We had the opportunity to visit Agape Flights in Venice, FL this weekend and I have to admit that I have discovered yet another operation that just blows me away. Agape Flights has been around for over 30 years and serves as an integral lifeline to more than 350 missionary families serving throughout the Caribbean. While on the surface this ministry may appear to simply be a mail and cargo service, once you begin peeling back the layers you realize there’s much more going on here.
Missionaries in the field are often quite limited by available resources and supplies. Without a dependable and low-cost avenue to transport supplies from the States, their ability to be effective in the regions where they serve are hampered. Agape Flights fills this need by making weekly trips to several islands in the Carribean with their Ebraer 110 (Bandit) aircraft. The Bandit is a Brazilian made aircraft that is powered by 2 turboprop engines (750 Hp each), cruises at around 200 knots, and can carry about 3,000 pounds of cargo. Really cool stuff, right? I admit, it would be easy for me to “geek out” on the airplane details or focus on the technical aspect of what is being done here. I mean I’ve always been fascinated by flying, love airplanes and think the day to day operation run by Agape Flights is top notch, but like I said that’s the surface.
Beyond the surface there’s a lot more going on here. Behind this ministry is an army of volunteers that are all using their God given gifts to help missionaries fulfill a physical need so that others might know Him. Providing humanitarian relief is great and in many cases necessary, but it’s temporary. Once the physical need is met God requires us to take it a step further and proclaim the true source of our love so that the spiritual needs can also be met. Agape Flights has become experts in supporting both of these needs. Their mission is rooted in the following scripture: This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God – 2 Corinthians 9:12. According to their website (www.agapeflights.com) the ministry was started in 1980 by Keith and Clara Starkey after “God laid it on our hearts to buy an aircraft to fly supplies into Haiti.” I have to imagine that the Starkey’s willingness to follow through on that calling has enabled millions of people over the span of 3 decades to hear the awesome message of God’s love. And THAT, my friend, is what matters.
God has an important plan for each of our lives and uses the gifts of the entire body for His purpose. At the onset of this post I mentioned that Agape serves 350 missionary families. Imagine the amount of work that’s being done daily by this army of missionaries for His kingdom! Now imagine how much harder their jobs would be today if the Starkeys had ignored His calling 33 years ago. Because of their willingness to respond countless temporary needs and eternal needs have been met. Again, I am reminded that my response to His calling matters greatly. Lastly I would like to mention that Agape Flights needs support. There’s a number of ways to get involved so check out the video below and visit their website (www.agapeflights.com) for more information.