Wednesday, November 17, 2010
One of the good things about getting OLD is that it lets you have time to look back in life and still be able to see the future. I have been with MAF a long time now and at this stage of life and age, I have the joy of seeing a long process come full circle within MAF. After many years of flying overseas I returned to MAF Headquarters to be a part of the MAF Flight Department to train the new pilots coming into MAF. Not only did I provide the technical part of flying but also had the chance to tell them my many stories of life as a Missionary Pilot. I also told them of the mistakes that I had made and problems to watch out for on the foreign field, in hope that they would remember to watch out and not make the same mistakes when they were flying on the Mission field. One special young man that I got to train and prepare was way beyond most of the new pilots that we usually get right out of college. He was always interested in what I had to say and when I corrected his flying he always tried to do better the next day. I went out of my way to share everything I could to help him in the year of training, flying in the mountains and landing on very remote jungle airstrips. Soon he and his family were off to Indonesia where I had flown for so many years and I followed his prayer letters with much interest for many years. Before I knew it - he was returning to the U.S. MAF Headquarters to be an instructor pilot just like me. I was now watching him give of himself to the new training pilots coming into MAF and he was now sharing his stories with them as I had once done with him. Yes, it has now come full circle to see the next generation of MAF Pilots going overseas for their first time - to share their ministry of aviation for those serving in the most remote areas of this earth. A ministry of telling the remote far off people that Jesus has lived and died for them too ! As I passed him the other day walking through the hanger, we saw each other and we both looked and gave a smile. A smile that we both knew the joy of training and sending out new missionary pilots. It will be a long time till he sees them coming back again and training others like himself and then feeling good about being the OLD guy in the hanger.