You see, "L" had made a decision to become a follower or Jesus and his family, followers of another religion who live in Cameroon, had turned their back on him. They no longer viewed "L" as ever having existed in their family.
Now, "L's" time on Earth was coming to its final chapter, ushered in by one last voyage- a one and a half hour trip on our aircraft. He was given some pain medication and slowly driven to the airport in a car belonging to one of the international workers from Bongolo. Prior to arriving at Bongolo, he had broken his femur, so each movement sent pain shooting through his leg.
At the airport, we grabbed corners of the mat he was on and carefully loaded him into our Cessna 207. We were blessed to have the presence of Jeff, a flight nurse from Alaska, who could direct the process (in sunglasses in this photo).
Please pray for "L" and the priest in these difficult days to come. After leaving the airport, they were stopping at the pharmacy to get the pain medication that Bongolo had prescribed. After that, the priest described that they would have a difficult journey over very rough roads to get to his home. This would be a painful trip for "L".
As the remaining passengers and I loaded back in to the airplane and departed up the coast (from point #4 to point #11 on the map), except for the drone of the engine, it was quiet. Certainly, we were reflecting upon the challenging journey ahead for "L" and the priest to come.
Additionally, I think we were all reflecting on our own situations and how our family connections are so key in our lives. However, in the life of "L", facing the final days of his earthly life, his family was not willing to take him in or even respond to his calls. "L" counted the cost of the decision to follow Jesus- a cost that many of us will never know.
What is the "cost" of my discipleship path? What losses am I willing to take in following my savior?
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy."
(NOTE: The Air Evacuation portion of the flight was made possible through a partner church in Tennessee! Would you or your organization like to sponsor an air evacuation? Contact me at "Gabon.firstname.lastname@example.org" or make a donation using PayPal HERE - enter "Gabon Airplane" as "description")