|Flight Unlimited students Thai Vang, Mong Vang and Doua Vang standing in front of the program's Piper-Cherokee 140.|
Helping others get their wings in life and for flying has been a priority for Linton Scott, an A/G minister from Minneapolis, Minn., since 1967. Through a unique program called Flight Unlimited more than 600 mostly young and disadvantaged youth have learned aviation, life and professional skills. Fifty-three others have gone on to obtain their pilots license. But learning etiquette and how to fly, says Linton, are not the main objectives of the program.
"Our main goal is that they will find Christ and have a sense of Him as the most important factor in their life," he says. "Through aviation we are able to teach them that everything from life to death depends on their faith in God."
The program began when Linton started taking young people for rides in his plane. As word and interest in the rides spread, Linton realized he could use flying to impart life skills and the message of Christ to others.
"We show it, then we tell it," he says. "We try to teach by example. If we can project the love of Jesus Christ through what we do, they will ask the questions and we have the ready answer in Scripture."
Students are required to abide by a strict dress code. While they work in the hangar, they can only listen to classical music and they are required to maintain the grounds, hangar, classrooms, airplane and flight simulator.
"We can excel by hard work and liking what we do," Linton says he tells the students. "We always tell them to step back and take a look at the project they are working on and see if it is better."
Harris Yang, an immigrant from Laos, went through the program soon after he arrived in America.
"I really wanted to fly when I was young, but I had no chance in my country," he says. "But, when I came to this country my friend told me about Flight Unlimited and I found something really special."
Today, thanks in part to the program, Yang is a successful businessman and a licensed pilot.
"The work of God and the Holy Spirit is ongoing in these peoples lives," says Linton. "There is always a chance that the Holy Spirit is going to move [in someones life]."
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