Pictured Above: Roscoe Village is a historic canal town located on the outskirts of Coshocton. Here fresh snowfall on Christmas decorations made me feel all nostalgic and happy so I thought I’d share it with you.
Admission of Guilt: You may notice that this December 2020 newsletter is being posted in January. Yes, this newsletter was posted a little late. We had traveled to Michigan (read Nearer my God to Thee) and I forgot my laptop. I put together the email newsletter on the Mailchimp app on my phone. It took forever and so I waited until we got home to post it on our blog. Then I forgot until I now. I apologize. A lot of people have read it anyway because they get it in the mail or by email. For those who haven’t read it yet… here it is!
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The Gift of Life!
Growing up, Christmas was always the main holiday for my family. Janice never quite caught the bug and when we got married, it took quite a bit of excitement on my part to even get her mildly interested. The term “Grinch” fit her nicely. But over the past few years she’s been warming to the season like a frozen Christmas caroler by a crackling fire. This year we’ve had more Christmas flung, hung, and sung around here than ever before so I think I’m getting somewhere. Especially now that we have children, seeing their excitement and anticipation over the presents stacking up in the corner makes this season extra fun. But the best gift of all is the gift of life.
But the best gift of all is the gift of life.
Mark Palm, founder of Samaritan Aviation, shared a story on an episode of “The Plane Faith Podcast” about a family living in rural Papua New Guinea. The mother was giving birth but experienced complications and became unconscious. Samaritan Aviation flew out, picked her up, and brought her into Wewak where the only hospital in 500,000 square miles is located. It was a 30 minute flight. There wasn’t enough room on the plane and so the husband had to travel to Wewak by ground meaning he arrived in town two days after his wife did. The tribespeople were assuring him that his wife was going to die and so the first place he went was to the morgue, fully expecting to find his wife and baby there. Not finding them there, he went to the hospital and began asking around. Eventually he ended up in the maternity ward where he found his wife alive and well, and holding a healthy set of twins! Imagine that! Overcome with emotion, the man said, “I’m not a good man. I’m a bad man. I don’t deserve this but God sent you here to save my wife and babies.”
Gifts can form relationships that change us. That’s why we’re here at MMS Aviation fixing missionary airplanes. So often, an airplane is a powerful tool that allows missionaries to save people’s lives. Did you notice in the story that flying to the hospital took 30 minutes but traveling by ground took two days? That’s a normal occurrence in developing countries. Without the plane, three lives would’ve been lost but now there’s a whole family receiving the ultimate gift: Jesus Christ, the best gift of all!
As we think about the last year and a half, we are very aware that we’re only here serving in this unique role because of so many people’s gifts. It feels like saying “Thank You” doesn’t adequately sum it up. We’ll never be able to repay all of you for your generosity but we often ask God to do so on our behalf. As I sit here typing I feel the urge to say it again anyway, “Thank you!”
I often think of that story about the family in Papua New Guinea as I work in the hangar. I’m reinstalling the engine onto Adonai International Ministry’s Cessna 182. They operate a medical mission in the rural highlands of Guatemala where a simple medical condition can be life threatening because there’s no access to quality medical care for hundreds of miles. This airplane transforms an insignificant dirt strip into a portal that transports people to medical care that will save their life. This humble little Cessna is a big tool in the hands of an Almighty God. We’re hoping to get it back into service again by the beginning of January. Pray that we can work carefully and swiftly to get it done in time.
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