Alaina and Mercy arrived Thursday evening, it was so great to see them. I had to tie off a few loose ends to finish off the day, and then went over to the guest house where they stayed over the weekend. After dinner we had a ice cream and watched a movie before we all went to bed. I drove back to itec and just laid there, I couldn’t sleep for anything, at about 2 or 3 I ended up trying to read for a while, but that didn’t help, so I looked up stuff online, read some blogs, wrote a few emails, nothing helped. So at 5 I took a shower, and left for Ocala, which is about 30 minutes away, I stopped at a Starbucks a while then the mall then ended up at a different Starbucks. I sat down and wrote in my journal. At 7:30 and Stephen texted me telling me that they were packing up to leave, so I drove back down and said good-bye.
After Stephen and Ayala left we drove about an hour to see Mercy’s sister and mother. Alaina and I talked to Mercy’s mother for a while, she is almost 90. I ended up telling her my whole story pretty much, and also told her about i-tec and what I am doing here, and my ambition to be a missionary pilot. She really liked my story and everything God is doing for me. After lunch we hung out and looked at old photo albums.
We ended up leaving late in the afternoon and headed to Mercy’s brother’s house in Apopka, which was about another hour driving. We visited again Sunday evening for dinner. We took a golf cart ride and I hung out with a few other guys and we played ping pong and hung out around the fire pit.
Back to Christmas. On Christmas morning, we went swimming at Rainbow Springs, which is only about 15 minutes from here. The water is clear all the way to the bottom and stays 72 degrees year round! (Troy and I flew over it and at 2,500 ft and we could see the bottom) It was cold when I first got in, but after a minute it was great.
We then went over to Steve Saint’s house for Christmas lunch. Wow, there were over 50 people there. Mercy and Alaina helped in the kitchen and Ginny fell in love with them, she told them that they could come over whenever they wanted. And once again, they were too much help, Steve didn’t want them to go either. When he found out when they were leaving he asked them who said they could go. After Steve introduced everyone to everyone, we prayed and ate. We sat at a table with a family from Colorado that were just passing through and Jamie and his wife Jessica. It was great talking with all of them. Jamie and I talked about running a little bit. He has done a half Iron Man race and plans on doing a whole Olympic distance Iron Man in 2011.
Steve also showed Mercy, Alaina, and me his office where there were pieces of his father’s plane, some of the pieces still have gravel from Palm Beach, and the original copies of TIME magazine about the incident and another copies made a few years later when Elisabeth Elliot, and Rachel Saint were in the Jungles. Steve introduced us to all the Waodani in each picture and told us about them. He also showed us two of the spears found in Nate Saint’s body. He told us that one of them had a piece of New Testament speared through it. It was a tradition of the Waodani to spear something of their enemies to them.
I don’t think that words really can describe what was going on in my head when I was in that office. I held one of the spears in my hand, and was awed, as I always am, at the history that that spear made. The impact on the missionary world, the impact on my world, that spear is what brought me to God, it is what brought me to here to the mission field. The Indian who made that spear so long ago, in a forest so far away, and used it to do something that impacted so many people. I constantly find it amazing.
That night, we watched the last movie made about Marj Saint before she died. It is actually her telling the story, it was really awesome, she is a really remarkable woman, and that is an understatement. We also watched a DVD series called Missions Dilemma. Steve Saint made this DVD off of a book he wrote called the same thing. I would highly recommend watching this whether you are planning to go into the mission field or not.
I have spent a lot of time with Steve, mostly doing work stuff, but I have learned a lot about missions, and how it is done today and what the consequences are. I believe that one of the reasons that God brought me here is to learn from Steve how to do missions, and how to be an affective missionary.
On a more practical note, I got a letter from the FAA and they have several more tests and medical records that they want from me before they give me my certificate. I can still start flying, but I cannot fly as pilot-in-command, or solo, till I have those records and test results. I am not worried about it is a little discouraging that I still have to get all this now when I am so far away from the doctors who can help. Lord willing, I will probably make a trip to Memphis when time allows and get it taken care of.
Please pray that I don’t run into too many difficulties with getting those records and tests done. Thank you all so much for your prayers, and support, it is much needed and much appreciated.
Your brother in Christ,