I suppose a lot of people dream about flying, but I wonder if their dreams are as realistic as mine. In my dream I sling my old blue backpack into the cargo area alongside my translation materials, Bible teaching notes, clinic supplies, and food and buckle myself into the seat next to the pilot. As soon as my seat belt clicks, the pilot nods and then starts fiddling with buttons and switch on the control panel. I don’t know what all those switches do, but even in my dream I am very impressed, and I know better than to talk to the pilot while he is preparing to fly. A minute later the engine starts up and the blades begin to spin. The pilot methodically glances over the gauges, says, “Ready to depart,” into his microphone, as he increases power. In my dream the ground gently moves away.
We are flying. It seems so real. I see rice paddies and tin roofs, but it isn’t long before the mountains loom in front of us. We are rising in elevation and cross the first ridge and then the second. In the distance I see our village.
In seconds we are there. We land near the village and children come running. I’m happy to see them and they are excited to see me… no it is the helicopter… They are excited to see the helicopter… I’m going to have to correct that the next time I have this dream. As we unload the cargo the pilot says, “That took twenty minutes. Let me know when you need a ride again.”
I had many opportunities to dream this dream last week. I needed to go to our village, but the helicopter allocated to Luzon is still in the process of being shipped to the Philippines. Rather than a 20 minute flight I had to wait for 2 hours in a dusty parking lot, spend 6 hours on a bus, attempt to sleep on a very hard surface, ride 1 hour in a dump truck, and then hike for 6 hours which included crossing the river more than 40 times.
To get out we had to do all these things in reverse except there was no truck and we had to hike for over nine hours. Robert and I spent four days of hard traveling that could have been done in forty minuets in the helicopter.
I am thanking God that my dream is becoming a reality. Most of the funding needed for the Robinson R-44 helicopter has been given and the helicopter is in a shipping container and on its way. When it arrives it will have to pass through customs, be shipped to the support center, and be assembled. After that the pilot and helicopter will have to pass certain tests before missionaries can start using it.
Please pray that the helicopter will not be damaged in shipping. Pray that it will get timely and fair treatment at the customs office. Pray that all will go well with the assembly and that all of the government paperwork will be accomplished quickly. Pray that the Lord will provide the last of the funds needed to put the helicopter into service and that the helicopter will be used for many years taking missionaries to villages to teach God’s Word and plant churches.
If you want to read more about my over land trip you can read my blog: www.jonathanheidibamford.blogspot.com