Four weeks ago, I added full power on our Cessna 340 mission plane and waited for the turbos to kick in. The engines reached full turbocharged speed and we headed down the runway. About half way down the runway, the plane rotated as I lifted the nose gear. Normally, the plane keeps accelerating and then begins a climb. However, this time, it never accelerated. One more try and we were running out of runway. I realized we would not make it and turned the plane away from the large trees toward the smaller bushes while the co-pilot pulled down the throttles to idle. At that moment we entered the trees with a large crash.
One second later, only quiet. We could smell the gasoline everywhere. We looked at each other in unbelief. Not a single injury or scratch. While the copilot opened the cabin door I turned off the master switch to avoid a fire. Both of us were out of the plane before any of the other missionaries could reach us. There were puddles of gas everywhere. Tremendous peace filled my soul as I realized God had intervened to preserve our life. An explosion and a large ball of fire should have been the result. It was the second time in my life I had gone through such a life threatening plane accident, one as a passenger and now as a pilot after 40 years of flying. The copilot, not a church member, said this was his fifth. Only later I realized how frightening it must have been to face death unprepared.
The world is not ready for what is about to happen. Most of God’s children are not ready either. We must be awake and ready at ALL times. Things can change so fast. Having lived seven years in Venezuela, I personally experienced the changes that turned that prosperous country into a nation of hungry people where fleeing the country appears to be the only solution to find 3 meals a day. The terrible loss of our mission pilot, his wife and our school director when our mission plane was hijacked only added to the pain.
Today, as I travel across the Americas and Caribbean, I can see that other countries are also wrestling with similar social and economic issues. In some countries, laws are being enacted to complicate or eliminate humanitarian work. Déjà vu. I already experienced this before and know what is coming tomorrow. I am determined to do everything I can do today because the night cometh when no man can work. I thank God for his constant protection and provision. The angels are yet holding the winds of strife for which I am so grateful. As I work I pray, pray, pray and thank God for all of you holding us up in prayer. Each of us have an important part in God’s work.
“Every member of the body of Christ must act his part in the cause of God, according to the ability that God has given him. We must press together against obstructions and difficulties, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart.”—ChS 75.
May God’s peace and joy, protect and keep you every day. There is no greater peace than knowing you are exactly where God wants you.
From the Frontlines,