We arrived at WESS this past weekend just as the rain began to let up, allowing enough time to unpack our gear and also take some pictures of the most spectacular cloud formation I have ever seen!
The rest of the night went well…wet, but well. In the morning, the largest group yet showed up for the prayer meeting at 5:30…although two very dedicated Georgia cadets woke up at 3:30 (forgetting about the recent time change and different time zone. 🙂 ). Over the next hour, cadets shared their testimonies of how they had come to know Christ and how their relationship with God has been growing. What a beautiful time it turned out to be! Over the course of the meeting, I began to realize what an impact having a relationship with God can make on a person’s life. Knowing He is real is one thing, but experiencing His love, His peace, and His joy, is something else. The entire base had a scheduled power outage about the time everyone had finished their testimonies, but several cadets grabbed flashlights out of their gear and the meeting continued. Cadets shared afterthoughts, comments, and analogies of the points other cadets had made that impacted them and expounded on their experiences throughout their walk with Christ. The atmosphere that surrounded our meeting reminded me of the scripture that says, “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” Although He is with us everywhere, His presence seems that much stronger when His children come together to share of their love for Him.
After the prayer meeting, my battle buddy and I headed for our class and learned more about search patterns and plotting the search patterns on sectional charts. After lunch, we headed out to the airport and flew for about an hour and a half. Since I did not have to work the radio this time, I focused on looking out the window and practicing search techniques. Later in the day, I had the chance to give the sortie debrief for our flight and observe how the sortie is logged into our sortie management program.
Besides going to WESS itself, another huge blessing I had was the opportunity to fly back home! The pilot flew an IFR flight (Instrument Flight Rules…so he can fly in conditions where instruments are required.) which was my first time flying IFR in a non-commercial aircraft. I learned that there is no better way to learn to use the instruments than when you are in the middle of a cloud! The clouds were breathtakingly beautiful, so much so that if heaven were really just walking around on clouds for eternity (which it is not), then I would want it to look like it did on that flight. 🙂 I had an outstanding flight to Huntsville, however, the descent turned out to be more than I had planned. Unexpectedly, my left ear refused to equalize during descent which resulted in a lot of pain. It turns out that I have an infection in my left ear…either as a result of my ear not equalizing or the cause of the ear not equalizing. While this will not effect my flying in any way, it is on the extreme end of uncomfortable and it is my prayer that it will not be a continuing issue.
Regarding my atheist friend whom I had hoped to speak with this week, there ended up not being a time that seemed appropriate to bring up the topic. Throughout the weekend I looked for opportunities to start a conversation, but the timing never was right. Although I did not get to speak with him this week, I will continue to study the evidence for Jesus Christ and hope that God will bring about the opportunity to speak with him in the near future.
To sum it up, the third weekend of WESS was a great experience. Each weekend brings about new experiences and more opportunities to learn more about my God, emergency services, and aviation. Looking forward to next time!