Every program needs a mission, a central motivating focus. For more than six months, the leaders and students of Pacific Union College’s aviation program have been seeking their mission. Why should PUC have an aviation program, and why should students enroll in it? The answer, an almost ironic one, has come with strength and conviction, supported by many miracles: the mission of PUC’s aviation program is mission.
This past summer, as the aviation department was seeking to clearly define its focus, the students and faculty found that they missed the vespers programs that occur weekly during the regular school year. So they established a Friday night aviation “summer vespers”, a process in which pilot and student Jason Miller was instrumental. This vespers, consisting of food, socializing, and Bible studies, continued throughout the summer, and after each meeting a group gathered to pray for miracles. These prayers were answered as aviation department chairman Nathan Tasker started making contacts and discoveries which would lead him to the conviction that “God is asking us to really get back into mission aviation.”
Tasker has come to realize that the mission field has a gaping opening that must be filled, a pressing need for transportation and, specifically, for active planes and bush pilots. ADRA has recently acquired two planes, but has no pilots for them. Adventist leaders that Tasker spoke to at a conference in Papua New Guinea said that the number one problem in missions right now is the lack of appropriate transportation. Recently, the president of Adventist World Aviation came to Pacific Union College, and Tasker spent the weekend brainstorming with him about ways to act on the mission of “mission”.
Meanwhile, regular school vespers have resumed, but the aviation department continues their Friday meetings, now as a pre-vespers program. The department is excited about their calling, and we hear the true mission spirit ringing out when Tasker says, “We’re all fired up for Jesus Christ right now.”