Posted by: OCI | February 23, 2009

Missing in Venezuela

Since last Monday Bob Norton, mission pilot for Adventist Medical Aviation – Venezuela, has been missing, along with his wife and five other passengers. Their plane disappeared sometime after an unclear radio communication with a nearby village. Click here to read the news story.

Bob’s sister, Barbara, has been sending out email updates. This one she shared yesterday, and I would like to pass it on:

The outpouring of concern touches my heart. From homes, churches, and hearts so many of you have indicated that prayers are ascending in behalf of this desperate and sad situation. While I can’t answer each of you individually right now, I thank you for writing, and for your prayers.

The news I received last night is that while the search continued yesterday, nothing was found. There are groups of Indians looking in the jungle area where they think the airplane may have gone down. While I don’t want to dash the faith of any of you, I do want to share this message from my heart. What happened on Monday is history. If Bob were alive he would have sent up some sort of signal. I do believe in miracles. Over and over God has sustained and protected. However, we are in enemy territory and Satan has been very angry about this ministry for years. In reality–and those of you who are pilots agree with me–there really is no possibility of them being alive. I know we don’t want to think of the hard facts of tragic deaths, and long to hold tight to the belief that they will be found alive. Faith clings to God’s hand when our desires are crushed. It holds fast to the fact that God is love and cares for our hurting hearts. Read the entire “faith chapter” in Hebrews 11. Those who perished by sword, famine, martyrdom had great faith. God doesn’t always rescue. Sin runs its course. There are causalities on the battle field. I know this isn’t the update message you wish to hear, but I’ve had to write it.

My hope is anchored in God’s Word and His promises. To these I cling, as I continue to pray for those searching and God’s comfort with all the family and friends of those involved. God knows the desires of each of your hearts. Bob and Neiba’s desire, should they be able to speak with you just now, would be that this season of prayer would be for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Our entreaties to the throne room of the universe should be as earnest for the salvation of souls as it is for the return of the lost. May this time of prayer be a heart cleansing experience for each of us. Jesus coming is very near.

God bless you and comfort you today.

On behalf of all of the OCI ministries, we would like to invite you to join us in prayer for the pilot and passengers, for each of their families, and that God will be lifted up that He might draw all people to Himself. (John 12:32)



  1. We will keep on praying for we would want to be
    prayed for.

    We have hope in the coming of the Lord!

  2. May whatever happens be to God’s glory.Our hearts are heavy..God bless and comfort all those that are affected.

  3. Praying for all involved.

  4. Thank you all for your prayers. I’ll add an update when we hear more. God bless.

  5. Many people are praying that they are found safe and that they are found quickly. I know that all here at my college are praying for them. We will take to heart the advice given on praying for lost souls, as well. God bless you and all those involved.

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