Bill Loveless waits patiently in the airport for an open seat to get him over the Straits of Florida and home again. A retired commercial pilot with standby privileges, Loveless brings discipleship training to pastors and leaders all over the world.
On the first leg of this trip, Loveless had just reached his seat when he felt God’s prompting to talk to the young woman beside him. Exhausted after a week of teaching in Cuba, he argued with the Lord for a few moments. God wouldn’t let him be, so he turned toward the other passenger and launched into some chitchat. Before they reached cruising altitude, the woman had surrendered her life to Christ. When she asked, “Bill, why did I listen to you when my mother has been telling me the same thing for years?” he said, “The reason I sat next to you was because of the prayers of your mama.”
In numerous ways, Loveless has seen God create openings on flights, in nations, and within hearts. When first approached by In Touch Ministries to teach Dr. Stanley’s Life Principles curriculum, he didn’t know anything about the material. Then, as he taught the course in clinics all over the world, the biblical content not only helped change others’ lives but also brought a richness to his own soul.
A few years ago, In Touch temporarily put a pause on the conferences, and Loveless took it hard—until he found encouragement in the very material he had taught. “God took me through the valley on that,” he says. He went through the lessons and wept as Christ revealed fresh ways to apply them to his life.
Loveless and his wife Tammy have faced plenty of challenges. After raising not only their own children but also a granddaughter, the Lovelesses were called to parent yet another set of teenagers. It’s prevented Tammy from traveling and helping Bill the way she once did.
And not long ago Tammy endured a bout with cancer, including chemo and radiation therapy. When that was overcome, the couple both contracted COVID-19. As Bill began to wonder, Why is this happening to me? the Bible consoled him. “God never wastes pain,” he says. “He will take it and use it for His purposes, which is to conform you to the image of His Son.”
“God can take anybody, even somebody like Tammy and me, and use us to further His kingdom,” he says. That’s one reason he’s focused on training local leaders abroad and at home. “I learned years ago down in Belize that if [the country] was going to be won to God, it was going to be through the indigenous people. And it’s the same way when I go to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or anyplace—my goal is to raise up teachers.” He’s even encouraging a staff member at In Touch to be ready to teach when he can’t do it any longer.
“I pray the Lord will strengthen me in this body of mine until He’s ready to call me home,” says Bill. “We don’t know when that’s going to be, but like Dr. Stanley, I want to keep going until I just can’t go anymore.”