"Christ wants not nibblers of the possible, but grabbers of the impossible."
Clothes for Wax Creek
It never ceases to amaze me how big hearted and generous the Amerindian people can be. One day I flew into Kaikan to pick up a Pathfinder director and his family and shuttle them across to Paruima. I happened to be in a hurry and was just wanting to pick up and go. But when I arrived, one of the elders from the church asked me if I was ready to take the bags of clothes. They must have read the confusion on my face, because they quickly explained that they had done a clothes drive for Wax Creek (very poor village), and they had collected 4 large bags of clothes. At first I was a little skeptical and asked, half jokingly "Are you giving away good clothes, or are you giving away clothes that are full of holes, and you don't want any more." "No no", the elder assured me "these are good clothes!" Then it struck me that this was their way of fulfilling Matthew 25:43 "...and I was naked and you clothed me." They were just asking me to be the "air mail" delivery man.
Women's Conference in Paruima
This last weekend they had a large conference for women in Paruima Village. I was tasked with the job of flying in (and out) the pastors from Georgetown. The one lady to my right was a medical doctor had never flown in an airplane of any type, and so this was a very exciting moment for her. Several times when we flew through a cloud and the airplane bounced around a little she would close her eyes, as she was undoubtedly praying for deliverance. I've been in that situation, and I know the feeling! Trust me... I've logged many prayers in small airplanes! So whenever this happens, I have a habit of looking my passengers in the eye and giving them a big smile and thumbs up. This helps the first-time-fliers feel more relaxed. Hey! If the pilot is relaxed and smiling, everything is probably going to be ok! I wasn't able to attend, but they say that the conference went really well.
Prayer & Praise
PRAISE: God has really been blessing on all sides. After the robbery, we were worried that maybe this would ground us for a period of time as we try to replace equipment. But praise God we were able to dig out some backup equipment, and get back in the air the very next day! Since then we've been going non-stop.
REQUEST: We're starting a new campaign for two more aircraft. One will be an amphibious aircraft and the other a twin engine airplane for long, international flights. Please pray for this as we
REQUEST: Also pray for new pilots who are willing to come on board and join our growing team.
If you know of someone like this, please contact them, or send them this newsletter. - Thank you.
Robbed! (...but not taken)
Bang! I felt something hit the back of the van.
It was a Thursday afternoon and hotter than Hades in mid-summer. All the windows that could be rolled down in my van were fully down since the air conditioner was out of commission. A little while earlier I had picked up some Novocaine to fly out to our school for a tooth extraction, and had dropped by a Cambio to change a $210,000 Guyanese Dollars into $1000 USD for one of our schools. Now I was stopped at a traffic light on my way out to the airport.
When bang!!! An African man on a bicycle slammed into the back of my van. I froze for a moment, not quite sure what had happened, but I didn’t have long to wait. The man wobbled around to the drivers side and started a one sided argument with me that I was parked in the middle of the road. I was dumb struck. What could be so wrong with driving a van down a street and stopping at a red traffic light?
After a minute or so, the man calmed down and said in a snickering voice. “Don’t worry, it’s ok…”
By this time the traffic light had turned green and so I pulled ahead onto the shoulder of the road and got out to investigate the damage. The back of the van didn’t appear to have any new scratches, so I calmly climbed back into the drivers seat.
It didn’t look right… Something was missing. Immediately it clicked. Where is my flight bag?! I quickly searched the passenger seat and the back seats, but no bag. I ran around to the back of the van to see if I had per-chance thrown it in the back. Nothing…
Then it hit me… I just fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. When the man on the bicycle had distracted me, another had reached in through the passenger window and snatched my flight bag.
I scanned the road behind me, frantically searching for anyone carrying my bag. The coast was clear… I jumped in my van and madly drove around the block, hoping, praying, and frantically searching for my Blue and Grey High Sierra flight bag. With each passing moment the grim reality began to sink in. It was gone for good.
“Ok Lord?” I wondered, “What do I do now?”
All of a sudden my carefully laid plans for the day were turned completely upside down, and I found myself sadly driving the van to the Brickdam Police Station to file a report.
The lady officer at the police station was very sympathetic about my loss, and carefully wrote down on lined notebook paper the whole sordid ordeal. At one point we even left the station and drove to site of the robbery, hoping that there might be a camera at the traffic light or perhaps a security camera at a nearby business. Once again there was nothing. We had absolutely no clues whatsoever. The bag had just vanished without a trace.
So back to the police station we went to finish off the police report. After she read it back to me, and everything sounded pretty accurate, I signed the report and left.
Later that evening after I had a chance to mentally digest the events of the day. I puzzled over why the Lord would allow something like this to happen. I didn’t doubt for a second that God had foreseen this event, but why had he permitted it to happen? Wasn’t I one of his missionaries?! Surely God doesn’t allow the bad guys to harass His good missionaries. Right?
Whatever the case was, I knew that God was in control.
Obviously I was now at a significant “Y” in the road. I could succumb to feelings of discouragement and sink into a black state of depression. Or on the other hand I could choose to face the future unafraid, and not allow the thieves to take my courage.
That evening I wrote out a reflection on my day and posted it on Facebook.
Today I felt the hand of the devil Try to drag me down Today I felt darkness and discouragement Creeping in on every side. Today I heard the whispered temptation To quit, to give up, to walk away
But just in case the devil might be reading his Facebook Account this evening… Let me be crystal clear.
I refuse to be discouraged. I refuse to slow down the work that I’m doing. I refuse to ever consider quitting. I refuse to cower in fear for my safety or the safety of my stuff. For everything I own already belongs to Jesus.
I’m more confident that ever before that God has called me to work in his harvest I’m daily struggling forward in the journey of faith. I’m confident that God will complete what’s He’s begun. I’ve put my hand to the plough. And I’m definitely not looking back.
This incident is not a setback but a stepping-stone. It’s not a sink hole but a launching pad. Today is a blessing in disguise, and for that I’m eternally thankful.
Tonight I’m turning a corner…
Now is the time to take the struggle to another level. Now is the moment to pledge total allegiance to Jesus. Now is the time to accelerate my work as I see that glorious day approaching. Now is the time to put it all on the line and risk all that I have, or am for the kingdom of heaven.
Would you like to use your flying skills to serve God? Email James -[email@example.com]
Join the Team
If you would like to help the missionary work go forward, you can send a tax deductible donation to: Gospel Ministry International, PO Box 506, Collegedale Tennessee 37315. Kindly write on a separate note that it is for Guyana Aviation Evangelism project (GAVE)