Mirta and I have been married for 31 years now, God blessed us with three beautiful and talented daughters, Sharon, Karen and Lara. We decided, at a very early age to prepare our daughters to be missionaries serving people in need. We are sure God has guided us through different places preparing us for what was his purpose in us. But we never imagined that God will call us firstd us with three beautiful and talented daughters, Sharon, Karen and Lara. We decided, at a very early age to prepare our daughters to be missionaries serving people in need. We are sure God has guided us through different places preparing us for what was his purpose in us. But we never imagined that God will call us first.
With a strong desire to be a pilot, as a child, God led me to read many stories about medical missionary aviation work. In August, 2014, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin at the International Pathfinder Camporee, God offered us to go to the mission field through Gospel Ministries International (GMI), a faith-based organization that directs and supports medical aviation programs in several countries and reaching people in these countries. After talking with David Gates in one of the Oshkosh hangars, we offer ourselves as volunteers, not thinking that he would say “I need you now in Bolivia”.
For Mirta the decision was very painful, special because this involved leaving our two oldest daughters in the US. Karen 17 y Sharon was 19. Sharon and Karen are studying in the United States, dedicated especially to prepare them for the future. Lara she was 13 so came with us. At the age 16 Lara returned to US to study.
February 2015, we arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, at the beginning it was a great challenge, in the first three months we lived in a very poor neighborhood next to the GMI campus, because in the campus was not more places to live, we stay in a rented a house at 1.25 miles and without transportation, we needed to walk to go to work every day, many times we returned exhausted. Being volunteers 100 %, without any salary at first was tough. I remember one day when we only have 12 Bolivians (1 dollar & 45 cents) and we need to get the last 100 dollars from an ATM for our food and basics for the month. I decided to go with Lara to the city to go to an ATM to do an extraction. We got there and when I put the Card on it, the transaction was made, but the machine didn’t give me the money. I felt very frustrated and angry, I called Mirta telling her please check the bank account to see if they took the money, and I explain her what happens. She got very nervous, the internet was very slow but it worked, she saw that the money had been taken from the bank; meanwhile someone knocked at the door, but Mirta was so upset that she thought: “I will not answer the door” She was sitting on the floor in the living room with the computer in her lap. we didn’t have furniture, the person continues knocking, it happens for almost 8 minutes. Finally, Mirta begins to listen because the man was calling by the name Miguel, and she recognized that it was a missionary, and she felt ashamed because she acted that way. Finally, with all the disappointment from losing the money she went to answer the door and this man said: “I have something for your family” and he gave to Mirta 300 bolivianos (44 dollars). Mirta was in shock seeing how God was taking care of us. That amount of money was worthy for a week of food for the three of us.
We saw God hand working so many times. In another time we don’t have nothing in our refrigerator and no money, that evening we asked God for help, knowing that He will answer in somehow our prayers, and that night we found two bags of food at our door. God is a God of perfect timing. He sent “Angels” to help us. In Ephesians 3:20 Paul says” Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…”. We were learning to depend on God, we learned that if we let God control the things, the result would be much better than we expected.
In October of 2015 we did our first Medical Mission Trip to Mamore River with GMI Leaders. It was a shocking experience for Mirta, she saw so many needs in the different communities, where there was lack of medical attention, no enough nutritious food, no right hygiene, and lack of Christian literature. This trip helped to create MISSION SEND ME PROJECTS, to help the people of the jungle. Almost six years passed since we had accepted God’s calling. Because of the great need in Bolivia, we have agreed to take this step of faith and go to do the God’s will in the mission field and begin helping many people that need help in the isolated communities. Most of the time we needed to use a plane to reach these places because the road was in very bad condition and the trip would be too long, sometimes days.
In November 2015 thanks to David Gates and Brianna’s Wings of Passion Foundation, (who sponsored the course), I started the Private Pilot course. It was a long journey, almost two years, so many times I got discouraged, but thinking about Brianna’s parents and the sacrifice that they were doing for me and Brianna’s dreams, by the grace of God, in September 2017 I received the Private Pilot License.
On December 12, 2019, I finished the IFR course, I Glorify the name of God for touching so many hearts that helped me finish it through emotional and financial support.
In December 29, 2019 we left Gospel Ministry International grateful for having had the opportunity to work with the indigenous communities.
In March 2020, we moved to Pucallpa Peru to work as a missionary pilot in Peru Projects, an independent ministry that in conjunction with the Adventist Church works through emergency medical aviation with the Peruvian Amazon jungle; but the Covid pandemic stopped us in Lima; God again performed a great miracle there for 4 months and 25 days, giving us a place to stay and food. You can learn more in “Quarantine Miracle ” story. To work in Peru, I needed the Peruvian Commercial Pilot License, since that the pandemic makes the situation worse, we decided to return to Bolivia to take the Commercial course here.
This month, November 3, 2020 I started the course at Fly Team School in Santa Cruz. I Praise God for helping me to continue preparing to fulfill my dream of being a missionary pilot.
Jesus gave his disciples the mission to go and preach the gospel, and that is our mission. It is our hope that God can send us to work, helping others and, through the Bible, we can bring peace and hope from the knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ. Like Moises, God led him into the wilderness, 40 years to prepare him for that great work to leading people to be freed from the slavery in Egypt. Now, God is preparing me and will prepare you, if you also want to be a missionary.
I invite you to pray for Bolivia and for all the missionaries who are sowing the eternal gospel throughout the world.
I want to Glorify the name of God and thank Him for all his kindnesses, for the special care for our daughters who are so far from us. Thank you, very much dear Heavenly Father!