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March 1977 Newsletter
COLOMBIAN CHRISTIAN MISSION
Dale and Jeanie Meade
San JosÃ© del Guaviare in Colombia, South America
Volume 5, Issue 3 March, 1977
UP, UP AND AWAY
In conjunction with our plans to use a small airplane for transportation into remote areas of the jungle, I have been taking flying lessons. I have never had any real desire to learn to fly. Yet it has been very interesting. My introduction was in the latter part of December. I worked at it several days per week. For the first 10 hours I flew with the instructor. We worked on basic control of the aircraft, etc. But we really practiced landing. Some of those first landing were really something. Some casual observer might have thought that we were practicing stunt flying! Slowly but surely I gained the necessary proficiency to be soloed.
The course then called for short cross-country flights. They grew longer as I learned more about navigation and pilotage. For the next month I continued to make these 50 to 100 mile cross-country flights. I was introduced to night flying, short field landings, and emergency procedures. Slowly but surely, they were making a pilot of me. By mid-January I had accumulated sufficient cross-country time. All along I had been studying in a ground school course. The private license was no longer a far-away goal.
The 300 mile 3 point cross-country was the last flying event in the course of study. I planned to fly from Wadsworth, Ohio to Adrian, Michigan to Urbana, Ohio then back to Wadsworth. I took off about noon into a 30 mile per hour headwind. As I approached the first stop I noticed that my radio wasn't working. A quick check revealed that all electrical equipment on board had also ceased to function. I would either have to return or finish the trip by pure pilotage. Since it was a clear day, I chose the latter. I headed south from Adrain to my next stop in Urbana. Upon arriving there it was evident that I was in for a delay. Snow removal was in process. After circling for an hour I headed for an alternate airfield and landed. Due to extreme cold weather and alternator failure, the plane wouldn't restart. What should have been an easy trip was becoming a little frustrating. Fortunately after a power-start, the remaining leg of the trip proved uneventful. I landed at Wadsworth without flaps (no electricity to lower them) and parked the plane.
After this is was time to hit the books for the written exam. For two weeks a friend and I studied and reviewed. There were some demoralizing sample tests but finally we managed to master the majority of the material. We went to Cleveland and took the three hour test. Our preparation paid off and we both passed. After a few final check-out flights and a flying exam, Lord willing, I will be a pilot.
Dear Christian Friends,
Throughout the New Testament one can see the importance of prayer in the life of the Christian. Prayer is really the life blood of the Christian life that we lead as Christians, and cannot be separated even for a day. In my own life I have begun to understand just how important the prayers of others for me are in my own development as a Christian worker. And it is this which I wish to express to you, that it is through your prayers that your missionaries gain strength and hope. The knowledge that I have of those at home in Indianapolis and those at Milligan College that are remembering me before the Lord each day in prayer gives me that added touch of companionship which make each day that much more of a joy. I hope that all of you will continue to pray for Phil and Dale and the other missionaries that work here in Colombia, for in such work there are many joys but also many problems which can be overpowering and discouraging.
Remember all your missionaries in prayer, and even your future missionaries, and I am sure that the Lord will bless you at the same time he is blessing those you have prayed for. Eric Duggins.