Missionary Charlie Patton and his wife, Ruth, like to take walks together.
“Usually,” Charlie says, “those walks are well-lit and we know exactly where we are going. We even know about how long our walks will take.”
But the path that Charlie set out to walk toward being a missionary pilot in Brazil has been very different—not much has gone according to his plan.
For one thing, the terrain has been unknown. Also the distance. Even the destination has been unclear at times.
“All we knew,” Charlie says, “was that the Lord asked us to begin it—to put one foot in front of the other and walk in the direction of setting up a flight ministry to serve the needs of our Brazilian missionaries who are taking the Gospel to isolated people groups.”
For various reasons, the Pattons’ ministry path has necessitated Charlie putting his personal flying time aside for two years.
Charlie has recently taken and passed the written flight exam. Currently he is working on finding a flight instructor to fly with him so that he can log the required hours before taking the practical flight exam for his Brazilian pilot’s license.
When endurance is lacking on the long road, there is the temptation to stop moving forward. Charlie knows that they have no control over the timing of the journey or what the finish line will look like.
“The timing is totally in God’s Hands,” he says. “By faith we make plans and by faith we submit to His actual direction of our steps.”
Charlie adds that there is one certainty about this ministry path.
“The only thing we can be sure of is that God is trustworthy to accomplish what He has in mind.”
Pray for God’s provision of a flight instructor who will be able to provide the flying time that Charlie needs. Pray that God will direct his path and help him on the written exam so that soon he will be serving missionaries who minister in isolated areas of Brazil.
Sponsoring flights for missionaries is key for Charlie’s future ministry in Brazil. Many missionaries who serve there come from Brazilian churches and cannot afford to pay the entire cost of flight service. You can help by sponsoring missionary flights.