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Parachutes, prayer and planes

Parachutes, prayer and planes

Because my darling site manager spontaneously seeks to improve this little blog world of mine, things get a little topsy turvy.  I used to follow behind and sweep up the mess, but that takes hours if not days.  He inevitably finds time to improve things again, and the cycle continues.  If he ever settles on a somewhat more permanent design, I will reorder things such as this page.  In the meantime, please accept my apologies for anything amiss in this Wonderland.  My site manager, by the way, works for pie and cookies and is a dream.  That’s why I married him.  
(1) Gather your supplies and cheerful helpers.
(1) Gather your supplies and cheerful helpers.

Parachutes, planes, prayer, and homeschool children. The combination hints strongly of a potential visit to the emergency room. Ah, not so! In this case, the combination represents little missionaries at work.

The Voice of the Martyrs supports a missionary pilot who attaches Bibles and short-wave radios to small parachutes and drops them into guerrilla-controlled areas of Columbia. He needs tens of thousands of parachutes to continue his mission.

We decided to help. While the Bagasao Children’s Prayer Club studied and prayed for the Columbians, we also put our hands to work measuring, cutting and sewing these parachutes.

Would you like to get involved? Follow these simple instructions, or follow our steps below!

(2) Making the compass

(2b) Making the compass

Finding the center

(2a) Finding the center

(1) We assembled our supplies:

  • cheerful and willing helpers
  • 22-inch square of white polyster or cotton material
  • 6 36-inch long, 1/8-inch wide nylon ropes
  • marker
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • tape measure or ruler
  • string and two pencils
    Cutting the circle

    (2d) Cutting the circle

    Drawing the circle

    (2c) Drawing the circle

    for a compass

  • optionally, a protractor to measure angles and newspapers to protect the table
  • $3

(2) We used a homemade compass to draw a circle on our material. This is how. We located and marked the middle of our material. We tied two pencils together so they were 11 inches apart.

(3) Helps to stick tongue out

(3) Helps to stick tongue out

(3) Write Dios es Amor

(3) Writing Dios es Amor

Keeping one pencil in the center of the material with the string taut, we drew a circle with the other pencil as far as the string could reach. We then cut out the circle.

(3) We wrote Dios es Amor on the material. That is Spanish for God is love. (Please do not write anything in English or write any other words.)

Cutting the ropes

(4b) Cutting ropes

Measuring ropes

(4a) Measuring ropes

(4) We cut 6 lengths of cord each 36 inches long.

(5) We burned the ends of the rope so it would not unravel somewhere over South America. We successfully (although barely) managed to keep from lighting any long hair, skirts, or little boys ablaze.

(5) No burned fingers!

(5) No burned fingers!

(5) Burning ends

(5) Burning ends

(6) We marked the placement of the cords. They should each be placed 60 degrees apart. I know what you’re thinking. I totally should have paid attention in geometry class. Yes, you should have. Here are the basics. You can go through a complex process of multiplying the diameter times pi and dividing that by six, then measuring along the circumference until you have

(6) Folding into sixths--no math!

(6) The no-math method!

(6) Using a protractor

(6) Using a protractor

determined the locations of the six cords…or you can just use a protractor and place the cords at equal 60-degree angles from each other…or you can just fold the thing and make a decent guess! We recommend the last one, although we went through all three options before settling on that! (It’s ironic how we parents try to prove to our children that they really will use that math we are teaching them, only to, in the

(6) Eating supplies

(7?) Eating supplies

(7) Sewing ropes

(7) Sewing ropes

end, throw the math out and eyeball that baby!) It doesn’t have to be exact. As Stephen says, sometimes people really need to be hit in the head hard with the Bible…literally, so if it doesn’t work perfectly, oh well! At least it will get somebody’s attention.

(7) Using a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine, we sewed 10 3/4 inches of each of the 6 cords onto the parachute.

It works!

It works!

(7) Good sewing!

(7) Good sewing!

(8) Finally, we folded the cords inside the parachute and mailed it along with $3 for aviation fuel, the Bibles, shipping, and short wave radios. Then we celebrated by breaking into the secret chocolate truffle stash. (Don’t skip that step!)

Send the whole kit and kaboodle to the Voice of the Martyrs parachute program:

510 SW Adeline
PO Box 443
Bartlesville, OK 74003

While we firmly believe in the power of prayer, we also believe in getting our hands dirty, so to speak, in order to promote the advancement of the Gospel. Go into all the world…. We cannot go to Columbia, but perhaps these little parachutes and our small effort will make a difference.

Please remember to pray for the Columbians!

By the way, no children or parents were hurt in the making of these parachutes, and so far nobody has been hurt in the testing of them!

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