Abigail, a high schooler, and her eighth grade brother, Benjamin, were about ready to give up. They were looking for a mission trip that didn’t cost too much or require traveling overseas—since this would be their first mission trip.
“All the mission trips we found were for groups,” Abigail says. Their church youth group already had summer plans, so the group trips weren’t an option. Abigail and Benjamin decided to just go to a summer camp. But when their father saw on the website that it was a 13-step process, he decided it wasn’t the right fit.
That night, Benjamin and Abigail received an email from Adrienne, a friend from Hillcrest Baptist Church in their home in Ohio. Adrienne explained how she was going on a mission trip to JAARS. God had touched the heart of a woman at Hillcrest church to donate $100 for everyone who went on the trip. So, Benjamin and Abigail took two of the last three spots.
“It’s been perfect,” Abigail shares. “When we found out all about it, cost-wise, it was good. And the kind of stuff we’re doing here is just what we’ve been looking for.”
For five days, their 12-person team—eight from Hillcrest and four from various other churches—toiled for Jesus. Some roofed a shed, cleaned it, put up siding, and ran electricity to it. Another group picked up scrap material around the premises, widened trails, and helped clean, reorganize, and discard items in the Construction and Maintenance department so that staff can easily find the materials they need.
Abigail has an interest in aviation and was on a team sprinkled with others who share the same interest. She has been taking aviation ground school back in Ohio but didn’t even know that JAARS mission aviation program existed before coming here. God appointed each of these people at this time to be at JAARS, where aviation abounds.
Monday morning, the first day of the team’s work, they headed out for devotions, but couldn’t remember exactly where to go. One of their leaders, Heather, had served at JAARS before, so she thought the devotions were held somewhere in the hangar. They ran into some people who took them to the Aviation Department’s Monday morning devotions. The aviation staff welcomed them, even though Heather later realized they were at the wrong location. But again … God was orchestrating their time.
Abigail recalls, “I liked hearing all their updates. I felt like I was able to be inside of the aviation department. I was able to actually see people discussing the mission work instead of just hearing about them doing it somewhere far away.”
The girls received a lot of details about the program that they were looking for. “It was another divine appointment because that’s not where we were supposed to be, but that’s where God led us,” Heather remarked.
At the end of the devotions, a few staff members invited Abigail and the other youth interested in aviation for lunch and a more intense look into the world of mission aviation by taking them through the hangar.
Now, Abigail shares that she’ll be looking into the JAARS mission program in the future. “I’m definitely going to share about JAARS with our church and try to come back with them next year.”
Who knows what divine appointments God has in store for you? Visit here to find out how you can serve at JAARS—with a team or by yourself, for a long or short period of time.