The Knott's May/June 2018 Update
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Rock Hopping


Amazonica Control, Amazonica Control, November One One Eight Alpha Kilo,” I called over and over as I approached the border of Brazil.

Hundreds of miles out over the jungle, radio reception was poor and I had lost contact with the controllers in Georgetown, Guyana an hour before. A friendly Guyanese pilot had relayed my last position report. I had no hope of that happening in Brazil. The radio came alive with chatter now and then, but exclusively in Portuguese. 
Though it was only 9:30 am great walls of cloud spread from east to west across my course. A sunrise departure from Georgetown and one 5 hour-old satellite picture were my only ways to outwit the weather. I had thought to avoid the dangerous thunderstorms over the jungle by flying early in the morning, but these were yesterday’s giants, so massive that they had survived the night. The great anvil tops spilled out for hundreds of miles in the stratosphere, creating an overcast under which were deceptive shades of every hue. Two miles below me, mostly obscured by smaller clouds, their great dark trains swept the jungle canopy with rain. I searched with rising urgency for a clear way through the maze. The satellite picture had shown two large systems with a narrow path down the middle. Would I be able to find that narrow gap?
Suddenly, faint and far off in my headphones I heard a voice in halting English calling my number. Relief flooded over me and I responded, perhaps a bit eagerly. There was a long pause, then in jumbled, broken English they were telling me something that included, contactemergency and frequency. I felt a cold chill up my spine. Was I being intercepted by a fighter jet? Had Georgetown forwarded my flight plan? Maybe they hadn’t. Was I in trouble for entering Brazil? Switching to emergency frequency I called and listened for a while, but nothing. Back on control frequency I tried again. This time a different controller responded with much better English. After a few tries he got the syntax correct. “November One, One, Eight Alpha Kilo, cleared to Manaus, Sierra Bravo Echo Gulf, maintain level 105, contact Amazonica…ONLY in emergency, on frequency….” My heart sank. Contact only in an emergency? What about deviations around weather? 
1500 miles away in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Jodi was writing an email to our Prayer Team. She had been praying for me as she did every morning but felt an urge to enlist the help of others. Checking on the plane’s GPS satellite tracker she noticed that it had just crossed the border into Brazil, about halfway into the longest leg of the trip. She wasn’t worried, just prayerful, a miracle if you know her personality.  
In the cockpit things were a bit more tense. I passed from forecast weather into un-forecast weather, keeping my stress level near max. Storms and restricted areas pushed me dozens of miles off course. Would I make it through? What would the weather be like in Manaus? What if thunderstorms were sitting over the international airport? I didn’t have permission to land anywhere else in hundreds of miles. 
The hours crept by as slowly as the endless carpet of giant trees below. At long last I began to hear radio chatter again. I called with my position report and a request for current weather at Manaus, expecting the worst. “Visual conditions” came the reply. It was like a breath of air after a long underwater swim. My doubts trailed off into the darkness and rain behind us, the Cub and I were going to make it. 
Comparing notes after my safe arrival in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Jodi and I discovered something interesting. Throughout the trip we both had a trusting feeling that God would work out His good will in every aspect. I can account for the strange peace we felt, only by 
1) The multitude of prayers following that little plane. 
2) The experience of God’s mercies, both in the past, and every morning along the way!
Not to say I didn’t do a good bit of shallow worrying, but behind it all was an unusual confidence that I wasn’t alone. The multitude of Providences in the airplane project during the last three years stood as quiet witness of where we had come from. Each morning I felt overwhelmingly blessed by how far He had brought me, and I could say like Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”(1 Sam 7:12)
The last 40 miles to Manaus
You see, God doesn’t often ask us to make a great leap of faith. He teaches us to rock-hop, much like you would cross a swift mountain river. By hopping, rock to rock, experience to experience we can cross rivers wider than any Olympic long-jumper could conquer in one leap. And at each jump His hand is there to help if we are falling just a bit short. 
For me the ferry flight was not a leap of faith. It was one small hop at a time, just like the 3-year journey leading up to it. For a few hours over the Amazon jungle I did have real doubts as to the outcome of the flight. But just then several dozen people stopped in their busy routines to wrap the little plane and I with prayer. When that many people are praying for you, you feel it.
Headwaters of the Amazon
A friend shared these lines and brought out one of the great lessons from this experience:
“It is for our own benefit to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and to receive more and more.” Desire of Ages p.389
Just imagine if we were able to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. I’m sure that if I could just remember every gift and blessing from a single year of existence, I couldn’t possibly give more than a moment’s consideration to discouraging thoughts or fears; They would be immediately replaced by some memory of how God worked out a challenge in the past.  
Take this challenge with me to remember the blessings of the Lord. If we do, we will face new difficulties with confidence. When the water swirls swift, dark and deep between you and the next rock of safety, you will know that “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms...” Deuteronomy 33:27.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

