July 2024 Newsletter

Prayer Request for July 2024: This month, dedicate a time each day to prayer, seeking God's wisdom and guidance. In these moments of reflection, open your heart to Him, trusting that He will provide clarity and discernment.

Please call us if you have any questions about the Mission or how you can help. 432-337-8294

A Word From Our Director ~ Pastor Andrew Pistone

He Wanted to Fly 
Larry Walters was a 33-year-old truck driver, but his original dream was to become an Air Force pilot. The military had informed him that his eyesight was too poor to fly for the Air Force, so he served as an Army cook in Vietnam. Even though he was frustrated that he couldn't accomplish his dream of being an Air Force pilot, he was still determined to get into the air. You'd think that he would just go out and get his private pilot's license, but NO…he decided on another, more creative way to become airborne.   

In 1982, Larry purchased 42 weather balloons (each one approximately seven or eight feet across,) and 55 tanks of helium. He said he'd been thinking about the idea of using balloons for flying - for about 20 years – since the age of 13, when he had seen large, helium balloons near the ceiling of an Army-Navy surplus store. Now, after 20 years of dreaming about it, he decided that he would finally carry out his plan of using balloons to get himself into the air. 

His plan was simple: He would attach a common, aluminum lawn chair from Sears - to the helium-filled weather balloons and strap some water jugs to the chair for stability and balance. He'd take along an altimeter, a camera, a CB radio, and a pellet gun to shoot out the balloons – so he could control his descent. He would wear a parachute and a life jacket – just in case. He'd also take along a pocket knife and some food and drinks for the ride. It all seemed very straightforward, and he planned to launch from San Pedro, California - with the goal of sailing across the desert. He planned to spend a couple of hours in the air - enjoying his snacks and drinks, taking photos - and then, shooting enough balloons to make a gentle landing.

He named his contraption, “Inspiration I.” (Who knows? Maybe he was planning a series of flying chairs: “Inspiration II,” “Inspiration III,” and “Inspiration IV & V!”) After all the preparations were made, Larry's homemade rig was launched from a backyard in San Pedro on July 2, 1982.

He said that he had intended to get into his chair about an hour before launch and then, notify the FAA about 30 minutes before takeoff. Everything went as planned, except - the ropes that were tethering him, unexpectedly gave way before he could notify the FAA. He had expected to fly to approximately 30 feet above the ground before leveling off, but he shot up much more quickly than he had calculated…about a thousand feet a minute; and he didn't level off until he had reached 16,500 feet…over three miles above the ground. (Afterward, he said that he had never planned to fly that high, and that he was beginning to feel cold and  dizzy at  that  altitude.)

At that point, he was scared, but now – he had a bigger, more immediate problem. He was starting to drift into the path of commercial planes that were coming into Los Angeles International Airport. While he was drifting, he was spotted by multiple pilots. One TWA captain sent a bizarre radio message - saying that he was passing a man in a lawn chair at 16,000 feet, who was holding a pistol in his hand. The people in the control tower could hardly believe what they were hearing, but they were able to find Larry on their radar and track him. Larry used his CB radio to transmit a Mayday call, and the people on the ground picked up his call and stayed in contact with him through the rest of  his  flight. 

He said he knew he was interferring with federal airspace, and that he knew how dangerous his situation had become. He also said that - after the initial shock wore off - he felt calm. He told the people who were monitoring him, that he knew he was in trouble…one way or the other. He now realized that he would either fall to his death, get sucked into a jet engine, or  be  arrested  when  he  landed. 

After about 45 minutes in the air, Larry decided to shoot out several balloons with his gun. He started to descend slowly, but he said that he put the gun in his lap to check the altimeter, and a gust of wind came up and blew him sideways. The chair tilted and the gun fell out of his lap before he could shoot out any more balloons. The plastic jugs which were attached to his chair, contained approximately 35 gallons of water - and, at that point, he began gradually dumping the water so that he could get closer to the ground at a relatively safe speed. 

After being in the air for 90 minutes, he was finally coming down, but the tethers which were hanging from his chair, got tangled in some power lines - knocking out the electricity in a Long Beach neighborhood. Instead of a peaceful landing in the desert, he and his chair ended up dangling from the power lines – a dozen feet off the ground. Amazingly, he landed without any injuries – not even a scratch. When he was rescued from his contraption and got to the ground, there was a reception committee from the Long Beach Police Department waiting there to arrest him. A regional safety inspector is reported to have said, “We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charges will be filed. If he had a pilot's license, we'd suspend that, but he doesn't.” The FAA came at him with four charges, and a $4,000. fine – which was eventually  reduced  to  $1,500. 

