Serving by Counting
Fourteen years. For fourteen years a group from Calvary Fellowship Church has driven ten hours from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, to Waxhaw, North Carolina to count airplane parts at the JAARS airplane hangar.
A mission team of nine people from this church made their annual exodus to help out at the hangar by doing inventory—all except the industrious team member who helped rehab an apartment by tearing out old drywall. The inventory group counted rivets, crosses, panels, and screws, and they tallied each miniscule part not just once or twice, but three times to make sure their count was correct.
Why does a mission team return year after year to serve JAARS Aviation in this way? “It’s a highlight,” one of the team members said. “We look forward to it every year. We get to meet missionaries and hear great stories.”
The team had the opportunity to listen to two presentations of missionaries who have served overseas. One woman on the mission team expounded on these missionary testimonies: “It’s amazing; it opens your eyes to the godly perseverance they exhibit. When you hear and see them, it’s inspiring for us to do more.”
The team was rewarded for their work with airplane and 4WD rides so they could see firsthand how translators move from village to village. The team also learned about the support roles necessary to Bible translation, including those of the airplane mechanics they served alongside in the hangar doing inventory.
“People often think, ‘I don’t have the skills, I’m not a preacher,’” one of the team members said, “But there’s so much more you can do (to help Bible translation).” Even counting pieces of airplanes can have eternal impact. Another team member pointed out that by giving up a week of their time, they made an eternal impact by, “saving the mechanics a little bit of time so they can do what they really need to do—get the planes and boats ready for the field.”
We are all called to go. But we are not all called to go overseas. May we persevere to help spread the gospel in every language, even if that means counting every screw and bolt in an airplane hangar.
Learn more here to learn more about opportunities to serve at JAARS and in the Bible translation movement.