Gaston Ntambo is a national missionary of the General Board of Global Ministries (United Methodist Church) assigned to work in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with the North Katanga Conference of the United Methodist Church. Based in Lubumbashi, Gaston serves as a pilot and mechanic with the Wings of the Morning flight ministry.
Gaston shares a rather dramatic story about one of his flights:
“The Wings of the Morning aviation ministry provides vital transportation to many of the hard-to-reach areas of Congo, which is especially important in emergency situations. I believe God is using me as a tool to often reach out and save lives, but there was one time in particular that was especially memorable.
During the recent Congo civil war, I flew to the village of Kafakumba in southern Congo to rescue missionaries stranded there when rebel troops cut off road access.
I didn’t realize when I landed that the rebels had already taken the village, but it didn’t take me long to find out. The aircraft was immediately surrounded by soldiers and I was put under house arrest with the very missionaries I had come to rescue.
The situation was looking very grim and we were seriously wondering if we were going to survive the ordeal. Two days later, it just “so happened” that a new commanding officer arrived in the village.
Figuring there was nothing to lose, I took a gamble and forced my way out of the house to go appeal to the commander for our release. The commander questioned me sharply to find out just who I was – and then smiled and introduced himself as an uncle who I had never met.
He secured our immediate release and I was able to fly the missionaries out of the war zone to safety.”
This is just one example of the protective cloak the Lord provides over our brotherhood of missionary aviators around the world.