Were you ever scared?
“One time we were out in the jungle where we had a stash of fuel. We paid someone to watch it and there is a shelter there for barrels of fuel to be stored at this location. We were in need of about a ½ barrel of fuel to make the flight back to the center.”
The guy working there rolled a barrel out to the plane and uncapped it. Forrest was out on the wing and the other pilot was on the ground. He poured the fuel into a five gallon bucket, hands it up to Forrest and Forrest pours it through a filter into the wing tanks. So, they finish fueling operation and Forrest is still out on the wing.
A guy comes walking toward them smoking a cigarette and before Forrest is able to say anything, this guy takes the cigarette out of his mouth, throws it down on the ground in front of the barrel.
Well, some fuel had spilled in the process of fueling and the cigarette ignited a puddle of fuel on fire.
The flames are licking up at the opening of the barrel. Now, normally, there would be a big explosion but for some reason… it didn’t explode. Forrest alertly jumps down off the wing, kicks the barrel away from the puddle and quickly caps the barrel.
Thinking back, he says, “It must have been an angel, or the Lord Himself, that had His hand over that opening. Or we would have been dead.”
That was a scary one….
Sipping on Root Beer
Did you ever find yourself homesick in the field?
“When I first went to Mexico, I felt homesick. But then you get into what you are there to do and it goes away. Every once in a while I would think about home and about how nice it would be to just drive down the street in my hometown of Glenwood. Or I would think, if I could just have a bottle of root beer. It wasn’t so much homesick as it was nostalgia. Thinking back to things of home, you become nostalgic, but you wouldn’t want it any other way because God has you where He wants you to be.”
“The time we really missed our families was when our baby was born in Ecuador. He was born in Quito and taken out to the jungle after three weeks. My mother and sister got to see the baby when they were out for a week. Some weeks later, when the baby was about 9 weeks old, he got sick.
“We knew the people nearby had the flu and our baby had flu-like symptoms. The nurse confirmed that yes he probably has the flu. So, we waited three days and he didn’t get better. Then on Sunday afternoon we took him to Shell Mera to the hospital. The doctor looked at the baby and said, ‘No, he doesn’t have the flu. He has a strangulated hernia.’ By that time it had popped out and was to the point of being gangrenous. They had to do surgery but they weren’t equipped to do it on babies so they said they’d do their best.”
His wife, Margaret, at the time, went out to the hall and they prayed and agonized. And after some time the doctor came out and said the baby died.
“That was probably the most difficult experience either of us had had in our lives.”
“What helped was other missionaries coming along side arranging for the funeral, digging the grave in the pouring rain, in rocky soil. We could easily have gone home (to the USA) with everyone understanding the trauma and we could have then been comforted by family . You miss that when they aren’t there. But at the same time we didn’t want to abandon our calling. We went to Quito for a week to get away and then back into our work.”
The Lord was gracious and some months later they had a daughter. Two more children followed.
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