A giant leap

From the archive.
Gerald freefalls while safely strapped to instructor Neil Long
(Photo: Paulo Braz)

Five brave souls took a giant leap of faith last Saturday as they each plunged out of an aircraft and fell at 120mph for global mission.

Jumpers at Hinton airfield in Northamptonshire included Gerald Mwangi from Kenya, who has hosted CMS Encounter Mission Community teams in his home country.

Gerald loudly shouted 'Freedom!' and did an African dance as he landed, to the sound of approving cheers from enthralled spectators, said CMS fundraiser Hannah Caroe, who also took part in the jump.

Related links
More photos from the day
CMS Sponsored Challenges
Canon Janet Muhindo's work

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Gerald found time in the air to reflect on world mission: Leaving the aeroplane made me think about all the missionaries who have stepped out in faith over the centuries to share the gospel around the world, he said.

Gerald was jumping in aid of the work of Canon Janet Muhindo, children's worker for the diocese of Uganda, currently working with young people and children whose lives have been torn apart by violence in the northern part of that country.

Asked how he felt about CMS, Gerald's response was, Over the years, the Church Mission Society has been a great blessing to many people across Africa.

Currently studying in Ireland, Gerald spent time at the CMS offices over the summer, where he was inspired by the work of Canon Muhindo. In recent years he has worked closely with CMS, facilitating visits by CMS Encounter Mission Community teams to work alongside local Christians in Africa.

Matthew Barber, a Masters student, studying environmental politics at Keele University, was the first to take to the clear blue sky.

His first response when he landed was, I want to do it again!

He describes a magical moment in the air, The sun shone on our backs as we glided above the clouds. As we looked down we saw a rainbow halo formed on top of the clouds. We aligned ourselves so our shadow was in the centre of the halo; I had never seen a sight like it, then we flew towards and through the halo, engulfing ourselves in the clouds. Before we knew it we were through the clouds, greeted by a crystal clear view of the Oxfordshire countryside – phenomenal.

After landing, Hannah could hardly contain herself and raced over to the stands to hug waiting supporters. It was utterly exhilarating and a tiny bit nerve wracking, she says, but no matter how brave we were, we weren't as brave as many of our incredible mission partners, working to see the world know Jesus.

Together, Matthew, Gerald, Hannah and their fellow jumpers James Hancock and Aaron Smith have raised nearly £4,000 for mission partners sharing Jesus and changing lives all around the world.

To take to the skies in their vapour trails, just contact Hannah on 01865 787521 or at Hannah.caroe@cms-uk.org. She can’t wait to hear from you!

Published 23 October 2011

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