We are humbled and excited to be part of MMS Aviation’s 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 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 for less money.
What does the process of becoming a mechanic look like?
First, each apprentice family raises their required support quota. After that, they move to Coshocton and begin their apprenticeship.
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.
If the apprentice wants flight training after they’ve completed their mechanical apprenticeship, they can continue training with Missionary Air Group (MAG) in North Carolina. This requires the apprentice to move to North Carolina and complete a 2 year apprenticeship getting the required flying hours and ratings to be useful to mission organizations.
Originally I was planning on completing the flight apprenticeship as well but after getting a more official diagnosis on my colorblindness, I decided to focus instead on becoming a Maintenance Specialist. That’s where the real need is and where my talents can be used more effectively anyway. Maybe someday I’ll become a pilot to round out my mechanical understanding of how an aircraft works but at this point there are no plans to get my commercial rating.
Currently, we are living in Ohio and are in the middle of our MMS Aviation apprenticeship. Things are going well. I thoroughly enjoy my time in the hangar and actually look forward to Monday mornings so I can get back to the project. You can continue to pray for our family as we look forward to serving in the mission field. Where does God want us to go? Who does He want us to serve with? Pray with us for guidance to those questions.
All of our 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.
Click here to watch a short video I made about the need for aviation on the mission field.