For almost 2 decades now when people find out I work in aviation, hands-down the most frequent question I get is, “Oh, so you’re a pilot?” The easiest response is to simply say, “No, I’m a mechanic.” That saves the time of explaining that I actually do hold my commercial, single-/multi-engine, & instrument ratings and dreamed for years of ultimately being a pilot in mission aviation but through a long series of events the Lord redirected my path and truth be told I’m not even a mechanic now (yes, I do hold the license), I’m really more like a maintenance scheduler/administrator, but saying that just raises a lot of questions, hence the “simpler” response.
Invariably the reply I get is the same, sometimes accompanied with a look of disdain, other times with pity, most of the time though it’s without really realizing what they’re saying when the five words that make me cringe roll off their tongue…“Oh, you’re just a mechanic.” [cue the crickets to fill the awkward silence as we stare at one another] “Sure, something like that.” Only it’s not really like that at all, not with any of the guys or gals I’ve been privileged to work with over the years.
In the current context our expat Ethnos360 Aviation mechanics are licensed both in their home country and here in PNG. They’re not only skilled technicians, tackling anything our planes or helicopter throws at them in order to keep the fleet safe and reliable, they’re also expert jugglers, knowing when to follow what guidance between the manufacturers, our home office, our airworthiness authority back home, and the airworthiness authority here. They wear any number of other hats, project manager, innovator, leader, and trainer to name a few.
Our mechanics don’t merely work beside citizen staff members, they’re privileged to call them brothers in Christ and to navigate together the training requirements necessary to see these men have the opportunity one day to hold a maintenance license of their own.
Our mechanics serve as load masters for helicopter shuttles, a critical role preparing over-sized cargo to be slung beneath the helicopter, often out in remote bush locations in support of our church planting teams.
It’s a bit ironic to think that at the moment, all our mechanics actually do hold pilot ratings, and yet for different reasons, and in different ways, this is where the Lord’s led them for now. Regardless of how it may appear to some, they’re far from being “just mechanics.” They’re men who have surrendered themselves to the Lord, using the love He’s given them for aviation to speed the work of reaching the unreached peoples of the world with the Gospel.
Our Ethnos360 Aviation maintenance personnel are indispensable members of the team and they’re being stretched as new church planting teams arrive and the demand for aviation services continues to increase. As the Lord answers our prayers for “more laborers in the field,” we invite you to pray with us also for more laborers to support those in church planting ministries.
Want more info on what it would take to turn your interest in aviation and passion for the Lord into a full-time profession? Check out the Ethnos360 Aviation website and feel free to contact the Ethnos360 Aviation Director of Personnel (firstname.lastname@example.org) for additional details.
MILLIONS UNREACHED…NONE UNREACHABLE