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Corona-based Pilots Fly Supplies to Poor American Indians

“A lot of people usually don’t have money to get clothing or even food,” said Pastor Wayne Stephens, who for 26 years has ministered to Cibecue, Ariz., through the Fountain of Living Waters Indian Mission.

The White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation town of Cibecue is among 13 destinations for the Wings of Faith nonprofit missionary aviation group. Retired blimp pilot Nick Nicolary first became involved with Wings of Faith after a holiday-season toy airlift. “After you hand the first kid a present, you’re in,” he said with a laugh.

Based at an airport in Corona, Calif., Wings of Faith was established more than three decades ago by Dale Whinery, a former missionary who became a pilot as a teenager in 1949. Broken-down trucks can be seen in fields full of weeds in the Cibecue area, says Stephens: “I would say it’s economically a disaster. We have a food bank at the mission and we’re constantly running out of food.” While the work is neverending, the pilots do not seek praise and they seem to avoid frustration.

In Whinery’s words, “We do what God directs us to do, and we serve a lot of hurting people out there.”

July 13, 2009

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