Thursday, October 04, 2007

Singing our Song!

Same song, second verse. We are always encouraged when we hear of others who share similarities with our philosophy of ministry. For many years we have encouraged mission aviators to seek to find ministries where they can be missionaries first, and aviators second. Unfortunately what happens too often, is cost effectiveness principles crowd out ministry scheduling and the aviators begin to feel like 'glorified taxicab drivers' often for unrelated projects and NGO's (non-government organizations, usually, but not always, charities). The revenues gained can help keep the ministry agenda going but sometimes end up competing with other ministry requests for services. Pilot's time is so constrained they have little discretionary time to do the discipling and ministries that drew them to the mission field in the first place. The LeTourneau University magazine, NOW, recently told of the ministry of their alumnus Dwayne King (NOW, Fall 2007, vol. 62, issue 3, p. 9). He operates Last Frontier Ranch and Kingdom Air Corps, in Alaska. Dwayne has invited aviation students for the past five summers to come and train in remote settings for missions and aviation. A veteran of twenty-five years, he begins their day with devotions with a missions theme and then practical flight training in bush conditions with low level and mountainous flying conditions. They learn how to catch up drafts, avoid the downdrafts and clear the ridges. The students last summer also conducted a Summer Bible Camp above the Arctic Circle for 21 village children. King's influence is helping these candidates learn "to be missionaries who use planes." One of the candidates said "Being a missionary is more important than being a pilot." He continued, "All the skills we have as pilots are just tools to get the word out to the lost. Before, I thought, 'I'm going to be a pilot, and I'm going to teach people in Africa about Jesus.' But now, after last summer – I'm going to be a missionary, and if the Lord gives me an airplane, I have the skills to use it – but if He doesn't, it doesn't matter because missionary comes before pilot for a reason." Third verse!


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