Their unique expedition is posted on www.MyGFA.org/leap, where their goal of raising $1,100 for bicycles already has been met and has now increased 10 times to $11,000. MyGFA.org is a new section of the Gospel for Asia (GFA) website where anyone can promote a unique GFA ministry support effort.
"Without a bicycle, brothers in Asia will sometimes walk for hours to be able share the love of Jesus with people in the surrounding villages. These gifts will mean so much to them," said K. P. Yohannan, Gospel for Asia founder and president.
Janine Jalbert, 59, of Vankleek Hill, Ontario, is a mother and grandmother who trains college-level students to provide healthcare for hospital patients and the elderly. Dany Dias, 44, of L'Orignal, Ontario, a mother and former mental healthcare worker, teaches French and science to seventh- and eighth-grade students.
Neither has ever skydived.
The women had been planning a skydive for two years, but determined their adventure "had to be important – something meaningful," according to Jalbert. Since Dias's family currently sponsors a pastor in India through Gospel for Asia, she immediately suggested a bicycle for a pastor who ministers in hard-to-reach areas.
The pair now laughs at the original plan to purchase only one bicycle. A presentation to their local church, Vankleek Hill Baptist Church, a congregation of about 70 people, immediately funded a single bicycle. Then they placed an article in their local newspaper and established a page on MyGFA.org, the do-it-yourself campaign site where people donate directly online. As word spread, local participation grew to an international scope.
"Our minds are so limited in what we think is possible," said Dias. "This is not about us or about a skydive. It's about young pastors who travel far and put their lives in jeopardy on a daily basis. These bicycles could help 100 of them reach additional villages and accomplish much more in less time."
They will be jumping simultaneously at 11 a.m. on June 29 in tandem with instructors with GO Skydive (www.goskydive.ca) in Gatineau. Their drop zone is scheduled for the Ottawa-Gatineau airport.
MyGFA.org features space for anyone to post their approved, unique Gospel for Asia support drives. 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.
"Pray that people will be generous with this cause to benefit those who are working so hard to spread the love of Christ in Asia," said Jalbert in anticipation of her upcoming skydive.
To donate to "Leap of Faith" for bicycles for Indian pastors, visit www.MyGFA.org/leap. One hundred percent of all funds donated will go to the field.