From the first time I was able to get my hands on the controls of an airplane, I was hooked. My passion for aviation led me to want to learn more, and to a degree in aviation at Andrews University. Yes, I know now how to fly an airplane. But I also know, and I have recognized for a while, that God is calling me to more than simply flying an airplane. He has a bigger, better, more exciting plan for my life.
Throughout college, I contemplated taking a year off school to be a student missionary. However, I was always in the middle of something or found an excuse not to go. During Summer 2016, I decided to listen to God. He said, “Go.” I finally said, “Okay.” After I had finished my degree, I found myself in Guyana, South America.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got to Guyana. Would I like it? Would I adapt quickly? Would the people like me? And most importantly, how would God use me? I knew all of these questions would be answered in time. But when?
The week I arrived, I was thrown into a whirlwind of flying with Laura LaBore and Darren Lea. As we flew, I was able to get checked out on different airstrips in the region and glean valuable information from Laura, as well as Darren, about flying in Guyana. Throughout the week, we had medical evacuations, transportation of a dead body to be buried, and transporting education officials from the region to different schools. It was a lot of fun, and I learned a lot. Along with flying, I have also been able to find out more about aviation maintenance.
After a period of about a month, I settled down into the routine of life as a missionary pilot intern. I laugh at the word “routine” because that doesn’t describe how life is in Guyana. I have learned to be very flexible and willing to do things I haven’t done before.
I started to wonder what I should do between flying and aircraft maintenance. Bruce Wilkerson suggested I use my recently acquired knowledge and skill as a Certified Flight Instruction (CFI). He explained to me that he had encountered many people in the community who hope and dream of becoming a pilot. So, I met with the Regional Education Director and received approval to teach an Aviation Ground School class. When class began, I thought maybe I would have two or three students. But, no! I had nine students the first day. I was amazed and excited. I can tell my students are interested and enthusiastic about learning more about aviation. They are very bright! I am proud of what they have learned so far, and they keep coming back to class.
I have also found myself tutoring two girls in math and reading. One student is in the sixth grade; the other student is in transitional school. The transitional program means they are between primary and secondary education. They have passed primary but are not allowed or ready for secondary. Neither of these girls understands the concepts of basic arithmetic or reading. It’s difficult to realize, that many of the people in the community have similar stories to these girls, and it saddens me that I can’t help them all. I’ve enjoyed working with the two girls, and I’m sure God has put me in their lives for a reason. I know He has put them in my life for a reason.
This internship has given me lots of opportunities. I’ve learned to ride a motorcycle, drive a boat, teach, and rely wholly on God. I am learning and growing every day. I encourage any young adult to do mission service while you can. I’ve had a lot of people tell me they wish they could have done it. So, why not do it? When I am finished with this internship, I wait eagerly for God to reveal other opportunities of service for me.
Visit Rebecca’s page here.