Charlie and Ruth Patton have been doing some thinking lately about farming, and one thing seems very clear to them. “The farmer who plants, waters and patiently waits,” Ruth observes, “will eventually reap if he doesn’t faint.”
The need and desire for a flight ministry that could serve missionaries in a particularly remote area of Brazil was already in evidence many years ago.
“And like the farmer,” Ruth notes, “everyone involved in the development of this flight ministry has needed to continue in faith, watering and working, even when none of us could see what God was doing.”
There have been countless set-backs and discouragements. Delays, closed doors and bitter disappointments have slammed the Pattons’ hopes and plans more times than they can count. For one thing, it took Charlie and Ruth more than three years of waiting on God’s schedule, wrestling through the long process of requirements for Charlie to achieve his Brazilian pilot’s license.
Ruth says that, much in same way that God breathes life into a seed planted deep in the soil, “He has been actively working so that a flight ministry would spring to life—in His time.”
And now it’s a joy to them to begin to see the results of God’s faithful work. The Pattons will soon be flying to New Tribes Mission Aviation headquarters in Arizona so that Charlie can renew his flight physical and gain some proficiency time in preparation for flying the Cessna 206 from Ohio to Brazil.
“It is so encouraging to see evidence of what God has been steadfastly working on during the long wait and dark times,” Ruth shares. “The time has finally come!”
The Pattons are convinced that God will grow this flight ministry, not only on His own time schedule, but in His own way. It may end up looking quite different from earlier plans, Ruth explains. But their hope and prayer is that with flight support available, more missionaries will feel able to move into this very remote area where there are still many unreached people groups.
This milestone of getting the Cessna 206 to Brazil is the starting place for this goal of further access for missionaries that will enable them to share the gospel with people who are still unreached.
With so much at stake, Charlie and Ruth feel it’s safe to predict that it won’t be all smooth sailing from here. “There are—and will continue to be—obstacles,” Ruth readily admits. “Some are big enough to make us doubt or shake in our boots if it were not for our conviction that we have a God Who is intent on accomplishing His purposes and nothing will stop Him.”
Charlie and Ruth would love to have your prayers for the finishing touches on the aircraft, such as inspection and documentation of airworthiness. They would love to have you pray in the weeks ahead for a safe journey as the plane makes its way from Ohio to its new home in Brazil.
Would you consider joining the Pattons in specific prayer for other areas of need as this flight ministry in Brazil takes shape? Pray for God to call more NTM pilots who are eager and ready to serve Him in Brazil and for God’s rich providence to finance the expenses of this Brazil flight ministry.
“We trust God for what He is growing,” Ruth adds. “We know His timing is best and His ways are better than ours. We know, too, that the strongest, largest plants and trees do not spring up overnight. God knows what is needed for building His church in the remote areas of West Brazil.”
The Pattons are thankful and rejoicing in God’s goodness. Seeing sprouts—especially after a very long wait—is further evidence that God’s calendar is right on time.