moved mightily during the summer of 2003 on Cat Island, Bahamas. Everybody who
was a part of that trip realized how special it was to see people come to
Christ. Lives changed as the Holy Spirit moved on the island during the final
week of July. Once again, God has provided the way for another mission trip to
return to Cat Island. Servant Air Ministries, the Florida Chapter of Pilotís for
Christ, was called on to provide safe and reliable air transportation to this
remote Bahamas Island.
During the weekend of February 28th Ė 29th,
2004, a scouting team from the Missionary Alliance church of Ft. Pierce, Florida
flew down to Cat Island to see how God was moving and where they could best be
used. From the moment Dan Pennell, Paul and Katie Kuhn, and pilot, Ryan Roberts
stepped on the Servant Air Ministries Piper Aztec, it was apparent that this
would be a special trip guided and directed by God. Early in the morning before
the sun woke from its slumber, the team departed on an IFR flight plan to New
Bight, Cat Island.
On the ground that day the weather was dreary, like a cold Irish
morning. Just like Godís faithfulness, it is amazing how He can lift you above
the temporary troubles of the world and into His light. After liftoff, radar
contact with Miami Center was established. The climb continued up through thick
overcast layer. A few minutes later the plane was on top with Godís brilliant
light shining all around. The rest of the trip was simply spent reveling in
Godís amazing creation. Upon arrival, customs was cleared in New Bight and the
airplane was relocated 20 miles north to Arthurstown, Cat Island. Pastor
Newbold, who was the main contact on the island, joyfully met the missionaries.
Hugs in brotherly love were exchanged and the weekend unveiling of Godís plan
quickly took shape.
first task was going to each of the Churches on the island that pastor Newbold
oversees to find out what they needed. Paul Kuhn measured empty spaces in newly
built structures where windows would eventually go. Most of the churches on the
island were in desperate need of repair. Pastor Newbold was virtually the only
person rebuilding all of the churches. However, he knows that on top of being a
Pastor and professional carpenter on the island, the time spent building Godís
physical kingdom will translate into building Godís eternal spiritual kingdom.
While traveling to the dozen churches on hard, rocky roads, Dan Pennell recorded
all of the supplies they would need to complete the roofing, painting, window
installation and other building projects. Katie Kuhn determined how to best
divide up the team of 30 people coming during the summer for VBS camps
throughout the island.
The previous year, the Missionary Alliance group brought 16
people and stayed at the home of a doctor from Tampa, Florida. They has never
previously met Ďdocí, and thought how great it would be if he just happened to
be on the island at the same time during this trip. As God would have it, that
was in His plan. ĎDocí was at his home, working on upgrades to his house to
accommodate even more people. When Dan thanked him for opening up his home to
us, and asked if it would be possible to do it again, Ďdocí replied with an
astounding Ďyesí. He said it would be available any time the group wanted to
come down. This was a big answer to prayer and a sign that God was in control of
these short couple of days. The final stop was at Pastor Strongís church. The
Cat Island pastors and missionaries prayed for God to come in power and might
now and in the upcoming summer. Godís presence was obvious, and it was amazing
to be blessed and to simply fall into Godís will.
From there, pastor Newbold blessed the foursome with a
complimentary nightís stay at ĎSammy Tísí, a local resort. Pastor Newbold had
won a nightís stay there a few months back, and decided to bless the group
rather than use it himself. As Christ would say, it is more blessed to give than
to receive. That night there was also a great dinner with fresh seafood and time
of reminiscing about what God did the previous summer, and what He was about to
do in the coming months.
following morning found the four missionaries at a local church service,
enjoying a tribute to one of the local pastors who was 98 years old. People from
all over the Bahamas came to pay tribute to a great man who lived with Christ at
the center of his life. The worship was lively with a distinct Bohemian flavor,
and the presence of God was readily apparent. Before the service was finished,
the group was ushered out of the church. Waiting was the local customs agent,
Dawsett, who was also at the church service. He completed the paperwork, and
sent the foursome on their way.
As morning turned into afternoon, Dan, Paul, Katie and Ryan embraced Pastor
Newbold and Pastor Strong as beloved brothers in Christ. Taking to the sky and
giving a wing dip on takeoff as a final Ďso-longí, the Servant Air Ministries
turbocharged Piper Aztec was carried back to the United States by an friendly
easterly wind. When God directs, and we simply follow His lead, it is amazing
how He lets us take part in so much of the action. As for the coming months,
Servant Air Ministries is ready and excited to aid in advancing the gospel in
the Bahamas, and around the world.