27 July 2014 by Adeline Lum CM –
God did not just take John Sham’s dream to reality, but brought him further along that road, including making aviation history of his own.
Another dream John Sham had besides becoming a jet fighter pilot is to fly in air shows or perform aerobatic flights. Although he was a demonstration pilot then (which involved one to two aircrafts), he wanted to become an aerobatic display pilot like the famed United States Thunderbirds (which involved a higher skill of coordination between more than four aircrafts).
In year 2011, the defence minister of Malaysia announced that Malaysia will have the first international aerobatic team. But unfortunately, John was not selected to be in the elite team of four people who will be trained in UK by The Blades Aerobatic Display Team pilots from the Red Arrows (Royal Air Force) in UK, a prestigious and world-known aerobatic team.
But after the team trained for almost a year, John unexpectedly got an invitation letter to join the team in support of the 1 Malaysia concept. But alas again! He only had one month to train.
God Puts Another Dream On The Road To Fulfillment
Nevertheless, John was excited to be invited. So, he packed his bags to go to UK, only to find out that he was planned to be a reserve. Although he tried to console himself that being accepted in the team is enough, he asked the Lord to be in the main team.
Daily, after flying training, John would go and spend some quiet time worshiping the Lord in his hotel room. During this time, he felt the Lord speaking to him in a gentle voice, “You shall be the head and not the tail.”
He decided to spend the remaining nights worshiping, fervently praying and seeking God, instead of touring UK or searching for entertainment with his friends.
“Somewhere, I just wanted to be different. I just wanted to be blessed. I just wanted to spend time soaking in God’s presence and I did not want to go anywhere else. I just felt God’s peace coming to me,” said John.
And in one of the nights, John saw a bright light in his vision during worship. Taking that as a signal, he thought to himself, “Maybe it is time for me to ask God again.” On that night, the Lord spoke to him the words of Psalm 1, which says:
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
He was the ‘water-boy’ and ‘camera-man’ for the first two weeks. Once in a while, he had a chance to fly the plane. But after two weeks, God reminded him again, “You shall be the head not the tail.”
After a few days God spoke to him, the aerobatic team strangely came down with their heads hung low and sorrow etched on their faces. The chief instructor who followed behind also looked very disappointed.
Gathering everyone in a meeting, the instructor announced that he would not allow the team to perform in public because they had not been performing up to their standards. The only way for them to perform is to find a substitute for team members who did not perform well.
Since there were only two reserves including John, the instructor asked if he could take a flight with John. Ecstatic with that opportunity, John quickly called home to ask his wife Lynda to pray for him.
‘You Shall Be The Head And Not The Tail’
John hoped that he would fly in his regular formation position as the pilot on the left, as each position of an aerobatic plane requires special training. But the instructor wanted him to fly on the right (the most challenging position and he had never flown before). At this moment, God spoke to him again in an assuring voice, “You shall be the head and not the tail.”
“The instructor asked me if I was confident but I place my confidence in God. It was really Him honestly. I had just so much peace. What could be worse? I am a water-boy anyway. I struggled but I tried my best,” said John.
They touched down. The instructor came out of the plane silent. He then announced, “I think we have found our replacement, this is the guy to be part of the team.”
Turned out, John found out later that any pilot who is on the right side of the formation will automatically take on as deputy leader. God’s word is accurate! Although John was a deputy leader of the team, he was still given most leadership responsibility.
He made aviation history by becoming the first pilot in the Asian Region to qualify and train with The Blades. He also pioneers the first Malaysian Aerial Display Team, Krisakti and performed in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition in year 2012.
“It’s a dream I gave God. I have very little faith that God would fulfil my dream initially because it’s close to impossible but I have hope that I can do all things through Christ. When I was praying with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, I really felt that my faith is elevated to another level,” said John.
‘All Christians Are Called To Live Victorious Lives’
“All Christians are called to live victorious lives. I wouldn’t say it’s my pious and prayerful life to cause God’s favor. Personally, first and foremost, I have to thank my mum for teaching us to pray in the morning and at night even without knowing who the Holy Spirit was. But God saw our heart.
“My wife Lynda is a great intercessor in my life. We would teach our kids to pray as well. Now, my kids are praying for us.
Somehow or other, God never failed to allow us to meet people who would journey and earnestly pray with us. Anywhere in the world, we always end up meeting people who would pray, fellowship, and walk with us in our daily Christian life through thick and thin.
“Christian life is actually very exciting whereas our prayers simple, sincere, and straight from the heart. God does not require us to pray difficult or complicated prayers before He answers. Sometimes we over-complicate things for ourselves. In fact, Jesus has already thought us how to pray and ask (Matthew 6: 5-15, 7:7). He wants us to come to Him in the simplest way, just by being who we are and our prayer will prevail.”
“I believe the key word is allowing God to play THE BIGGER part in our life and then trusting Him by His grace with all your heart. I mean if we pray that we want to meet happening, exciting, and established people, that’s who we meet. But we want to pray to meet praying people, the kind that will also mentor us and cause us to draw closer to God. Everywhere we go, we have to make the first step of wanting Jesus to be the centre of our life,” he added.
Because John committed his dream to God’s plan, God saw the sincerity of his heart and fulfilled it in His time and His Way! The Lord never look at how ‘well’ or how ‘long’ we pray to Him, but He only sees the sincerity and position of our heart. If we come to the Lord with a humble heart committing all our desires, plans, and ambitions to Him, will He not listen and answer our prayers.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Also, John has always sought the Kingdom of God first in everything He does. Because he sought FIRST the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, as what the Bible says, all the things he needed were added unto him. (Matt 6:33)
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