Every summer at Kanakuk we’re able to witness lives changed by Jesus Christ as leaders are made, Kampers grow in maturity, and ultimately go home refreshed and encouraged in their walk with Jesus. One of the foundations of our teaching at Kanakuk is the I’m Third lifestyle: God First, Others Second, I’m Third. At Kanakuk, President Joe White, shares the memorable story of Johnny Ferrier. Johnny Ferrier was a pilot who made a living performing air stunts at air shows all over the United States. Johnny was a Kanakuk Kamper and carried his I’m Third card in his wallet wherever he went.
One day during one of his air shows Johnny’s plane completely stalled out. Far below his plane was headed straight for a neighborhood, and while his captain advised him to eject himself from his plane, Johnny felt that there was no other option for him but to stay in the plane and steer it to the only open lot within range, sparing the neighborhood of people, but sacrificing himself.
That day Johnny chose to be I’m Third and put the lives of others before his own. Instead of bailing out Johnny went down with the plane so that innocent lives could be spared. The death of this man was tragic for his loved ones, but they were so proud of the man of God Johnny had become! It would have been so easy for Johnny to have ejected himself from his plane that day, allowing him to return safely home to his family, but to Ferrier that was never an option because he valued others’ lives as more important that his own.
Joe White explains that it is people like Johnny Ferrier that Kanakuk wants it’s Kampers to have as their role models. Many have come to know Christ because of the example Johnny Ferrier set that day—his life will be remembered not for the earthly treasures he possessed here on earth, but for the lives he saved because he was faithful to keep God First, Others Second, and Himself Third.
Joe White is the President of Kanakuk, the premiere Christian sports camp for ages 6-18 located in southwest MO. Learn more about Joe here , or head to Kanakuk.com/nextgen to hear the impact of Kanakuk Ministries around the world. It is Joe White and Kanakuk’s mission to equip next generation leaders.