The Knott's June 2019 Update
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A Higher Purpose

DJ’s alarm went off at 4:15am. The sound of raindrops gently pattering on the roof was a welcome relief.

DJ turned off the alarm and shut his eyes again, knowing that rain and the corresponding cloud build-up in the mountains would keep him from flying today. I was glad too, as I knew DJ had been pushing really hard on several fronts and the few extra minutes of sleep would be a blessing. Unfortunately, it was the last morning that he would have an opportunity to fly before we headed to the States.
DJ had really wanted to land several places in the mountains before our trip so that he could talk about how great of a tool the plane was and how it was already doing amazing things. Yet, God saw fit to have us wait.
Once we returned to Bolivia six weeks later, the weather was much better, dry season in full swing. DJ resumed his flying practice, learning better how the super cub performed at high altitude and honing his short landing/takeoff skills. Once he had completed about 50 flight hours in country, a recommendation from an experienced bush pilot, he began venturing into the high mountains, learning the passes and valleys, weather patterns and wind tendencies. He began to land hilltops and one-way “strips,” practicing and practicing some more, looking forward to when the flights could be facilitating medical teams and Bible work. I have enjoyed being the debrief sounding board when he comes home in the afternoons. I hear him saying his MAF training continues to be invaluable and that following the guidelines they set up is giving him a comfortable safety margin while flying in this challenging mountain terrain. DJ talks about the what-to-dos and the what-not-to-dos that he’s learning. It’s a joy watching the aviation branch of our mission project unfold!
Waiting to use an airplane in our work here has proved a blessing. Starting with a ground-based program has cultivated deeper relationships and mutual respect. The extra time it takes to drive in and hike has also been good for our own spiritual growth and has allowed for time to think about the spiritual healing the people need in addition to the physical. The work must be for God's glory and not our own.
Recently, DJ and I were talking about the fig tree that Jesus cursed because, though it was full of leaves, it bore no fruit. You know, flying around in these mountains can be a lot like a beautiful fig tree full of leaves. We could brag about the super cub’s performance and the places it’s landed, tell you how many hundreds of people the doctors have treated and write incredible updates that encourage you to empty your pockets for our ministry. BUT, unless we are “producing fruit,” letting God use us to reach others for His Kingdom, it is just a tree with a bunch of beautiful leaves. The leaves may make one look good to the world, but it is the fruit that brings glory to God. So no fruit, no good! God's glory needs to be at the forefront of everything we do.
Our conversation trailed off into the previous month’s flights. DJ told me that he had seen a distinct difference on the days that he had spent time with Jesus before flying and the days when he hadn’t. On days without worship, he would come home, lamenting the fact that he forgot to pray with someone who probably needed it or share an uplifting thought. Conversely, on the days when he made the sacrifice and set the alarm for 4 instead of 4:30, he would come home glowing with stories of how he saw God work in someone’s heart that very morning. I’ll share just two examples that stick out in my memory.
The first was back when DJ was practicing at some established airstrips south of Cochabamba. As the plane touched its wheels on the dirt track, a friendly-looking man stood up in a golden field, a moon-sliver sickle in his hand. He and several others left their wheat harvest and came over to say hello. A humble community, though only a 20-minute flight from Cochabamba, requires a 4+ hour drive to get there by road. DJ chatted with the handful of men and they welcomed him back whenever he wanted to come. As the crowd dispersed, the man with the sickle came up and asked DJ if he could bring a doll for his 2-yr-old daughter the next time he came.
It just so happened that DJ was planning to go back the next day. That night, I pulled out a few of Hadassah’s extra clothes and one of her dolls to send with DJ. The man seemed to be in a difficult and strange family situation, his wife having moved away, taking the older kids to be with another man, but leaving little Dominga with her father. DJ was also blessed by the opportunity to pray with a Christian man from the community and left that afternoon with doors open anytime he wanted to return. We are excited that this may be a dryer area that we can work with the airplane and medical teams during rainy season when the mountains to the north are socked in with clouds.
The second memory comes from a morning when DJ first landed in “the most beautiful place” valley (see *march update). Brother Severo and his aged mother arrived first at the plane, then they were joined by a dozen more people from a little farther down the valley. DJ had prayed for an opportunity to share something spiritual with them and after the initial greetings and some oranges to share, DJ gave away two more audio Bible players. That sparked an idea and the people asked DJ to read something from the Bible. So they had a little impromptu study, right there under the wing of the plane. Everyone left encouraged.
Jesus was hungry when he went looking for something to eat at the promising fig tree. There are people all around us who are hungry for something better, something more than this world can give.
Romans 10:14 says, “How can people have faith in the Lord and ask Him to save them, if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them?” (CEV).
Spend time with Jesus, friends! Open your Bible and read it, write in your prayer journal, think about those things throughout the day. When you do, God will use those very thoughts to be a blessing to others, a representation of His true character. Let God grow figs on your tree, that you may be promising not only in leaf, but also in fruit.

- Jodi
Facebook: GMA Bolivia Highlands
Facebook: GMA Bolivia Highlands
Join our Prayer Team and see how God is answering your prayers on a bi-weekly basis!

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Ways God has Provided:

1. Donations: June donations were 1/3 of June expenses, but God provided just in time to keep going into July!

2. Bolivian Dentist who will be joining the team part-time starting in August

3. Two pledges for more Audio Bible Devices
Upcoming Needs:

1. Airplane Operating Expense, (complete = $75/hr), 20-30 hrs./month

2. Student missionary!

3. Medical Trips ($500-$600/trip)
8 trips planned for July/August

4. Divine wisdom about land options. Please pray!
June Medical Trip
First medical trip with the airplane! The team was able to do in 2.5 days what would have taken 5-6 days driving in and hiking. We're grateful that the plane allows more medical professionals to join us on these shorter trips!
Thanks to Dra. Olga (DDS), Dr. Alex (MD) and Dra. Ashana (PT).
Where the grass grows greener...
DJ did a flight for ITM, a fellow mission organization, taking some missionaries into an airstrip in the lower mountains that was not maintained well enough for their Cessna 206 to get into.
Family Day
We spent a day with some missionary friends from Santa Cruz who were in town and hiked up the Tunari Peak. DJ and Herman made it to the top (16,500') while Saray, the kids and I stayed at 15,500', having only made it up 500 feet :D. The altitude was a bit much for all of us!
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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Gospel Mission Aviation, Inc. · P.O. Box 2358 · Collegedale, TN 37315 · USA

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