At the end of January, Larry Henderson (Instructor of Bible and Asian Coordinator for the Halbert Center for Missions and Global Service) was a plane captain for a special secret jump – as in skydiving out of a perfectly sound airplane from high altitude: an expert skydiver among 47 other expert skydivers. Their purpose: film a jump that forms the Chinese Character “Blessing” literally falling out of the sky/heavens for the annual New Year’s Eve television show seen by over a billion people in China. “Blessing from Heaven” is apparently a common new year saying.
Upon arrival in Florida for the jump someone told the jump leader “You have arranged great Florida weather for us!” The leader, who is a believer, responded to everyone, “Two months ago, Larry [Henderson] told me he was already praying for good weather. This is a ‘Blessing from Heaven’!” Practice plus seventeen jumps later the team successfully formed the character ‘Blessing’ coming from the sky. As Larry shared with me, how’s that for a message from believers to over a billion Chinese people? The super secretive video was aired on New Year’s Eve (our time on Thursday morning between 8:00 and 8:45 CST, Feb. 15).
To see a trailer for the video click here.
To see another promo of the jump click here.
For a 15 minute mini documentary on the jump that includes the final product (you will see Larry’s face about 12 minutes into the video) click here:
(In the photo above, Larry is the 4th person from the bottom on the left. He has a one handed grip on two guys facing the other side and three people are tagged on behind Larry.)
Glenn Pemberton is a minister turned professor turned writer. After serving churches in Texas and Colorado, Glenn completed a Ph.D. (Old Testament). He then taught at Oklahoma Christian University before coming to Abilene Christian University in 2005, retiring as professor emeritus in 2017 due to a severe chronic pain. Glenn now spends his time writing for the church. Along with short essays he has published four books, including The God who Saves: An Introduction to the Message of the Old Testament (2015), and Hurting with God: Learning to Lament with the Psalms (2012). Glenn and his wife Dana continue to live in Abilene, Texas.