About 8 months ago we packed all our earthly belongings in vehicles and started heading west. The trip was exciting as we crawled along icy freeways, experienced delays when the blowing snow got too bad, and contemplated how this new venture would unfold. Moving to the west coast was a totally new venture.
Once in Spokane we joined an amazing team of people at Moody Aviation who are training future missionary pilots and mechanics. We love the passion and vision we share. We love the people we work with and the opportunities God is giving us. Our journey began in Venezuela where we worked in a large program with a lot of support, moved to Panama then Paraguay where we worked alone, took us to a leadership and training role in Arizona, and then led us back overseas to the Philippines where we trained and led a team.
We draw on all of these experiences as we invest in future mission aviators. Experience is a great teacher, and we have many opportunities to pass on the lessons we’ve learned. As our ministry here has unfolded, God has given us (with our support team) various areas in which to invest intentionally.
Staff & students: Setting up a Safety Department gives Garry plenty of opportunities to spend time with staff and students, sharing his experiences and investing in their lives. He has opportunity to interact about technical issues (like maintenance and flight practices) as well as life as a missionary pilot and glorifying God in our unique context. We as a family also enjoy having people in our home and spending time together, sharing what God is doing and processing what it means to walk in grace and truth, to disciple others, and to be a missionary pilot/mechanic family.
Leadership: As part of the Moody Aviation leadership team, Garry has opportunity to give input on the direction and practices here. This is a great team who is passionate about providing discipleship and quality technical training to students who come to MA. As part of this team, Garry and I are engaged in a strategic planning group that is seeking ways to be more effective. Our part of the initiative is to help us understand what it means to train successful missionary pilot/mechanics.
The Student Success Committee is another opportunity to speak into what we as staff can do to help students be successful. It has been a great chance to speak into helping students understand their gifts and where they can be most effective as part of the Body of Christ, among other things. Moody Aviation has trained about half of the people who have served in mission aviation over the years, so the impact of this team is significant.
Mission aviation world-wide: We are in the beginning stages of a 3-year initiative to implement a SMS (Safety Management System) at Moody Aviation and offer training and support for SMS throughout the mission aviation world. We have been challenged over the past years to invest in the Body working together, and this is an opportunity to do just that as Garry leads this initiative and I contribute through the secretarial work that I do.
This will also give us personal opportunity to interact with people from many different mission aviation organizations. SMS will be a simple platform for mission aviation organizations to share valuable safety information across organizational and geographical lines, information that has the potential to help us avoid costly incidents and accidents. It will also give us time with various mission aviation staff as we provide training here at Moody Aviation and also give requested input on various programs.
As we learn all that this role entails, we are incredibly thankful for the team that God has given us. As the opportunities expand in various directions, so do the challenges and the costs. We are so incredibly thankful for the team of people who are on this journey with us, investing in the future of mission aviation and mission aviators!