John has been a weekly volunteer in the AMA maintenance department for the past seven months. John was a helicopter mechanic in the Army before going to flight school and becoming a helicopter pilot, where he served in some tough spots including the Panama invasion and Korea. Since his service in the Army, John served 13 years as a California Highway Patrol officer (and highway EMT), 9 years flying a medevac helicopter, and since 2011 John has been a crime scene investigator for Alaska State Law Enforcement.
So why did John move back to Alaska in 2009 and why take his precious days off performing aircraft maintenance? For that story let's wind the clock back to 1977. John was sixteen years old growing up in a broken home with a mother who worked hard to support the family and a Vietnam veteran for a step father that depended on alcohol to cope with the pain. However in the midst of that home crisis, the Lord intervened, through the compassion of some neighbors who invited him and the neighborhood kids over for Good News Club. This provided a safe place to be introduced to the Lord and a loving environment. His relationship with these sweet neighbors grew so close over time that they affectionately became known as Brother Ed and Mrs. Moore.
Brother Ed got approval from John's parents and brought him to serve at the Northstar Bible Camp in Willow, AK in 1977. Ed worked in Alaska's oil industry, so they drove to Alaska fishing along the way, and John was dropped off for the summer to be a camp hand. As a Northstar camp hand, John was able to serve chopping wood, performing camp maintenance, life guarding, and working as horse wrangler. It was through the discipleship of Duke Stonmayer, the camp director, that John heard the gospel of Christ in a way that he could not ignore. Duke, before coming to Christ, was a serious rebel that joined the Hells Angels biker club and the accompanying drug scene. Through his own testimony Duke explained to the camp kids that all men are sinners destined for hell (Romans 3:23), BUT God desires that all men would be saved, and while we were still sinners he died for us. (Romans 5:8). Duke's words sunk into John's heart immobilizing him with the weight of his own sin and that night he acknowledged as a teenager there is nothing he could do to pay his debt of sin, that Jesus Christ had paid for his sin on the cross, and trusted Jesus as Lord of his life.
That is why John has a special place in his heart for Alaska. He is passionate about AMA's partnering with Kokrine Hills Bible Camp and has a love for all things that fly. As a side note John is currently a commercially rated helicopter pilot, has accrued many hours in fixed wing aircraft, just purchased a two seat Piper Cub, and plans to get his fixed wing rating in the near future.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Romans 3:23 NASB
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 NASB