Andrew Hosford is a missionary pilot originally from Berrien Springs, Michigan.

Lights Out

The day of my graduation from flight school last September is one I won’t soon forget.

Not just because I had completed the rigorous training, but it was what would happen on my way home. As I prepared for the hour-long flight home that night, I checked the fuel in the tanks and did my usual walk-around, pre-flight inspection. With a friend in tow, I started the plane’s engine, taxied into position and did the usual before-takeoff checklist.

About a half-hour into the flight, I smelled something burning. At first glance, my instruments didn't show that anything was wrong. I looked over everything more carefully to see if there was a problem lurking. It was then I noticed that the digital clock was flashing a warning indicating the power was dwindling. After communicating with an air traffic controller, I turned off as many electronic devices so I could conserve power.

In looking at my options, I remembered my destination airport was not very well lit. The next closest airport had much better lighting so we made the decision to divert there. As I turned toward that runway, I saw that it was lit at full intensity. “Thank you, Lord!”

I then flipped on the power switch briefly to troubleshoot and noticed both fuel gauges were reading just above empty. “That’s weird,” I thought. I had checked the fuel before departure and had more than double the quantity I needed. (I later learned that we had plenty of fuel and that Cessna gauges were reading low due to the reduced power).

Now less than five miles away from landing, the runway lights on the plane were miraculously still on and the engine was running. I sent up another prayer of gratitude. “Yes! Thank you, Father.”

Nearing the runway, I again flipped on the power switch and observed the remaining voltage wasn't enough for the landing lights. Nevertheless, the landing was smooth and uneventful. As soon as we got to the ramp and shut off the engine, the timer on the runway lights expired. My friend and I were surrounded in darkness.

As I sat there in the parked plane, I knew for sure that God was very near and that He had sent angels to turn on the runway lights just for us. Instead of being fearful when everything was going wrong, I had peace. Instead of worry, I felt secure with the knowledge that God was near and was reminded of the passage of Scripture which says, The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him (Ps. 34:7-9 NKJV).

Andrew Hosford is a missionary pilot originally from Berrien Springs, Michigan. After accepting God’s leading into missionary aviation, he graduated from the School of Missionary Aviation Technology in 2020. God opened the doors wide for Andrew to join a mission team in Nicaragua in early 2021, using an aircraft on floats to serve the villages along the eastern coast of that country. Andrew looks forward to the next steps God has in ministry for Him.


Andrew received a $100 scholarship for this article. If you’re a youth or young adult interested in submitting an article for consideration, please contact: herald@lakeunion.org.