Project AmaZon has a long history with aviation. Our founder, Luke Huber, was passionate about flying. With airplanes he could travel much faster, allowing him to maximize the talents the Lord had given him. With all the advantages of flying in the Amazon also come many risks, which we learned with difficulty over 20 years ago when Luke was killed in an airplane accident. This was a great shock to the mission and after much prayer we made a decision to put our own aviation program on “hold”.
Instead, we partnered with Asas de Socorro (the Brazilian branch of MAF-Mission Aviation Fellowship) for a few years. However, four years ago, ASAS re-stationed their Santarém airplane and we were left with no access to aviation. But God had a plan. During this period, He was preparing our own missionary, Matt Steidinger and his family, to help with our program. Matt is a licensed mechanic with almost ten years of flying experience in a variety of aircraft. Matt and Janelle joined our team in 2013 and since then the Lord has been working to slowly restore our program. Through generous donations and a relationship with a partnering mission, we now have access to four airplanes! Along with Matt, we also have two Brazilian pilots involved in our aviation program. God is putting things into place for us to again use these airplanes to strategically and efficiently advance The Kingdom here in the Amazon Basin.
Investing in Brazilian Pilots
Lucas Cordeiro is the son of Pastor Nilton, one of Luke Huber’s first disciples. Lucas’s first flight was in a small ultra-light with his father and Luke Huber. When Lucas, at a mere 9 years old, reached for the controls, Luke looked at him, patted his hand and said, “your time will come”. That simple phrase has stuck with him and encouraged him over the years as he has fought to realize his dream of being a missionary pilot here in the Amazon Basin. In 2009, after years of planning, studying, and sacrifice, Lucas received his private pilot’s license. Since then, he has gained experience, not only taking pastors out to the river communities, but also using these planes to supervise the various churches and cell groups he and his wife Ruth are responsible for overseeing along the rivers.
We need more pilots and airplanes as part of our strategic plan to reach the communities spread across the vast Amazon Basin. We want to invest in the training of other Brazilians like Lucas to help them get their pilots’ license. We want to provide ongoing training to improve their skills as they dedicate their lives to this vital ministry to reach the Amazon for Christ.
Your investment in PAZ will help other people like Lucas fulfill their dream of flying with us to reach the unreached of the Amazon. We want others to hear those same words that our founder, Luke, spoke to Lucas so many years ago: “Your day will come!”
Jeff and Becky – for the PAZ team!