Michigan Chapter of Pilots for Christ Provides No-cost Flights to Critical Care Patients. ‘Our Mission is to Share the Gospel’

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

pilotsLike her husband Tim, Lori Layne is a pilot who is Christ driven.When Lori and Tim Layne decided some 17 years ago to seek a mission-ministry they could join abroad, the response was momentarily jarring: They were considered too old.

Undaunted, the Laynes kept two priorities before them. First, God would find a way for them to serve Him; and second, they would accomplish this work as a couple.

Enter Pilots for Christ International (PFC), founded in 1985 by Rev. William "Bill" Starr. The nondenominational ministry flies critical patients to destinations at no charge. Both Lori and Tim are pilots of single engine prop planes.

Christ driven

"To have my husband and myself to be pilots, enjoy flying and want to serve the Lord is awesome," says Lori. "We're both task oriented and Christ driven so it's much easier to keep going. It's not a job or a requirement, it's a joy and it's a lifestyle."

The Laynes launched the Michigan chapter of PFC in 2005. They have around 98 volunteer pilots who fly people who need to be transported to hospitals and hospice care. Missionaries and pastors who need to go to far-off places can also receive air transport. Some members also serve as "autopilots" a PFC term for those who drive people to their destinations.

God is their provider

Lori projects they and their volunteer pilots will fly around 300 missions this year. Their "base" is the Freemont Municipal Airport.

All pilots profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. PFC is supported solely by donations; some of the planes the Michigan chapter of PFC flies have been donated.

"We're pretty good at finding the best way to spend the money," says Lori. "We're very much believers that God is big enough not to provide only a little bit but everything we need to do. It took awhile to realize that."

Essentially PFC is not just a transportation ministry, but also a beacon of Christ's salvation.

Sharing the gospel is priority


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"We do pray and tell people about the Lord and if they don't want to hear about it, we just pray close by," says Lori, who serves as vice president, secretary and treasurer on the board of directors for the Michigan chapter. Tim serves as the board's president.

"Our mission is to share the gospel. Sometimes we can do that on a phone when someone is requesting a flight, or in person. We'll go to airports and pray with the personnel if they us want to."

Lori enjoys flying but quickly adds she loves interacting with people and living her life as the Lord has directed her to live.

"I'm very empathetic and enduring to people and being that way is a perfect way for me," she says. "So too is following the Holy Spirit and knowing this is what He wants me to do."

Aviation Boot Camp on the horizon

The Laynes are in the throes of planning the July 12-16 Aviation Boot Camp at the Freemont Municipal Airport. The event is for youth ages 8-18. The five-day program brings together Christian principles and aviation instruction. Young people learn and log flight time, attend a ground school as well learn many opportunities in science, Bible study and games. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided as well lunch daily. Cost is $125 per child and scholarships are available because "we would never turn a kid down," affirms Lori.


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Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
Author: Paul R. KopenkoskeyWebsite:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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