Several weeks ago I had the incredible and unexpected privilege of hitching a ride on a legendary airplane with an equally legendary pilot. Over the years I’ve had other phenomenal opportunities, like flying one of America’s frontline, high-performance jets and taking to the friendly skies aboard aircraft which serve our nation’s highest leaders, but this was an honor like no other. If you don’t know Paul Dye’s story, I’d encourage you to check it out (though if he read this he’d probably rightly remind me it’s not his story but God’s, he simply has the privilege of living it out for God’s gospel and glory).
Larry, Paul’s son, was up front flying too. Aside from being a skilled pilot himself, I’ve found while working around the shop with him that Larry has more creative capacity in his pinky than I’ll probably ever have. He’s like the MacGyver of sheetmetal, give him a bag of soda cans and ½ an hour and he could make you a plane of your own. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch but you get the idea.
Anyways, as I sat in the back of the Dye’s immaculately restored Cessna 185 (the very plane he was kidnapped and later escaped in), I grinned from ear to ear. As we winged our way across the desert I reflected on the two great guys sitting in front of me and I couldn’t help but think how my fledgling experience in mission aviation pales in comparison with all the Lord’s led them through. I thought about the fact that at the end of the day my story is, and may forever be, rather unremarkable in comparison, and you know what? I praised the Lord.
I praised our Father above because, as Steve Saint said so well in the closing of his book The Great Omission:
“God can use anyone. He is looking for common, ordinary men and women of uncommon commitment.”
That’s awesome because I’m an ordinary layman with a capital O and maybe that’s your story too. Maybe you’re thinking you’re “just” a this or “just” a that. Truth is, you’re just what God created you to be and He delights in using all the talents and gifts He’s poured into His people to accomplish His purpose in redeeming His creation.
Here’s the thing…over the next 5 years there are more than 43 specific personnel needs just within New Tribes Mission Aviation (NTMA). 18 of those are plain old, “ordinary” roles like: facility maintainers to keep the infrastructure up and running, bookkeepers to keep us in the black, IT network folks to keep us “connected,” and men and women gifted in graphic design, marketing, and communications to help get the word out about what the Lord’s doing in and through NTMA.
Christ’s words to His disciples 2000 years ago ring true still today, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.” Would you join with us as we “…pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest” and “ask Him to send more workers into His fields”? (Luke 10:2) May I ask you to go one step further? Would you consider how the Lord might have you use your “ordinary” skill to further His kingdom purposes, impacting the least reached peoples of the world with His truth?
Legend or layman, there’s a place for you in the Great Commission!
For more on personnel needs within NTMA please check the official Aviation Position page.