Twenty to 30 Port Elizabeth pastors and Christian leaders prayed over the city from two helicopters which embarked on a special prayer flights mission on Wednesday.
The aerial intercession was initiated by PE helicopter charter service owner and pilot John Huddlestone who decided to put the choppers to fruitful Kingdom use during a time when business was quiet and his aircraft were sitting on the ground.
He said a story in Gateway News about a Mexican pastor, Poncho Murguia, who fasted and prayed for 21 days and then went on to play a key role in transforming a city once known as the murder capital of the world, had inspired him to facilitate yesterday’s prayer flights. During a visit to PE in June, Pastor Poncho called on the Church to get out of its comfort zone and help to transform the city which is faced with a serious gang violence problem.
“So I thought, let’s use the choppers to take people to pray because we can’t wait for someone to do something about the crime,” said Huddlestone in an interview. His wife, Lorinda, and commercial pilot Derek Kibble flew the two helicopters in blustery conditions yesterday.
I had the privilege of joining one of the prayer flights and I spoke to several of the leaders who prayed from the air yesterday. The consensus was that it was a powerful prayer experience.
Pastor Russel Viljoen got to fly over the city’s northern areas which is where he ministers and where the gang violence is concentrated. He said that since “our warfare is spiritual and the enemy is described as the prince of the power of the air”, praying down from the air — from a position of authority — “gave more meaning to our being seated with Christ in heavenly places”.
Pastor Joan Keeling, who coordinates intercession initiatives in the city, said: “What really strikes me when on a flight, is how tiny houses, cars and people look. And therefore, how small our problems and burdens are compared to our great God.
“Seeing things from a distance, helps us to get our lives into perspective when we remember how great our God is. It minimises our problems and increases our faith — even in the context of the Bay! Our God is able!!”
Estelle Kirstein, of Mosaic Group which serves orphans and vulnerable children, said praying from the air above Walmer Township provided a greater understanding of where the community lives and what it looks like. “If you see it from the air you see the whole picture. When I pray for Walmer Township, I am going to pray differently because I saw children in the homes on their own and they shouldn’t have been there — and I saw people just sitting, looking hopeless, and I saw broken down homes, some that didn’t have a roof on. So for me, that is something that I haven’t seen from the ground.”
John Huddleston said after yesterday’s successful flying prayer mission that he would consider more such outings if somebody assisted with sponsorship. He can be contacted at email@example.com