“One day you’ll leave this world behind so live a life you will remember.”
My father told me when I was just a child, “Only one life, twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
Who says that living for Christ can’t be fun and adventurous at the same time?
When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a missionary like my parents (who are Bible Translators for the northern tribes of the Philippines). I dreamt of being sent to a tribe in Papua New Guinea. I dreamt of sailing on the Doulos ship and evangelizing the world. I dreamt of living in Israel and being in the frontlines of wars. But then my father died and all of those dreams got buried with him.
Through the years, new dreams emerged. Doors opened and closed on me. I was re-directed and re-routed countless times. The opportunities were just as confusing as a Jeremy Bearimy timeline. Then the pandemic happened and I was forced to stay put.
Fast forward to yesterday when someone sat by me and said, “Thank you for coming home and bringing paragliding home with you. Thank you for changing our lives.”
Instantly, I was transported back to when I was 10 years old, watching a Wycliffe promotional video for Papua New Guinea. When one of the converted locals asked their missionary, “why did you come only now?” That touching moment was when I decided I wanted to become a Missionary at a young age.
Yesterday, as I hugged this person who I “converted” into paragliding, I realized, this is my “Papua New Guinea”. There are a lot of SCARED and SCARRED people in this world. Many are hiding behind fake smiles. Many are trapped in darkness, confusion, and mundane living. Many people suffering from mental health issues are abused, undiagnosed, and misunderstood.
Flying gave me a restart in life. I believe in its power to do wonders for one person. It can make one realize that they are BRAVE inside. By standing atop a mountain cliff and soaring off into the unknown, one experiences a transformation from fear to faith, from callousness to courage, and from terror to triumph. This is a God-moment, whether one knows it or not.
If I am able to share this unexplainable feeling that could make a dying heart beat again, then the skies have become my mission field. I may not be the best technical pilot in the future or the best person in terms of character, but I will keep converting people into flying, awakening the dead, and making their personal experience of God an adventure.
As I get older, my wild heart lives for younger days. I think of my Father if ever I’m afraid. He said, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
For these are the flights that never die.