They said it couldn’t be done. But it was. Against all odds, and under terrible conditions, on December 14th, 1986, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager took off from Edwards Air Force Base in California’s Mojave Desert, and flew around the world. Their vehicle? An unconventional aircraft designed to fly 25,200 miles around the world without stopping or refueling. Two pilots spent 9 days, 3 minutes and 44 seconds in an unpressurized cockpit, 3.5 ft. wide by 7 ft. long. The entire plane weighed less than an automobile (1,858 pounds empty) and carried 1,320 gallons of fuel.
When they landed, 48 hours ahead of schedule, Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager had made aviation history. Their plane, VOYAGER, now hangs from the ceiling at the entrance to the National Air & Science Museum in Washington, DC in the same condition upon which it arrived at Edwards Air Force Base on December 23, 1986.
How did they do it? Dick and Jeana believed in their dream more than they believed in those who said their dream would never come true, and their dream became a historic reality before millions watching on television all over the world.
Was it easy? Not by any means. Was it cheap? Hardly. VOYAGER cost over $550,000 just to build. And when they landed, they had debts somewhere in the neighborhood of between three hundred thousand and half a million dollars. Was it dangerous? Extremely. Co-pilot, Jeana Rutan, said in USA TODAY, “Once you get airborne, it’s a problem. Because of all the weight, the descent rate would be so fast that you just couldn’t recover from it. It would have been a spectacular fireball.”
We have the highest, most noble cause anyone can ever undertake.
Although heralded as fools by many in the aviation industry as well as countless critics who had both feet firmly planted on the ground, their own visions for achievement limited to the ends of their respective noses … Voyager’s pilots and designer were honored by President Reagan, hailed as heroes in the nation’s newspapers and magazines, invited to be guests on numerous TV programs, won a page in our history books, and found a place in the hearts of people all around the world who admire such faith, determination and dedication to a cause.
Flying around the world, without stopping or refueling, is a tremendous achievement, one certainly worthy of our respect and admiration. However, it’s nothing compared to what God has called the church to do: reach the world for Jesus Christ. We have the highest, most noble cause anyone can ever undertake.
The church doesn’t reach out to the lost masses of mankind so we can have our names etched into the history books or to receive the accolades and admiration of men. We reach out to a dying, Hell-bound world, with the message of Christ’s everlasting love on Calvary’s cross, so they can have their names added to the Lamb’s book of life.
Is it easy? Not by any means. Is it cheap? No. It will cost us dearly. Is it dangerous? Absolutely. All the forces of Hell are waging an all-out war to keep us from reaching a single soul. The critics assail us and the enemies of God mock us saying: “It can’t be done!”
But it can!
© 2016. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.