But sometimes, when the pilot flies sharp and smooth, I look down out the window. And here I see our shadow dip and rise with the contours of an African landscape. I am reminded of the harsh and unforgiving environment in which we fly, and I am reminded of why we train so hard; why we fly at all.
Some seven hours later, after exhausting our search for a chopper, after launching two airplanes and one doctor, after landing a 206 on a bit of dirt road in the desert, after a hundred phone calls, some pretty hard decisions, and all the emotional energy I could muster, Susan was safe.
Frank’s steady hand on the yoke of an airplane was but an extension of his heart. And his steadfast determination to follow his calling is what brought he and his family to AIM AIR. And to the far corners of Africa.
Time’s arrow points firmly forward, whether we recognize it or not. Our lives are fragile. Our days are numbered. And there is never enough time to do enough good with the days we have. Chances are, our last day will be a day very much like this one, and it will catch us by surprise.
From what I saw over the course of our journey, watching 3,800 miles of African wilderness tick by below my wings, and from what I witnessed on the ground in our visits from the cool Didinga hills in South Sudan to the stagnant waters of Lake Chad, the words in Romans chapter 10 rang true: How can a lost people call on the Lord if they’ve never heard of Him?
Andy, in the meanwhile, wove a web of wires connecting our three headsets over a voice activated intercom, and then wired in an iPod and a Grisham “book on tape”. We soared around puffy fair-weather cumulus, and occasionally around a small thunderhead and a blast of rain. If the seatbelt didn’t hold me through the turbulence, I thought surely the tangle of cords would.