We are humbled and excited to be part of MMS Aviation’s pilot/apprentice program!
MMS Aviation is non-profit, ECFA certified organization dedicated to preparing planes and people for worldwide missionary service. MMS Aviation fixes missionary aircraft free of labor charges. Not only does this save the mission field money (a whopping $1,283,000 in 2016) it also presents an opportunity to give hands on training to the next generation of missionary pilot/mechanics.
Apprentices (such as myself) are trained in the hangar with the supervision of highly experienced staff members who give mechanical advice and spiritual discipleship. We work on actual missionary aircraft from 109 different mission aviation organizations. In this way, MMS Aviation accomplishes two things at once: (1) Blesses the mission field and helps aviation ministries be better stewards with their financial resources. (2) Trains new mechanics and pilots so that aviation ministries have candidates ready to help carry the Gospel into all the world with professional excellence. This means safer operations and better maintained airplanes with less money.
What does the process of becoming a pilot/mechanic look like?
First, we have to raise 100% of the support quota provided by MMS Aviation (which can take 1-2 years on average).
This is where we’re at now. We are currently raising prayer and financial support. Click here to see the amount we need to raise and how we are planning on using it.
We’ll then move to Coshocton, Ohio, rent a house in the neighborhood, and work in the hangar. A typical work day is 7:30 – 4 o’clock. Then I’ll go home, kiss my awesome wife, eat a hearty meal, and study the materials I need to know in order to achieve my FAA A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) certification. I’ll also have to stay in contact with our supporters and prepare an occasional lesson for Wednesday morning Bible Study at the hangar. My wife (this whole thing would truly never happen without her) will help with studying, keeping the house, keeping our supporters up to date, and raising up Adilene in the way she should go.
The mechanical certification process takes 30 months, or about two and a half years. By the time we are done in Ohio, I’ll have 4,800 hours of hands on aviation maintenance experience gained by performing the actual maintenance, modification, and repair of live missionary aircraft from around the world.
After that, the we will move on to flight training which takes place at the MAG (Missionary Air Group) headquarters in Burlington, North Carolina. This process will give me about 400 flight hours (including flight time in the actual mission field) and a commercial pilot’s license upon graduation. This will take about 2 years to complete.
All of these plans are ultimately subject to the will of the Lord who guides and directs our path.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Is this worth the time or money?
Absolutely! Aviation opens up doors into the world never before accessible. Several hours of flight time can replace days of driving time – not to mention avoiding war zones, bandits, car malfunctions, and impassible roads. Aviation is a important, and indispensable, part of the Great Commission.
The problem is that getting into aviation is expensive. There’s enough people who have the skills required to meet the needs in mission aviation. MMS Aviation is helping to prepare people and planes for worldwide missionary service by helping folks become equipped to fill that need. This is most effective way to reach the inaccessible corners of the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Check out this video from Mercy Air, featuring MMS Aviation:
Here’s a video from MAF (Missionary Air Fellowship) detailing their operation. MMS Aviation and MAF work closely together and chances are, airplanes you see in this video have been overhauled, upgraded, or serviced at one time or another by MMS. Take a look and see how MMS is enabling MAF (and other missions) in reaching the previously unreachable:
The Vision: To become life long, faith supported missionaries capable of repairing and flying airplanes in support of the Great Commission.
The Current Goal: Raise 100% of our financial support (here’s how much we need) so we can become full time apprentice mechanics at MMS Aviation’s headquarters in Coshocton, Ohio.
How Can You Help? Pray for us and spread the word about our vision. We would love to raise awareness for the mission field as a whole as well as our own specific calling. Give us opportunities to share about MMS Aviation and the world of mission aviation at your church or small groups. We need a group of supporters praying, advocating, holding us accountable, and supplying needs. If you want to join us, click here to find out how.
To go to MMS Aviation’s website, click here.