Who Packed the Parachute?

by Jessica Cropsey

Our arrival in Burundi is just 100 days away!  In a sense, we are entering the front lines of battle for the kingdom work of God in Burundi.  Yet, we could never do that alone.  We were reminded of that when we recently received an article published by the Christian Medical and Dental Association entitled, "Who Packed the Parachute?"  It tells the following story:

Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy pilot who flew some 75 combat missions during the Vietnam War. Shot down behind enemy lines, he parachuted to earth but was immediately captured. He spent six years as a POW. Eventually he was released and resumed life as a civilian in the United States.

At a restaurant one day where he and his wife were eating, a stranger came to his table and said, “You’re Charles Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down.”

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. The stranger replied, “Because I packed your parachute!” In amazement, Plumb stood and extended his hand. The man continued, “I guess it worked.” “It sure did,” Plumb responded. “If your chute hadn’t opened, I wouldn’t be here today.”

That night Plumb couldn’t sleep. He kept thinking about the man who had packed his parachute...  Plumb wondered how many hours the man had spent at that long wooden table in the bowels of the ship weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of those chutes. With each humble act of faithful service, he held in his hands the fate of someone he didn’t even know.

All of us are incredibly blessed with a host of family, friends, and churches who support us in various ways -- providing financial support, praying for us, sending care packages/encouraging notes/e-mails, etc.  Many have invested years into our spiritual, physical, and emotional growth.  Others have been dear friends during the difficult (and numerous!) years of medical training.  There have also been many occasions where we have been aided and blessed by people that we don't even know.  Along the way, we've certainly had to deploy a "parachute" or two in order to survive some near crash and burn moments.

As we eagerly anticipate our arrival in Burundi, we feel blessed to know that so many of you have been caring for our every need, at times completely behind the scenes.  You have been and continue to be God's great provision for us.  And while we have no intention of using any "parachutes" in Burundi, if need arises, we will know that they have been well and lovingly packed.  Thank you for walking alongside us in this journey.  We wouldn't be here without you!   

1 comment:

Sarah H said...

Loved this post, Jess. Will continue to pray for you!