Over 20 years ago I took flying lessons. The introductory lesson included a one-hour class before the flight on the principles of flight….sort of the basics of flying.

I loved airplanes.

I often went to our local airport to watch big jets land. I subscribed to flying magazines. I actually thought when I climbed in the left seat of the Cessna 152 for the first time that the instructor would just be amazed at my flying ability and my knowledge of this tiny bird. I was sure that I would just “ace” this flying thing.

It was just the opposite.

On an first flight the instructor took me to a good altitude and told me to keep the plane level. No first time flyer can do it and that included me! While I was looking out the window the instructor tapped me on the shoulder and then tapped the altimeter. It showed I was climbing at a good rate. I was supposed to be flying level! It was frustrating but motivating. I wanted to return and try again.

While I had the head knowledge, the practical experience was missing.

Mission trips, for me, compare in many ways to that experience of learning to fly.

Today more and more Christian