It’s just an aviation expo and air show you might say. But each year New Tribes Mission Aviation seeks “God appointments” during the week known to many as “Oshkosh.”
The official name, AirVenture, has been an event since 2001 that NTMA has not missed. It’s in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and provides the perfect opportunities to meet folks interested in aviation and present how they can be part of speeding the gospel to those who have not heard.
This is the largest airshow in the USA. On the grounds of the Whitman Airport, half a million people along with 10,000 aircraft come together to “celebrate the business and the pleasure of aviation.”
For those who come with NTM Aviation it’s so much more than that. God provides this opportunity so that they can demonstrate how aviation is part of reaching those who have not heard the Good News.
Jeff and Wonita Werley explain that, “Though in the past NTMA had a small display in a large tent with 20 some other mission organizations, starting last year we set up our own tent next to the other mission displays. In the tent, we recreate a tribal village complete with a 20-foot-by-8-foot tribal backdrop, one quarter of a full-scale tribal hut, a burning, smoking fire, a tribal lady and her baby, a pig, chickens, palm trees, birds, etc. A large screen monitor loops images of take-offs and landings in remote areas where NTMA assists tribal church planting works. A smaller monitor is live to the internet to provide on the spot missions info for the interested folks. This year, a crew of eleven NTM/NTMA personnel interacted with AirVenture show-goers from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.”
The main purpose of NTM Aviation is to assist in the effort to plant churches in remote tribal locations. The effort to connect is made with students, families, aviators, business owners and others in order to help cast a vision for how they can be a part of this great work.
Kids can come and have some fun with a “jungle scavenger hunt” that’s been put together by the missionaries. As they search for the snakes in trees and tribal implements lying around the hut or they build their little “mission plane” out of candy, they are hearing the Word of God as it’s taken to the various remote jungle areas.
“This year, we had on display the diesel Cessna 182 slated for the Asia-Pacific Region. It has a unique engine made in France that runs on jet fuel instead of aviation gasoline, which is helpful since jet fuel is much more accessible and cheaper than aviation gasoline. Interestingly, the French manufacturers of the engine, SMA, had their display not far from ours,” Jeff and Wonita said.
Knowing that these opportunities are unique and just what God can use to give direction and creative ideas for so many more to become part of His plan to reach the lost, a thorough system for follow-up has been developed.
Pray that responses can be tracked and contacts yield a whole new group of coworkers who can see their part as ambassadors for Christ, speeding the gospel to those who have not heard, through missionary aviation.
You can play a part in making missionary aviation possible by sponsoring flights. Each $250 pays for an hour of flight time.