What are your names?
Well, that’s a good place to start. My name is Josh and my wife’s name is Janice. We are blessed with two children; Adilene Grace (our oldest) and Elliot Adrian (our youngest).
Where are you from?
Well, I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I’m actually from a little town called Bowmansville but nobody knows where that is. Everyone knows where Lancaster is because there’s a lot of Amish there. And a lot of tourists. The Amish are great but the tourists are a bit much.
Janice grew up in Colon, Michigan; a town named after a local lake that’s in the shape of a colon – the punctuation mark, not the large intestine. It’s considered the magic capital of the world because some famous magician was from there. The town doesn’t seem that magical to me.
Long story short; we got hitched and were living in Goshen, Indiana (right across the border from Michigan, about 45 minutes from where Janice grew up) when God called us into missionary service through MMS Aviation.
How did you and Janice meet?
Ah… that’s a long story. Read all about it by clicking here. It involves raccoons and Alaska and God working in mysterious ways.
So you’re a missionary airplane mechanic? What are you guys doing in Ohio?
We’re serving at an organization called MMS Aviation. It’s based in Coshocton, Ohio. It’s a one-of-a-kind ministry that fixes missionary aircraft free of any labor charges and while they do that, they train new mechanics for the field through a 30 month apprenticeship program. This saves mission organizations money and provides real, hands on training for aspiring mechanics. In fact, in 2017 MMS saved the mission field $1.5 million in labor charges. They’ve trained over 75 mechanics since 1975 or so. Many times they’ll also offer short term internships to people who may already have their A&P license but need more real world experience working on airplanes.
The goal is for me to the training and licenses I need to work on FAA certified aircraft. After our 30 month apprenticeship is done here at MMS Aviation, we want to leave for the international mission field to become lifelong missionaries using aviation to help get the Gospel to isolated and unreached people groups.
Where are you going after MMS Aviation?
We don’t know yet. God rarely gives you a detailed blueprint ahead of time so I’m doing the best I can learning as much as I can now trusting that when we need to know, He’ll direct us in the right direction.
If I had to guess, I’d say we’ll end up in South America or maybe Southeast Asia somewhere. If you know of anyone who needs a mechanic, let us know!
What’s the story of God calling you into aviation?
Well, that’s a long story too and I actually did bother to write it down (click here to read it).
Did you have any previous aviation experience?
No, I built a few model airplanes and really enjoyed it. That’s one of the things I struggled with as I contemplated whether or not God was actually calling me to do this. Why me? Surely there’s other people out there who have more to offer. My only mechanical experience comes from cheap cars and motorcycles and now God wants me to work on airplanes that sometimes are worth more than a million bucks (like a new Kodiak). But, nevertheless, God must have something up his sleeve. I’m really excited about this opportunity. I’ve been enjoying my time at MMS Aviation immensely!
That’s the great thing about MMS Aviation – they take people with no experience and turn out a qualified A&P mechanic in 30 months. You leave with 4,800 hours of hands-on mechanical experience with actual missionary aircraft.
What church do you guys go to?
We consider River of Life Fellowship in Middlebury, Indiana our sending church. They are a non-denominational church. And when I say non-denominational some people imagine a weak-spined, politically correct church that just shrugs its shoulders at sin but ROFL has a proper balance of Spirit and Truth and we miss it dearly. They are a very mission minded church and support us wholeheartedly. More on my spirit vs truth theory here.
Do you have a brother that lives in Alaska and writes books about driving a limo and stuff?
You would be surprised how often this question comes up. Yes, I have a brother named Matt who runs an advertising business and launched a limo off of a cliff in celebration of the Fourth of July. He has a bit of a reputation as a story teller since he writes books about converting from a Pennsylvanian to a full time Alaskan (click here for book info). We do come from the same genetic pool, I guess you’d say.
Please tell me he videotaped the limo launch…
Of course! Watch it by clicking here.