During high school I was on track for the medical field. Before I graduated I already had my nurse's aid and pharmacy technician certification. I had plans to attend Lamar University in Beaumont, TX for their pharmcy school. This sounds like a solid plan but I eventually realized that my only reason for this career decision was based on money. God began to show me that my focus was on myself and a comfortable life instead of on Him and service to others. It was during my senior year that He really showed me what He wanted from my life.
The biggest encounter I had was at a camp our youth group attended during my senior year. At the end of his message the speaker asked us to come forward if we wanted a vision of God's plan for our future. Who doesn't want that? So, of course, I went down. Whether he meant a literal vision or not I'll never know. All I know is that when I closed my eyes suddenly I was flying a red float plane. I landed and moved toward the beach that led up to a desert landscape. Men in Middle Eastern dress came up to the plane and I helped them unload boxes of supplies onto the beach. And, as suddenly as it had begun, I opened my eyes and the vision was over.
What an incredible experience! But, I wasn't sure what to do with it. No one in my family had flight experience and my education plans weren't headed that way. So I just held on to it for almost two years.
It wasn't until after Sarah and I were married that God again spoke to me about flying. This time it was from the pastor at our home church. THe church was planning to send a large amount of supplies to Honduras to support a missionary work there. Almost thinkning out loud, the pastor said, "Wouldn't it be nice if we could just load all this on a plane and send it out ourselves? Who knows, maybe Zack could be our pilot!"
I had never even shared the vision with him! Now I knew the Lord was trying to tell me something. I began to visit the airports in our area to find out how to become a pilot. A flight instructor at the airport in Lufkin, TX suggested that if I was interested in a career in aviation I should check out a school named LeTourneau University. That happened in September 2008. By January 2009, we had moved in to LeTU's married student housing and my journey into missions aviation began.
I am still inspired by that vision today. I am so thankful that God intervened in my life and helped me change the direcdtion my life was headed in. Now, instead of living a life focused on my own comfort, I am living the life God designed for me. Since my first flight in 2009, my desire to serve the Lord with aviation has only increased. Sarah and I are certain that we are on the right track. Serving the Lord together as a family is an adventure and we excited about what the future holds!