Having attended the dedication of our King Air 90 this year I was reminded of other dedications of FM planes I had had the privilege of attending. In 1983 I was present when we dedicated a Cessna 206 named “Lephoi la Pula” which means “The Dove of Blessing”. Dr Alfred Merriweather, our then Patron, did the dedicating.

The service was interrupted by a short, sharp thunderstorm and rain shower and we srambled for shelter under the wings of the aircraft. Dr Merriweather commented that at other dedications of ships, aircraft, etc., a bottle of champagne was usually broken open whereas in our case the Lord had broken open the clouds and poured out His blessing of Pula (rain).

The second dedication with which I was directly involved was in December 1999 when a Cessna 421 aircraft was dedicated to the memory of Dr Merriweather, who had died in October of that year, and was named “Diphuka Tsa Phodiso” (Wings of Healing). For me this involved organising the guest list, preparing and printing the programme and arranging for the catering. A number of representatives from Government, missions and churches were invited, Dr Merriweather having been a much loved and respected figure in Botswana society not only as a medical doctor, missionary and pastor but as the first Speaker of the House in the new parliament when Botswana gained its independence in 1966.

This year’s dedication, although not so high profile, was also a very special event. Special guests included some visitors from the United Free Church of Scotland. This denomination has been very supportive of Flying Missions right from the beginning.

On this occasion the King Air 90 aircraft was being dedicated to Dr M J McArthur, not only our present patron but the founder of Flying Mission more than 25 years ago. It was given the registration letters MJM in his honour - Malcolm John McArthur. Dr McArthur spoke giving a short history of FM and then said that he would want us to remember these letters not so much as representing his names but as Mpho (Gift) John (Gift of God) and Masego (Blessings). He spoke too of the bend in the letter J reminding us of Phil 2:10, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth....” Praise the Lord that through the work of FM the name of Jesus can be made known to many people here in Botswana and they can be given the opportunity to bow the knee now in adoration and thanksgiving.