“What is the best time you ever had in a long lifetime of ministry, Joe?”
Wow. I don’t know. Let me think about it….
A ride in an Air Force jet? The only reason that plane ride in the T-38 was so much fun is that I did it, survived it, then looked back and remembered it with pleasure. Columbus AFB Wing Commander Colonel Chet Griffin said, “You’ve been ministering to these student pilots all these years; you ought to learn something of what they go through.” As I say, it was great fun–in retrospect. (smiley-face goes here)
Chet and his lovely bride Eva Lee are beloved friends now for nearly a half century. I was their pastor twice, during their two assignments at Columbus, and we forever bonded. Over the years we have visited with each other, and still keep in touch. Chet is a Sunday School teacher of the highest grade, and was used of the Lord to reach numerous Air Force officers for Christ. He still teases me about that plane ride. Btw, my pilot that day was Captain Bob Orwig, now a Ph.D. professor at North Georgia and a dear friend, with his wife Linda.
Mission trip? The 1977 trip to Singapore (via Chicago, Anchorage, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and finally my destination) and back was part of a long, long process of drawing an evangelistic comic book for the missionaries there, then coloring each of the many pages (with acrylic and tiny brushes!), and printing up 10,000 copies for their use. It was a job! It was fun mainly in retrospect because we did it, it was most unusual, we would never be doing anything like that again, and we survived it.
Getting to know missionaries like Bob and Marge Wakefield as well as Ralph and Ruthie Neighbour was a special delight.