Exploding Stroller Tires and Maintaining Mission Lifelines | September 2021 Newsletter

Pictured Above: Adi rides the historic 1914 Mangels-Illions Carousel at the Columbus Zoo, complete with booming circus music from the restored pipe organ. I guess you could say she’s enjoying herself.


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One of the projects I’ve been helping with is a Piper Aztec that serves people in need of transport to specialized medical care facilities within the States. I’d say it’s like a minivan in the airplane world. It has two engines, landing gear that swings up out of the way while it’s flying, and it has 15,000 hours of flight time on the airframe. What do those things mean? It means that the plane is old and takes a lot of maintenance. Maintenance is expensive! Unless of course you come here to MMS Aviation. Oh don’t get me wrong, parts are still expensive! But the mission organization that flies this plane has saved thousands on this one annual alone! (An airplane gets an Annual Inspection every year and all the discrepancies, or problems, get fixed.) How come they saved so much? MMS Aviation doesn’t charge any labor charges for projects from Christian mission organizations. A lot of the problems we’ve had with the Aztec could be fixed with aluminum sheet metal (stuff like patching cracks or replacing leading edges), glue (like reattaching de-ice boots), fiberglass resin and matting (such as restoring the main gear doors to their original fit), and rivets, locknuts, and new seals. All those supplies are pretty cheap but paying a qualified person to use them in the right way gets really expensive! That’s why everyone at MMS, even our CEO and admin staff, raise their own support so they can donate their time to the mission. MMS saves planes from the scrap pile and puts them to use carrying the Gospel to hard-to-reach areas! Your financial partnership and faithful prayers enabled me to be part of the team that got this airplane flying again. Thank you!

You don’t need airplanes to be a missionary. But when you do, it’s a lifeline for your ministry! Ryan Joy (an MMS graduate) and his family serve in Brazil using aviation. There you have several options to get through the jungle: Spend 64 days walking, 34 days canoeing, 4 days by powered riverboat taxi, or 1 hour flying. Flying isn’t much more expensive than the riverboat. Which would you choose? MMS has helped this organization in the past to help keep their aviation program safe and efficient.

My brother-in-law Leroy spent some time serving in Haiti. He remembers when the big DC3s from Missionary Flights International came roaring into a local grass airstrip bringing mail, car parts, medication, and/or people from MFI’s base in Florida. MMS has worked on those DC3s!

Aaron Hammitt (an MMS graduate) visited the other week. His family serves in Bolivia where, without an airplane, the missionaries would have to undertake a two week journey using multiple canoe trips, bus rides, and intense hiking to get to their destination. The airplane ride takes thirty minutes! MMS has worked on those planes. In fact, I helped do an engine overhaul for one of them!

While I’m busy fixing planes at work, Janice is busy building a baby at home. Her due date is October 28 and so, Lord willing, we’ll have two kids in diapers before the next newsletter! Mom and baby are both doing fine by all accounts. Pray for a safe delivery of baby Snader #3!

Adi just had her first day at preschool! This is her second year and her teachers are surprised at how much she talks in comparison to last year. We’re grateful that preschool has helped her develop her social skills. Just compare the pictures! She looked like a hostage last year and this year she was counting down the days until preschool started.

Speaking of counting down, Elliot has been obsessed with rockets lately! Everything is a rocket: carrots, toothpaste tubes, markers, even sticks in the yard. The amazing thing is that Elliot actually learned to count to thirteen because he’s been performing countdowns so often. He yells “Blast off!” as loud as he can when he runs out of numbers he knows.

Our time at MMS is counting down as well. Just this month I crossed the 4,000 hour threshold in my logbook. I need 4,800 hours to graduate and so the end is in sight! We are incredibly grateful to those who have invested in our calling and have allowed us to serve at MMS Aviation. Pray that God would continue to give me the learning opportunities I need before I leave this great place. I still have a few things to learn. Why, just the other day I filled the tires on our stroller before our trip to the zoo. Hard tires make the stroller easier to push so I made them nice and full. While we were driving down the highway with the stroller in the back of the van, two of the tires exploded! After I was done swerving wildly around the highway and shrieking at the top of my lungs, I calmly explained to Janice that I had simply performed a routine stress test on the stroller tires and that they had failed. “No big deal. Hahaha.” Janice threatened to perform a stress test on me if I ever did that again. We had a great time at the zoo without the stroller.

In other news, we’ve been in communication with Samaritan Aviation in Papua New Guinea and are excited about what they do and how we could help. We have some interviews planned with them in the future. Would you pray that God would guide both Samaritan Aviation’s leadership team and our family as we both discern if this is where God is leading us to serve?  

Praise God that Janice and I are celebrating 6 years of marriage on September 19th! She’s the best teammate I could have ever asked for. Thank you for your prayers!

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