By Loren Seibold
hile still in his teens, Dagoberto Cirilo became an expert pilot, joined the Mexican Air Force, and rose to the position of pilot of the private plane of the president of Mexico. When Jesus came into his life, he told his superiors he could no longer work on Sabbath. His stand for Christ landed him in prison, followed by a court-martial. Afterward, Cirilo attended Mexico’s Montemorelos (Adventist) University and entered the ministry. When a mission plane accident took the life of the Flying Clinic pilot Conroy Donesky, Cirilo took over the
ministry, which he has continued for 15 years.
Cirilo is not only a careful pilot but a devoted shepherd to his small bands of Christians. On any given flight he may face dangerous flying conditions, bad airstrips, criminal activity, and even threats against his life.
How You Can Help
hile these Huichol are now safe from persecution, they are struggling to create a new community. They’ve built a small village shelter, but as yet have no family houses, school, or church. Their pastor, Dagoberto Cirilo, can visit only twice each month. Little arable land exists upon which to grow corn and beans. Amistad International, an organization run by Seventh-day Adventist Karen Kotoske of Palo Alto, California, handles the humanitarian work (expenses of resettling the Huichol and supplying food and materials for home construction).
The work of the Flying Clinic continues in the Sierra Huichol, a partnership between Amistad International, Missions Unlimited of Oklahoma, and the Inter-American Division.
Cirilo continues to pastor his little bands of believers in the Mexican wilderness with wisdom and courage.