- DJ
Facebook: GMA Bolivia Highlands
Super Cub

Safely to Bolivia!

Paperwork currently in process with customs to import the plane.
Needs From Here Forward:

1. Funding for medical trips in July. $600

2. Expected costs, Pilot's License conversion: ~$500-$700.

3. Funding to cover airplane importation.** ~$6000
(Final total pending) 

**ASI SU funding fell a bit short and the ferry flight ran over budget in the Bahamas, Anguilla and Brazil.

Thank You for your patience. We are back online and getting caught up on these. 
Join our Prayer Team and see how God is answering your prayers on a weekly basis!

Sign up by clicking the link below:
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A few of the blessings along the way... 

1. Charlie Aaron doing some last minute welding on the Cub.

2. William and Amir stored the Cub over the winter and let me use their hangar in Calhoun, GA way past the planned dates.

3. The Snyders went way out of their way to help me in the last few days.

4. Ed Williams loaned his private airstrip near Collegedale for an early morning departure. The Collegedale airport was close for repairs.

5. Friendly folks in Georgia helped me when I needed a part for the ferry tanks and later when I got stuck by weather.

6.Wings of Eagles in Tampa donated a life raft last minute.

7. AMAZING hospitality at Pilot Country airport near Tampa. Special thanks Andrew and Erika who put the Cub and I up for the night!

8. Friendly folks at Customs in Fort Lauderdale patiently helped me through the paperwork.

9. Friendly pilots made the hotel shuttle wait for my late arrival into the deserted airport at Stella Maris so I didn't have to sleep under the airplane.

10. Klaus Lemke and Bill Scott, professional ferry pilots, advised me throughout the flight.

11. White Rose in the UK handled the complicated international permissions for me without a hitch.

12. Friendly folks at the terminal in Dominican Republic helped me tie down the Cub in a storm and found me a hotel.

13. Super friendly airport guys in Anguilla gave me a ride to a hotel Friday afternoon that was within walking distance of a market, the harbor, and the local church!

14. Missionary friends hosted me in Grenada.

15. An old friend, Beardman, who works at the airport in Guyana handled all my paperwork! 

16. An overnight stay at flight base in Georgetown where I caught up with friends.

17. A last minute arrangement for handling services in Brazil was a big relief on my hardest day of the trip.

18. Dozens of prayers carried me through the hardest two days over Brazil.

19. Old friends in the tower and at Civil Aviation in Guyaramerin, Bolivia made me feel right at home.

20. Customs gave special permission to put the Cub in our friends' secure hangar the same day it arrived.
First Fuel Stop
Waiting for weather, Georgia
Tampa, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Stella Maris, Bahamas
Enroute to Dominican Republic
Manaus, Brazil 
Northern Bolivia
Landing in Cochabamba
In the hangar
This non-profit is funded by donations.

If you’d like to be a part, you can send tax-deductible donations to our 501(c)3:

Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc.

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Please include a note stating “Bolivia Highlands - Knott” or your project of choice.

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Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc. · P.O. Box 2358 · Collegedale, TN 37315 · USA

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