On God’s Timetable

By Julia Rose

It was time to change the shipping labels on the Mowers’ crates. After six months of waiting for the civil war to settle down in Sudan, pilot Mike Mower and his wife were released from their Sudan assignment. The timing was perfect—the aviation department team in the Philippines needed a pilot who could come immediately. 

Mike Mower with young people in the Philippines

Prior to his Sudan assignment, the JAARS Aviation Department had prepared Mike well, building on his existing hours and flight ratings. The Mowers were originally drawn to JAARS because of its involvement in Bible translation.

So with training completed and financial support already raised, the Mowers and their crates went to a different continent. They had never felt called to a specific place, but rather to wherever God would have them serve.

For the next twenty years with JAARS in the Philippines, Mike and his family obeyed God’s call, serving Bible translators where and when needed, even if the assignments weren’t what they would have planned. One of the ten Scripture celebrations Mike attended was scheduled in the middle of typhoon season—a difficult time to fly due to dangerous weather. Mike told the leaders, “You’re nuts trying to do something this major during typhoon season!” But, he obeyed God’s guidance and flew thirty guests to the island for the week-long dedication. God blessed the entire week with beautiful weather, allowing meetings of believers every night and dramatizations of the Bible without interference. 

One of the planes Mike worked on in the Philippines

Mike flew the guests off the island the weekend after the Scripture celebration. The day after Mike’s last flight, the typhoons came with such strong winds that it was impossible to fly to the island during the next month. God had planned the timing of that week perfectly to protect his people! God’s sovereignty was evident, demonstrated on an island that received around twenty typhoons a year.

However, God didn’t always clear up the weather for Mike. When Mike was flying a family to their island—a location formerly reached only by unreliable and easily pirated boats—the difficult winds forced them to turn back to the mainland. 

The mother began to grow nervous and tense as they neared the government airport on the mainland, so Mike explained that they would try again that afternoon or the next morning. Relief flooded her face when she realized Mike wasn’t going to abandon them to fend for themselves. His willingness to be on God’s timetable instead of his own tight schedule meant the world to the translators. “The encouragement it brought to her is something that still touches my heart today: just the fact that I was willing to put myself out, not fly back home but stay overnight, or however long it took, to be able to fly them out to their village.” 

Through his obedience to God’s timing and his own flexibility, Mike showed this family that they were not alone but were supported and cared about. He did the same for villagers, despite language barriers—playing marbles with the kids and showing them National Geographic magazines he kept on hand. 

As one mission worker told him, “The people really like when you come out because they say, ‘Mike’s one of the pilots that likes us.’’’ According to Mike, “An aviation department is made up of individuals, some more task and time oriented and some more relationship oriented. Because I wanted to spend time with the people, I did my best to interact with them despite the language barrier and was able to show the love of Christ through relationships.” 

Now, as director of the JAARS Missions at the Airport program, Mike has one foot in aviation and one in public relations outreach during this challenging (but still perfect according to God’s sovereignty) time working with COVID-19 restrictions. Partnering with churches, camps, and schools, Mike serves God through the on-the-road version of JAARS Day, sharing the love of Christ and the work of JAARS using airplanes and helicopters. 

Mike flying for JAARS

You too can show the love of Christ and witness his perfect timing! Click here to see where you can serve at JAARS.