As part of yesterday's hooplah, the pilot of the AIM-Air plane ended
up hanging out at our house, and in between driving and supplying
snacks and water I had the privilege of doing my own interview. It
was RVA that provided the connection, I find that it is a way that
most missionaries in East Africa are somehow related. But as we sat
and talked I was awed by the real commitment and experience of this
family of AIM missionaries. The pilot's grandfather entered the
Belgian Congo in 1922 in a canoe with CT Studd, one of the pioneers of
19th and 20th century missions. His grandparents served over 40 years
as did his parents, and he and his wife are on their 26th year . . .
with four kids who will probably follow into this fourth generation.
Makes our saying "we've been here over 15 years" sound pretty paltry.
I was fascinated by first-hand accounts of Congo when it was a
functional empire of railroads and order, as well as by first-hand
accounts of the rampant corruption and deterioration that make it
almost impossible to survive there now as an outsider. But more so I
applaud the quiet heart of mission aviation, to connect people with
gifts to share in preaching, healing, teaching, etc. with those in
very remote and difficult terrain. It is often Africans ministering
to Africans these days, but the plane still enables those with more
opportunities to reach those with less. It reminds me that we are a
young mission, and I humbly soak in the history of those who have laid
down their lives long before we were born.