Think back to the last time that you received an unexpected hug from the Lord. What was the situation; why was it a surprise; how did God manifest his goodness to you?
Last month the Lord handed me an unexpected opportunity to check something off my bucket list – a helicopter ride. This is what happened.
New Tribes Mission Aviation was in the area to participate in a local air show. They flew up a Kodiak airplane as well as a helicopter from Arizona where NTM’s Aviation headquarters is located. They hung around for a week because the following weekend they were going to help facilitate a donor event here at the Missionary Training Center. The day before the event, Brian, the helicopter pilot, offered rides to those who wanted to get a 10 minute tour from the air of Lake of the Ozarks. There were limited openings for this opportunity and one of the students who got an “automatic” chance to ride wanted to give her seat to me. I didn’t want her to give up her opportunity but she said that she got to ride the previous weekend at the air show. WOW! That was God’s first hug.
The day some of us got to fly was gorgeous. The weather was perfect – clear, not too windy, just a beautiful late summer day. I got to sit in the front (another hug from God) next to the pilot and the only way to describe the view from the air was amazing. There’s no other way to express the beauty, creativity, grandeur and awesomeness of my Father, the Creator.
As we were flying over the lake and nearby HaHa Tonka State Park, I asked the pilot if he knew a pilot named Doug. He and his wife and I were in Panama together. He said he did and said Doug was the one that did the beautiful plant job on the helicopter we were flying in. That was no surprise to me but it was a reminder of how God allows us to be involved in so many people’s lives and years later our paths cross or we meet someone who knows so-and-so. Another hug…
I don’t want to end this story leaving you to think that this is all about me. No, it’s about how God uses NTM-Aviation to touch lives for eternity. They are a vital link to planting churches among unreached people groups. Many of the places where we work as an organization are completely cut off from civilization and the airplane and/or helicopter is the missionary’s only link to the outside world. Not only do they fly in need supplies for the next 3-6 months or longer, medical evacuations and surprise air drops to name a few of the things they do, most importantly they fly in with a heart to encourage and bless those that they serve. Often times it’s their hugs that encourage a downhearted missionary the most. Some of the godliest people that I know are our NTM pilots.
Have you thought of a time when God gave you a hug? Share your story with someone so they too can be encouraged and blessed by the awesomeness of our God.