the pilot

The metal sliding board rose in the middle of the modest playground. Children bunched together waiting for a turn down the slick runway. Goodluck and his buddies climbed up and giggled down, anxious to repeat.

Goodluck dreamed of becoming a pilot. Too young to understand the science and skill of aviation, his dream hinged on two core beliefs: airplanes were cool and flying would be super cool.  

Perhaps as he ascended the rickety steps, he envisioned wearing a nifty pilot’s cap while he steered his plane through the white clouds in the blue Tanzanian sky. A broad smile filled his face when he returned to the ground. More, please. 

After playground time, the pilot and I traced my travel path on an inflated globe. His slender fingers followed mine: Tanzania to Ethiopia then across the broad ocean to Washington D. C. When the Director of the Compassion project explained my upcoming flight, Goodluck asked if he could come with me.

I smiled and somehow kept my tears inside. Oh, how my heart wished that too. He pointed to the sky. I nodded. Yes, up there. Way up there! 

Goodluck celebrates his birthday in June. Throughout life, he will encounter jittery take offs and bumpy landings. But I pray the young pilot dreams big and reaches for the stars, even if he’s not flying among them.

I gifted Goodluck with a simple wooden plane, offered a quick hug and kiss, and started my long trip home. Soon I would be soaring through the white clouds in the blue Tanzanian sky, but my heart would remain with the pilot. 

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)

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Throughout 2019, I’ll share stories inspired by children. 

June 2019: Reach for the stars like Goodluck, the pilot. 

May 2019: A gold medal day spent with Ledy.

April 2019: The children of Karatu brought Love close.

March 2019: Celebrate the highs and help carry the lows. But be present for both. Happy Birthday, Israel. 

February 2019: Pray so others will know Jesus like Rosmeiry’s father.

January 2019:  Joy, thanks to a handsome charro.

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