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Crop duster to missionary pilot

God used a near fatal accident while crop dusting to challenge Jim Ferguson into missions. After a shaky landing, the Lord gently spoke to him: "You know, you almost lost your life doing that. Wouldn't you rather give your life to the Lord's work?"

A Passion for Missions

God had his attention — completely. Jim left his crop-dusting business and his passion for flying behind. Now he had a passion for missions. Selling their home, he and his wife moved their family of five to Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, where their training with New Tribes Mission began. During that year at the training facility, Jim and his wife found themselves challenged over and over again by the many visiting missionaries. There were so many needs in so many countries. Each one touched their heart. Each one challenged them. But where would the Lord have them to go?

God's Plan Becomes Clear

As the end of their training neared, the Fergusons were still uncertain as to where they would minister. It wasn't until the executive board of New Tribes Mission approached Jim about starting a flight program for the mission, that it became clear. God wasn’t asking him to leave his passion after all. God was blending his two passions: his passion for flying and his passion for missions. What more could he ask for? Jim willingly accepted the assignment.

Being Part of Something Huge

In 1969, Jim Ferguson began training missionary pilots. NTM pilots navigate approaches on airstrips where few pilots would dare attempt a landing. These airstrips have been carved out of the jungle with axes and machetes, and the ground leveled with shovels and hoes. Some are in narrow valleys; others are on the mountaintops. Years of training prepare them for the many challenges associated with being bush pilots. Jim was privileged to be a part of starting all this. He said yes to God and God allowed him to be part of something huge. How about you? Are you ready to say yes to God? Are you ready to be part of something huge?

Prayer points

  • Airplanes are the conduit for supplies, and the lifeline to civilization and emergency medical services, for many missionaries who live in isolated villages deep in the jungle. Pray for NTM Aviation as they train missionary pilots to safely navigate the often less-than-perfect airstrips.
  •  Having a flight program is a dream that NTM Brazil has been working on for six years — and it's close to fruition. Pray as preparations are being made to send a Cessna 206 to Brazil.
  • For Lourens Laureti, the trip from the mission support center to their bush location should have been a 35-minute plane flight. But instead, a shortage of pilots and fuel necessitated a grueling hike back to the village. This was not an isolated instance. Pray that these shortages of pilots and fuel will be met.
  • Praise God with us for His provision of the first of several Kodiaks needed for Papua New Guinea. These Kodiaks will transport missionaries and their supplies to isolated jungle villages where they bring the light of the gospel to those still living in spiritual darkness. As Phil Koop wrote: “And now, we have more opportunities to trust Him for this Kodiak to get to its field of service.” Let's pray this Kodiak to its field of service!
Tags: Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Aviation, Mission News, Brazil, Papua New Guinea
POSTED ON Jun 08, 2014 by Rosie Cochran