Alaska Pilots Are a Lifeline in the Wilderness

Samaritan’s Purse pilots Bill Sims and John Erickson share what makes flying in Alaska for military couples in search of God's healing.

SAMARITAN LODGE ALASKA — Samaritan’s Purse pilots Bill Sims and John Erickson share what makes flying in Alaska for military couples in search of God’s healing so special.

Bill SimsSamaritan’s Purse:

I gave my life to the Lord in an airplane, so aviation’s always been special to me. I love to fly. I love to show people what God has created, this like immense vastness you have in Alaska that’s, you know, untouched.

John EricksonSamaritan’s Purse:

As a young kid, I grew up next to an Air Force base, and I was always looking up. So I just knew from a very young age that I always wanted to fly. Everybody has talents given to them by God. When I had the opportunity to come up here, it was kind of a chance to give back. Being here in a remote environment like this and being surrounded by veterans, you know, their brothers really in arms, it’s a perfect setting to share God’s love with them and tell them the story of Jesus Christ.


80% of Alaska, the only way you can get to it is flying. And so it’s a lifeline for the communities up here, but I feel like it’s kind of a lifeline here at Samaritan Lodge as well.


This is God’s airplane, that’s God’s boat, this chair I’m sitting in. At the end of the week, when we were kind of reviewing the highlight of their events, it’s not the fish always, or it’s not the airplane ride, or it’s not the boat ride. It’s just that they had an opportunity to be as a husband and wife in the middle of God’s creation, and it resonates with people.


My heart is that these couples come to know the Lord, that we will have that impact, kind of be that light that God shows through us.

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Operation Heal Our Patriots gives wounded veterans and their spouses the opportunity for spiritual refreshment, physical renewal, and marriage enrichment. Couples participate in Biblically based seminars that help strengthen their relationships with God and others and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation with outdoor activities at our Alaskan wilderness lodge. We continue to support these men and women after their initial stay, keeping their spiritual needs and marriages a priority.

CONTACT: Kaitlyn Lahm,

Read more news on Faith Based / Non Profit Organizations, and Christian Ministry.


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