From earthquakes to hurricanes, disasters like those only exemplify the need Agape Flights tries to offer.
VENICE, Fla. — Allen Speer looked up at his red, white, and blue plane and smiled. It was ready to be loaded again for another life-saving flight to Haiti.
“It’s more than a job. It’s a calling,” said the pastor-turned-CEO at Agape Flights in Venice.
The plane’s tail tag reads “N316AF,” which Speer explained stands for John 3:16 – one of the world’s most quoted Bible verses.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” he said.
Everything Agape Flights does operates on faith. It’s a company that supports missionaries all over the Caribbean in places like Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In all, 375 missionaries are supported by Agape Flights, which has operated in Florida for 39 years.
“For me, there is no better feeling than to be able to help somebody else who can’t help themselves,” said Rod Aldrich, who sold his cows and retired as a dairy farmer in order to move to Florida to begin working for Agape Flights. “God drew us here.”
“Agape” means “unconditional love” in Greek. It costs $5,000 per week just to fuel the planes that Agape Flights sends to and from the Caribbean. The supplies, mostly mail and non-perishable food, helps sustain the men and women ministering to nationals all over Hispaniola.
“We’re supplying the supplies that enables them to continue reaching out and, like you said, show the people of Haiti, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, that we care about them,” said pilot Jeff Yannucciello. “They’re not forgotten. We’re doing a flight a week usually, sometimes up to 65 flights a year.”
Haiti is considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Agape Flights is fewer than 800 miles away. A 5.9 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti Saturday night and at least ten people died. A disaster like that and devastating hurricanes only exemplify the need Agape Flights tries to offer.
“When they see that plane coming, they say, ‘Hope is Life,’ and they’re so thankful for this red, white, and blue plane when they see it coming in,” Speer said.
The company’s motto is “Serving Christ by Serving His Missionaries.”
By: Bobby Lewis for wtsp.com (10 News) | October 8, 2018