, but three “dear” were always there! It was a throwback to the days when we gathered for this annual hunt/camping event in which friends and family from far and wide participated. Maybe 30 years ago it started when just my dad, brother and I hunted deer. This year at 82, dad was there and so was my brother, Bob. When it was all over the kids all scatter and went their own way getting back to their lives and we are left with only a great memory of the last deer hunt together.

Currently we are in in North Carolina. On Sunday, Oct. 30, we are with Pastor Bryan Greene and Lighthouse Baptist Church in Rolesville, NC. The following Monday – Friday I am representing Points North Baptist Mission at Ambassador Baptist College for their annual Mission Conference.

God has met the need for several or our needs. Below is a list of the blessings.

Vehicle repair/maintenance:

        • 4 – LT 265/75R/16 load range “E” all-season tires – Need met by a church
        • Front windshield – Need met by a Christian businessman
        • Aluminum diamond plating for the front of our Camper that was damaged due to traveling on gravel roads. – Need met personally
        • New heater core and related parts – Need met by Canadian churches


  • SPOT 2 Satellite Messenger (emergency locator device) – Funds provided by an assistant pastor
  • Antenna for a Marine Radio – Need met personally


  • Balance of our Camper loan – A huge portion applied personally. Under 5 K left
  • Travel funds – Need assisted by our sending church

Additional blessings

  • We have had an electric fireplace and mantle given to us by a wonderful church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
  • Many good love offerings have sustained us.
  • Alaskan churches and friends met our needs over and over again
  • I purchased a new parka with a financial gift from a friend.


Gettysburg, PA update

Our Gettysburg report begins on Saturday night as we enjoyed fellowship with Bro. Jeremy Mitchel and his family. We enjoyed a meal and fellowship, renewing a friendship that started around 1995 or so. Sunday morning we had a wonderful service at Gettysburg Bible Baptist Church where Dave Mitchel is pastor. Jeremy is his son and assistant. After a good morning service we all went to Pastor Mitchel’s home and enjoyed fellowship with the entire Mitchel family. Dave’s dad was there and we renewed our friendship with him. The elder Bro. Mitchel was pastor when the church started to support us in 95 or so. Three generations of preachers sat at a meal with us, and the food was as great as the fellowship.

Sunday night took us to Lighthouse Baptist Church where Pastor Bob Gray leads the church. Lighthouse has also supported us since 95 or so. We had a good service and a wonder time of fellowship after with refreshments and great discussions on the Arctic, churches and whatever else needed solved in the world! The membership was very interested in the Arctic and we were thrilled to thank them face to face for consistent and faithful support.

Tomorrow morning we pack up and head to Ohio for some down time. We need the rest after a great trip to Ontario, Hagerstown, Maryland, and Gettysburg PA. We leave encouraged, and honoured to be associated with such wonderful churches.

Hagerstown, Maryland update

We had a wonderful conference at Harvest Baptist Church in Hagerstown, Maryland where Dr. James Moore is the Pastor. Dr. Moore and the folks of Harvest Baptist love missions and missionaries and we were the beneficiaries this week.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Gene Burge and as usual Dr. Burge made faith promise missions come alive from the pages of the Bible and crystal clear in our hearts. It was Dr. Burge who recommended me to Pastor Moore. Around 2002 or 2003 Bro. and Mrs. Burge came to Inuvik for one of our early mission conferences and immediately our hearts were knit together. I was surprised to see shortly thereafter Dr. Burge featured our ministry in the Baptist Mission to Forgotten Peoples “family news.” Since I was not a BMFP missionary, Lois and I were greatly honoured and figured since we were not BMFP they were considering us “kin!”

At the close of the conference Sunday night, the other missionaries in the conference, The Lyons family to Spain, and Miss Nancy Butkevich missionary to Siberia/Russia and Lois and I were waiting for the church to dismiss by manning our display tables. Upon dismissal, Dr. Moore greeted the missionaries before the congregation did and informed the Lyons and Miss Nancy that the church had just voted to increase their support! Approaching me he extended his hand and declared the church had just voted to add us to their supported mission family! It had been nearly 15 years since a church took us on while we were standing there. What an encouragement and boost to our resolve to honour God with every fibre of our being.

Dr. Moore had inquired as to my upcoming schedule and I told him of my meetings in Gettysburg, PA this Sunday. After finding out I did not have the coming Wednesday booked with a meeting, he invited me to come back and preach at Harvest! What a gracious Pastor and church.

Ontario update

Lois and I leave Ontario tomorrow (Sept 19) and head toward Hagerstown, Maryland. Our time in the Greater Toronto Area has been quite nice. Our first conference was with Pastor Alcock and Brampton International Baptist Church. It was an exciting conference and the church had its best attendance ever the Sunday the conference ended. Next we reported to Heritage Baptist Church in Barrie. Pastor Pennell was a gracious host and very encouraging. We ended with Pastor Wiebe of New Life Baptist Church in Maple and helped celebrate the church’s second anniversary by participating in their mission Sunday. New Life is an exciting young church.

We thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship with Pastors, church families and fellow missionaries. The campground we stayed in was quiet and relaxing. One of the best things about the trip was that we know of two souls that came to Christ on the particular Sunday I preached in Brampton.

Our truck is still in need of a minor repair. We still have issues with the heater. I had planned on picking up the part at a junk yard and complete the repairs myself when we get settled in the next campground. But Pastor Wiebe rallied his church family to give toward the need. Their generosity met the need to buy the part new and forgo the junk yard plan. We praise God for meeting our need and we head south in good health and joy in our hearts.

I emailed the believers in Tuktoyaktuk a few days ago just to keep in touch. I told them of our travels and offered encouragement in the Lord. One response came back and it touched my heart. “We pray that you will eventually become our Spiritual Leader.” This simple expression of hope affected me deeply. Would you join this believer in Tuktoyaktuk in the same prayer?