‘It Just So Happened’
The largest airshow in the United States, EAA AirVenture, occurs in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In July, more than 10,000 aircraft and approximately 642,000 people attended this week-long event. What a perfect opportunity to allow God to use JAARS and our aircraft to advocate for the Bibleless people around the world!
Daniel Jezowski, an avionics technician in Papua New Guinea, had the opportunity to serve at the event while back in the U.S. for training.
Daniel joined 21 other JAARS staff members to speak with people—nearly 200 a day—about mission aviation. “Some people were just curious about the aircraft we were displaying and had never heard of JAARS or Wycliffe,” he recounts. “Others were feeling called to serve in mission aviation and were seeking which organization to serve with.”
Daniel enjoyed helping children up into the airplane and letting them move the controls (under supervision, of course). He also had the opportunity to chat with a 14-year-old boy and his father about mission aviation. The boy already ‘just so happened’ to possess a longing to serve as an airplane mechanic overseas and wanted to know what steps he should take to prepare himself for this calling. “It was so exciting to see how God was working in his life and to share the things God has taught me,” Daniel recounted.
Dennis Garretson, an aviation recruiter for JAARS, also served at the Oshkosh event. A young man, Connor, was visiting Oshkosh for the airshow and ‘just happened’ to attend the church where Dennis and his wife spoke.
Touched with the need for Bible translation, Connor approached Dennis after the service. He shared that he’s an engineering major about to begin his senior year at Purdue and his fiancée is a pharmacist. Dennis told him, “In my experience with Wycliffe and SIL, we have discovered engineer majors make terrific linguists and Bible translators. Research has shown that what it takes to be an engineer parallels with linguistics.” The main thing college has done for Connor as an engineer is teach him how to problem solve, which is the main task of a translator.
The next day Dennis received an email from Connor. He had done more research about Wycliffe and had found a tremendous opportunity for pharmacists. “Please be praying for my fiancée Lauren and me,” Connor asked. “If this is where God is leading us, he will need to align both of our hearts for this area of laboring. Pray against fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Pray for clarity, wisdom, faith, and guidance. I praise God for how he used you in my life!”
Another opportunity occurred at the aviation recruiting tent. Bradley had been working in IT since 2014, but recently had become interested in aviation. It ‘just so happened’ that Sam, a Wycliffe recruiter for IT, was working with Dennis and others in the recruiting tent. Dennis told Brad that the mission community could use his IT skills, so he introduced him to Sam. Praise the Lord for this man’s heart to serve in Bible translation! Pray the Lord will continue to direct him and other visitors to the AirVenture event to missions.
These are just two of the God-orchestrated encounters that have occurred at Missions at the Airport events within the last few months. Please join us in praying that God continues to draw people into mission aviation so all people can access his truth!