The Harvest Story

In the year leading up to 2005 when Harvest Aviation formed, there were multiple meetings between the seven different missionary aviation groups based in Florida. The purpose of those meetings was to share ideas of how these groups could better work together and even share the resources God had given each organization. Additionally, discussions were held identifying some of the common needs among the groups. Some of the topics that came up in these meetings included: finding a centrally located airport where some of the interested organizations could come together and set up operations, the need for aircraft maintenance dedicated to serving the missionary aviation community, and economical flight and maintenance training for people wanting to learn to serve in these technical areas. All of this was in addition to the missionary support efforts of carrying cargo, missionaries and short-term teams that was already going on.

The next step was finding a location. Sebring was originally at the top of the list for places to locate and made the most sense on paper but when it came time to sign a lease the Board of Directors decided to take some time to call around and see what other options were available. One of those phone calls was to the Wauchula Municipal Airport and shortly after, some of the Board members of both Harvest Aviation and one of our partner ministries The Kings Wings met with Wauchula city officials discussing opportunities to locate there. The meeting went so well that the members of both Boards agreed that Wauchula was the spot to set up Harvest Aviation. Shortly after Harvest Aviation signed a lease to rent two small adjoining hangers and Ronny Erekson and his family moved to Florida from Ohio, and he took the position of Aircraft Maintenance Technician. He became the first full-time worker at Harvest and about this time we also started doing routine flights to Belize to support missionaries on the field. The adventure had begun.