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Airforce Pilot at a Crossroad
by Wes Bowers
The Canadian Forces took me, Major Wes Bowers, around the world. An air force pilot for 20 years, I flew missions in the Gulf War, served in UN headquarters as a staff officer in Somalia and as a UN peacekeeper in Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. And along the way, I went from being a peacekeeper to working for the Prince of Peace.
I was raised by Christian parents, but when it came time to make my own decision to believe in Jesus Christ, I have to admit, I cut corners. I really only took out the "proverbial fire insurance salvation policy." I believed only because it would get me to heaven. I didn’t really care for a relationship with God. I didn’t recognize Jesus as the Lord of my life. Instead, I began to move gradually further and further from what my parents taught me.
Fortunately, before going too far down that road, I married a Christian girl.
But as I continued my education and then moved into the workforce, I started to forget about God. I began a career as a teacher after finishing university, but the lure of a life of travel, adventure, and excitement changed my plans and I joined the Canadian Forces in 1973 and received pilot training.
The Wake-up Call
During a routine flight over a remote region of Ontario, the weather turned sour and I decided I needed to land my helicopter immediately. But I quickly realized I was trapped in a steep-walled valley with increasing clouds and pouring rain. The helicopter I was flying was not properly equipped to fly in cloud so I had to remain within sight of the ground. To make matters worse, I was rapidly running out of daylight and there was no safe landing area to be found.
I thought to myself, I could die here! I had a strange sense of being “one step from eternity.” Yet, I did not feel prepared to stand before God after I died and give an account of my life. And now finally, God had my attention.
It all comes home when you have a test in your life. Alone and in the tiny cockpit of my helicopter, I made a decision that would change the course of my life: I turned my situation over to the Lord, whether I lived or died was up to him. I said out loud to God,
I managed to navigate out of the valley and ended up landing at the nearest farm. When I landed I did two things: I thanked God for saving my life and then I told him I would need his help to keep my part of the deal.
Things gradually began to change in my life after that day and my concept of trusting God began to grow. And for this military officer and his wife Gail these changes were long overdue.
The importance of family
I also decided that spending Friday evenings at the bar with my pilot friends until late at night was not healthy for my marriage and family. It was a struggle for me to give that up, but I realized that I would have to choose to follow God’s leadership on a daily basis and this was what was best for my family and me. God gave me the power to change.
Today, Gail and I have been married for almost 40 years and we take joy in spending time with our grandchildren.
Content with life
In 1995 I joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ and began working in the Leadership Ministry. I currently work in the TruthMedia Internet Ministry, taking the gospel message to people around the world through the Internet. For Major Wes Bowers, this is the ultimate promotion. I’ve gone from being a Peacekeeper to working for the Prince of Peace.
What about you?
If you know, like I do, that you need changes in your life, you can ask God to change you today. God gave his only Son Jesus Christ to us. Jesus died on the cross for all of our sins—every time we’ve lied, stolen, cheated, hated…the list goes on. After three days, Jesus rose from the dead. He offers us complete forgiveness and the gift of grace. We just need to believe in him. You can know God personally. Ask, by faith, for Jesus Christ to take control of your life and he will do as he promised. If you don’t already know Jesus, I encourage you to pray the following:
Is it the desire of your heart to make this prayer yours?
If yes, pray now and according to his promise, Jesus Christ will come into your life.