More Mission Pilot Training - Part 2
With the emphasis on MISSION
July to December, 2006



After spending several weeks in Maine, Daniel returned  to the Collegedale area in Tennessee. 

He "camped out" in the house of some friends he made.  He had no phone and no transportation.


Promises of a cell phone and a plane to fly kept falling through.  Weeks, then months passed.

Daniel realized he needed structure in his life, so he found a part-time job at the nearby CHA Water plant, earning minimum wage.  That was frustrating though - it took him a week to earn what he could easily earn in a day back in California!



A friend loaned him a bike for getting around, which was great for exercise as well.  Then one day as he was pedaling up a gradual incline, the bike simply snapped in half!




Eventually Daniel made friends with a group of young people who met for Bible study on Friday nights - and adventurous activities during the week - just his type!





They went on hikes, rappelled up cliffs, explored caves, hiked to the tops of tree-covered hills and other such stuff.









Tennessee has a lot of neat
places to explore!






The group often went mountain biking - at high speeds, through the forest,
using headlamps.  A local bike shop loaned a bike to Daniel,
then later he bought one for a very reasonable price.


The group also went backpacking,
accompanied by Becky Gates. 
Starting out after dark, in the rain,
the group lost the trail and wandered
around for what seemed like hours.

Finally they found a suitable spot
and set up camp.  The next morning,
a hiker walked through their camp.
He wondered why they were camped
on the trail, just a few hundred feet
from the parking lot!



The following night they camped in a huge overhang cave
with a sandy floor and a waterfall at the entrance.





The early morning rays looked awesome shining through the cascading streams of water!  Here Becky Gates sits on a log, contemplating in quiet wonder during this inspiring, picturesque view.







As Daniel attended various churches in the area,
he made friends with folks such as the Holleys,
who often invited him to their home.




Daniel really enjoyed having a place to go, fun people with whom to visit, good food to eat, and keeping their grandson entertained.








Later when he was flying again, Daniel took nine-year-old Mike for his first plane ride.

He really loved it!





Eventually David Gates added Daniel to his family cell phone plan, costing only $10 a month.

Now Daniel could communicate again.  And that made a big difference - now he could contact pilots and arrange for more flight training on a regular basis.



Daniel got some experience flying a taildragger as well as flying in and out of grass landing strips.







He got expert training from Gary Roberts, a mission pilot in Guyana who was preparing a plane to fly in Africa, where he grew up.






Daniel spent many hours removing old paint and preparing the plane for a new paint job.




As winter's cold weather increased, Daniel made use of his selling skills.
He bought slightly irregular SmartWool socks in bulk and sold them
door-to-door during the evenings.  He found many people happy to
buy his wares, and made good money in a short time.  He was also
able to gain confidence and speak to people about spiritual things who
would normally shut their doors in his face.


Soon Daniel was able to fly on a regular basis, gaining valuable experience from different pilots who worked with him.  But by then it was December, and time to move on.  Instead of flying 400 hours, he'd accumulated only about 40 hours.



But during those months of waiting, he learned lessons in patience, waiting on the Lord's timing and finding creative ways to use his time as he interacted with others.

Daniel intended to make major progress on his pilot training.
But God's plans included what he needed most - MISSION pilot training!

Next: Heather, GYC & Back Home in California

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