Family and Friends:
The Lord has blessed us throughout our work in Africa. Margarita and I enjoyed being there and supporting the wildlife protection in Central Africa. As a conservation pilot, I was able to get some good experience in “bush flying.” Many times we saw God’s almighty hand working miracles.
Inspired by the report from Norman Hansen, also a missionary-in-training for Nicaragua, God laid it on my heart to also share a little miracle that saved our lives during our time in Africa.
It wasn’t long before our flight back to Germany; we were planning a series of critical flights. I had to fly to a town on Wednesday to pick up my replacement pilot from the airport, about a 50-minute flight away.The next morning, we planned on flying to a different national park towards the center of Cameroon. It was about a two and half hour flight to the park; then, we would fly over the park for a least four to five hours of surveillance and protection during the day. On that Friday, we planned to fly back to our national park–another two and half hour flight. Then, Friday afternoon we planned to arrive in town for our airline flight back to Germany.
It was Tuesday evening, and I was thinking through the flights and making plans for them. As I was preparing for bed, suddenly I had this strong feeling to do an oil change on my Cessna 182 before leaving Wednesday morning. I looked through my airplane logbook again and counted around 44 hours since the last oil change. I knew we needed to leave early the next morning. I could have gone without the oil change, but God gave me no peace of mind.
By sunrise I went out to do the oil change. After taking the cowling off, I noticed one tube broken from the engine. Since I am not a mechanic, I could only guess what it could be and how serious it was. I took a few pictures and emailed them to our MAF mechanic in Nairobi, Kenya. I hoped to get an answer soon because we had to leave early. Not receiving an immediate answer, I did some extensive engine run-ups, listening very carefully to anything that could sound strange.Then, we left for Garoua, the town where we would meet the replacement pilot. The operations director of our national park and my wife were also in the plane.
As usual, I prayed before the flight, and God allowed us to have a safe flight to town. During that day, I continued trying to contact the mechanic. The next morning, as I was preparing to fly out, and not feeling comfortable with the engine “problem,” I finally received an email from our MAF mechanic. The email was very clear–the problem with the engine needed to be solved before taking another flight. He informed me that the worst case scenario is the engine would die in flight.
We have an amazing God! He impressed me to do the oil change before we headed out. God opened my eyes to see that there is a problem, and He protected us flying to town not knowing how serious that problem could be, and He impressed the mechanic to write back to us exactly at the right moment. Just a few minutes later and we would have taken off.
It is such a privilege to know that God is real and is with us and protects us. He is still in the miracle working business! Margarita and I are looking forward to our mission service with Adventist World Aviation. Your prayers and financial support will surely help make this happen.
In His service,
Artur and Margarita Karst