Saturday, March 22, 2008


I made this photo after I had just dropped Spanish gospels of John and Christian tracts in the center of town.

I was flying the plane with one hand and taking the photo with the other. There were thousands of little villages like this one scattered all over Mexico and this was the best way to start our outreach to them. Mexico had strict laws that no one could go into a village and evangelize without being asked to come to the village by the people who lived in the village. The Gospel of John offered them a free correspondence course in the bible and opened the door to reaching them.

I could tell from the air by flying over the village several times that the people on the ground would pick up every single piece of paper we dropped. Still, I wondered about the result. One day talking with my interpreter he started telling me how we could measure the results. He suggested that we fly to a city he was familiar with and do a gospel drop. Then with the cooperation of a local pastor he knew well, we could have a revival meeting in the town and could get some information about the effectiveness of the gospel drops. Several weeks later I picked him up in San Antonio, Texas and we flew to Durango, Mexico. It was June 7, 1965. We loaded the plane with tracts and gospels of John and started the difficult flight to Mazatlan on the West coast of Mexico.

Looking at my old WAC charts I would need to fly a direct course of 245 degrees to Mazatlan. However, with some of the Mountains being 11,000 feet high I would need to pick my way across the mountain using the lower passes. This meant flying a zigzag course and without a GPS or any kind of navigation equipment I would have to try to remember my off course directions and time to get back on anything like the right track.

Danny enjoyed the 130 mile flight looking at the mountain peaks. I enjoyed finally seeing the low country and knowing we were going to make it to Mazatlan. We landed without incident, refueled the plane and took some time to walk around.

We took off for the relatively easy 240 mile flight up the western coast of Mexico to Los Mochis. It was a small city that catered to the occasional tourist, had a nice airport and a small hotel in town. Within easy flying distance there were several small villages. We went into town to get something to eat and to check in at the small hotel. Danny suggested we go back to the airport and do a gospel drop of tracts, and the Gospel of John in Spanish. We did this over the edges of town and out in the sparsely settled country.

The pastor and his church were happy to see us and had decided to have the revival meeting outside the church on their front lawn. To prepare for our meeting they had cut off four trees to the height of about four feet and nailed some lumber on the tree trunks. With some crude steps they had a shaky platform for us to use for preaching.

We had the usual annoyances from someone who didn't want us there. Each evening when it was time to start our service a man would start up a huge road grading machine and slowly run it back and forth on the dirt road. When the services ended he would shut down and leave the equipment on the side of the road.

On the last night of this week of preaching I was saying a prayer to dismiss the service when I heard a piercing scream. I opened my eyes to see an older lady jump a four foot ditch and run screaming down the dirt road. I heard her screaming, "Gloria A Dios" over and over again. The people ran after her and when they brought her back to the church the Pastor talked with her. then he told us what happened.

Everyone knew her. She had been blind for years and during that prayer she could suddenly see again. I was stunned and could only say that God had worked a miracle. I had nothing to do with it. No one wanted to go home and I wasn't surprised when a tall old man said he wanted to say something. The pastor got him up on the platform and he was so frightened he was shaking the whole platform. I didn't understand Spanish, but when Danny translated his words for me I had my answer.

He said he was a sorry husband, a drunk that couldn't find work or stay sober long enough to keep a job. His wife in disgust told him he should just go out in the woods and hang himself. He got on his horse took some rope and rode out to a grove of trees. While looking up for a limb to end his life he saw a colorful piece of paper in the branches. While he looked the wind blew it down and it landed at his feet. He got off his horse, picked it up and it was a Christian tract that told him how Jesus could change his life.

I found myself crying when he told how he got down on his knees, gave his life to "El Senior", and went home to ask his wife to forgive him. They cried together and wept for joy. There was only one way that colorful Christian tract could have been in the top of a tree. It was one that we had dropped from the plane several days before.

No, I can't prove any of this. All I can say is that I was there, heard the testimonies and was deeply moved by something I couldn't explain. I felt certain that God saw the questions in my heart and gave me a powerful answer for it.

My first flight instructor made me start keeping a log book of all my flights. Other flight instructors did the same. It's been a long time since June 7, 1965 when I flew my Cessna Skyhawk N7504x to Los Mochis. But today when I found the record of that flight in my old log book, I know it was God's way of saying, "Mission Accomplished."

I'll soon be 76 years old and I needed that memory to touch my heart, encourage me and lift my spirit. Maybe we all need to keep a log book of the good things God has helped us to do.

1 comment:

  1. This story touches the deepest part of my soul. I am brought back to the knowledge that it is "simple trusting" faith that God often answers. I think so many people are skeptical today that we forget the simple fact that "God loves me and wants to do his will in my life." It's wonderful to hear stories like this that remind us that he's still there and still answering prayer. God bless you Ken and thank you for serving him. I love the song call "Thank you for giving to the Lord." That song describes you to a tee.