Blessings from the Sky!

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.

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Author:  Publish Date: February 16, 2018

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The CHARIS website hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. In partnership with the ACU Library and the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX), the website is supported and led by the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The Center’s mission is to renew Christian spirituality through engagement of Christian heritage, at Abilene Christian University and beyond. The views expressed on the CHARIS website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU. Questions or comments about the CHARIS website can be directed to charis @

2017-18 CHARIS Editorial Board:
Dr. Carisse Berryhill
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