Part 8 - "Hang Waiting" with the Holy Spirit
In South Africa, Peter became very active in the hang gliding community. One day while waiting for the correct wind conditions to arise, he discovered that one of his fellow pilots was familiar with Rufaro, but no longer attended the church at which they had ministered. In fact, the young man was running away from God.
Peter gave the man some perspective; “Do you know that there are very few hang glider pilots who are Christians and only one in the whole of South Africa who is an ordained minister? And I ask you the question: What are the chances of you arriving at this flying site on the very day that I am here and for you to end up talking with me?”
He didn’t have time to talk much with him because the conditions had just become flyable. But he did say that because of the amazing fact of the meeting, he very much thought that God was trying to tell the man something. And if he were him, he would go and find a church and get back to a right standing with the Lord.
It was about six months later, at another flying site during another ‘hang waiting’ session, that Peter heard the news that a new pilot who came out from England had just been killed in a flying accident. He was shocked to discover that it was none other than the young backslider that he had spoken to.
One year thereafter, Peter received a letter from England, from the parents of the young pilot who had been killed. They said they had found a letter from their son in the mail after his funeral. In his letter, written and mailed just before the tragic accident, he told them that he had met Peter Vandenberg from Rufaro while on a hillside waiting to fly. He had taken Peter’s advice and recommitted his life to Jesus and got back into church. He sometimes even played his guitar in the music group there...
Matthew 28:16-20 contains Jesus’ famous words to make disciples of every nation. Have you ever come into contact with the gospel in a non-religious setting? if so, how was its impact different than in a church or christian environment?
In this story, Peter’s “of every nation” (Matt. 28:19) happened to be the side of a hang gliding hill in South Africa. Where has God placed you at this season of your life where you can share the gospel?
The story of Jonah in chapter one of his book tells of a man who was running away from God. What unique circumstances did God use to capture Jonah’s attention? How was Jonah like the young English hang glider?
Jonah’s story (Jonah 1:1-17) and the English hang glider's speak to God’s pursuit of humanity. What do these stories tell us about the nature of God’s love?
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
1 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Jonah: Gr. Jonas
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
4 But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.sent out: Heb. cast forthwas like…: Heb.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.
7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.
8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?
9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.the Lord: or, Jehovah
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.exceedingly…: Heb. with great fear
11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.may…: Heb. may be silent from uswrought…: or, grew more and more tempestuous: Heb. went
12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.rowed: Heb. diggedwrought…: or, grew more and more tempestuous: Heb. went
14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.ceased: Heb. stood
16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.offered…: Heb. sacrifice unto the Lord, and vowed vows
17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.belly: Heb. bowels