With skinny dogs and chickens at our feet and a short row of low, humble buildings behind us, we stood looking over a cyclone fence.
There, on a pocky tarmac, rested the legendary blue and white twin-engine, The Evangel, and pilot Ron McIntosh had just smiled and introduced himself to us. (If you missed last week’s post, click on “I heard a loud rush of air and I realized I’d been holding my breath.”)
|Our first look at the Evangel|
Our young family was about to take our first flight on a small plane, and we were headed into a wild, open, steamy territory.
Budd Davisson wrote that The Evangel was “the brunt of many jokes: ‘looks like it’s still in its shipping crate,’ or ‘has the grace and lines of a toolbox.’ And every one of those remarks is true. . . . It was easy to see why it had given rise to so many snickers. It’s so square it would have looked just right with gallon paint cans for spinners.”
Budd wrote of her “outright cubism,” adding that the Evangel “inspires the comic in all of us.”
But just like a Proverbs 31 woman, the Evangel’s worth didn’t depend on her charm or beauty—which, by the way, can be deceitful and vain (Proverbs 31:30). A Proverbs 31 woman is “a woman of valor. A courageous woman. A woman of strength and dignity” (Lysa TerKeurst; Proverbs 31:25).
The same can be said of the Evangel.
|The Evangel (Howie Bowman photo)|
Like many a good Proverbs 31 woman who arises before sunrise (verse 15), the Evangel and her crew at the hangar often got up when it was still dark, getting her ready to lift off within minutes of sunrise at 6 every morning. (On the equator, the sun always rises within minutes of 6 a.m. and sets within minutes of 6 p.m.)
And hundreds of times every year, the Evangel opened her hands (doors) to the poor and reached out to the needy (verse 20). I wrote this in Please, God, Don’t Make Me Go: A Foot-Dragger’s Memoir:
“Reminiscent of Indiana Jones, sometimes our legendary pilots got calls from desperate villagers asking not to find a mystical stone, but young ladies in the jungle fleeing from guerrillas, or Wen Jones fighting for his life after a snake bite.
“They flew high-ranking elected officials, military top brass, ambassadors, and illiterate semi-naked native men and women; new young Bible translators—some excited, others scared nearly out of their wits; hopeful people, discouraged people, faith-filled people, broken people; confused people, committed people, exhausted people, tenacious people.
“They flew happy and sad people, young and old, sick and healthy, and women about to give birth; dying friends, grieving friends, and dead friends.” (From Chapter 33, Please, God, Don’t Make Me Go: A Foot-Dragger’s Memoir)
A Proverbs 31 woman is “different than the majority of women in the world,” and the Evangel, too, was a uniquely designed gal, a most capable lady, a woman of excellence worth far more than jewels (verse 10). Those who knew her and loved her arose and called her blessed (verse 28).
A Proverbs 31 woman doesn’t need to be beautiful. Or perfect.
The Evangel didn’t need to be beautiful or perfect, either.
Both exist to serve God and help others.
Nothing could be finer!