Their original goal of funding one bicycle quickly grew when their "Leap of Faith" sparked wider attention on www.MyGFA.org/leap. At the time of their jump Monday morning, pledges had already funded more than 73 bicycles, and they anticipate receiving more donations to reach their goal of 100 bicycles.
"About one minute before the jump, we took a moment to reflect on our purpose," said Dias. "We visualized 100 missionary pastors using bikes throughout their lifespan. The consequences of our jump will have more eternal significance than we can even imagine through the ministry of pastors reaching many South Asian villages with the gospel."
"This jump is our gift to each missionary who will be receiving a bike, and also to each donor whose gifts make these bicycles possible," said Jalbert. "I would definitely do it all over again to help spread the gospel."
This first skydive for both women was the culmination of their two-year plan to do "something important – something that matters." They quickly settled on using their jump to promote the purchase of bicycles for Asian pastors through Gospel for Asia (GFA). MyGFA.org is a new section of the Gospel for Asia website where anyone can promote a unique GFA ministry support effort.
"We are very thankful for the creative and selfless efforts of Dany and Janine," said K. P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia founder and president. "Bicycles help pastors go farther faster, reaching more people with the love of Christ."
Taking to the skies, facing the open doors of a plane and jumping out were all outside the comfort-zone of these two mothers and teachers. When weather delayed their scheduled jump by two days, they had time to contemplate further their real goal in this expedition.
The pair took a 50-second, 7,000-foot free-fall at approximately 125 miles per hour before feeling the jerk of the parachutes that reassured them their "Leap of Faith" was destined for success. They touched down near the Ottawa-Gatineau airport less than six minutes later.
"During the free-fall, the wind was very loud, and there was a lot of distraction," said Jalbert. "But when the chute was pulled, it immediately became quiet, and a rush of peace came over me. I had a clear vision of the beautiful scene below, two tiny parachutes, and thousands and thousands of lights in South Asia representing all those who will hear the gospel message because of these bicycles."
"On behalf of Gospel for Asia Canada, I want to thank Janine and Dany for their sincere love for the Lord and their heart for the people of Asia," said Martin Lamb, development director for GFA Canada. "They have been an example to many of how to move beyond their comfort-zone and make a difference. God has evidently blessed their bold act of faith."
Donations may still be made for Dias and Jalbert's bicycle project at www.MyGFA.org/leap.
MyGFA.org features space for anyone to post an approved, unique Gospel for Asia support drive. Other items that can be funded through GFA include income-producing sewing machines, small animals that change a family's life and sponsorship of a child, a widow, a pastor or a woman missionary. Those interested can visit www.gfa.org for more ideas.