A reporter asked Larry why he'd made such a crazy and dangerous flight, and he said, “A man can't just sit  around.” 

Are We Just Sitting Around?
Of course, Larry's stunt was incredibly irresponsible, unbelievably dangerous – and definitely illegal…but when he said, “A man can't just sit around,” it can prompt  us  to  think  about  how  we  spend  our  time. 

Do we have direction in our lives or, are we sitting around - just surviving and going through the motions of life without any deliberate thought? Once in a while, it's important for all of us to evaluate the way we spend our time. We want to discipline ourselves, so that our hours are spent on valuable and eternal things. “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand  what  the  Lord's will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Do we have too many projects and challenges in our lives? If so, we can ask God to give us wisdom in managing our time, or to help us to look at the challenges as opportunities. If we're in a rut…just coasting through every day without direction, we can ask God for energy, for motivation, and for opportunities  to  grow  and  learn.  

How much time do we waste? Are we spending too much time on things that have no eternal value? Have we been procrastinating about something for too long? Is it time to organize our lives? Are we motivated to learn a new skill? Maybe we could set aside one full hour this week - with the TV off - to talk with someone in our family, call a friend, or to read our Bible and pray - listening  to  what  God  has  to  say  to  us. 

Are we aware of the people around us? We don't have to do something big or earth-shaking or expensive - to encourage someone. We can find opportunities to be a simple blessing to someone if we're just intentional about it. It might be - returning a stranger's cart in the grocery store parking lot, or spending time in a nursing home with someone who doesn't get many visitors. Even a genuine smile and a positive attitude can make the difference in someone's day. We can't just sit around…We can do something!...focusing on glorifying  God  with  our  lives. 

Pastor Andrew

Thrift Store
If you haven't had a chance to shop at our Thrift Store, we hope you will do that very soon. The proceeds from the store are a major source of our support. You will find thousands of quality items at incredible prices, and you can shop with confidence that your dollars are helping to change lives.

We are located at 1515 E. 8th Street, Odessa, TX Our hours for shopping are: Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.
We continue to take ALL donations with grateful hearts. We could not do this  without  your  help.
We will come to PICK UP any and all donations – just give us  a  call  at  432-337-8294  to  schedule  a pickup. You can also drop off your donation at the Thrift Store, 

Funds / Donations Needed

Your financial support will help us provide hot meals, a safe place to sleep and shower, and exposure to the truth of God's Word through Bible study and counseling to those who struggle with addictions. Many come to know Jesus as Savior because of the work God is doing here at the Mission.

There are a few ways you can give:
#1:  PayPal Giving Fund:
100% of what you give goes to the Mission. Paypal does not keep a processing fee when you use this service. If you would like to make a direct financial donation you can go to PayPal at the link below.

#2:  Use our Website http://www.doorofhopemission.com/donate.html

#3:  Mail a Check to  Door of Hope Mission PO Box 1789, Odessa, TX 79760

#4:  When you Shop at Amazon or Ebay, just add us as your preferred charity, and a portion of your purchase will go to the Door Of Hope Mission.

With Amazon: Visit Amazon Smile www.smile.amazon.com, then login to your account then you need to select Door Of Hope Mission Odessa TX so we will receive donations from eligible purchases when you shop.  

With Ebay: You just need to add the Door Of Hope Mission to your favorites. Click the link this link to add us.

If you have any questions please call us 432-337-8294.

The Door of Hope Mission is supported 100% by DONATIONS and our thrift store. We do not take money from the government because they would restrict us from preaching about the freeing power of Jesus to those we help.
All donations are tax-deductible.


We are in need of good furniture and antiques that you might want to donate to our ministry, and of course - we continue to take ALL donations with grateful hearts. We could not do this without your help.

We can also accept cars, trucks, RVs  and boats.

If you have items you wish to donate, please drop them off at the store. If you need us to pick them up, please call the Mission at 432-337-8294.

We invite you to come and visit the Door of Hope Thrift Store. We are located at 1611 E. 8th Street, Odessa, TX 79761.

Our hours for shopping are Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm.

Please visit us on Facebook :  www.Facebook.com/DoorOfHopeThriftStore

All donations are tax deductible.

Please check out our latest post and like our page at https://www.facebook.com/DoorOfHopeMissionTX

Door of Hope Mission Odessa, TX