Dear Partners in Ministry,
We wanted to share a few updates about what has been happening around the airport in Burlington (and beyond) and some prayer requests.
August was the best month we’ve had yet for flight training in terms of number of hours flown by pilot apprentices. This number can vary based on weather, apprentice travel and maintenance events for the airplane. This was great as apprentice Brad Hoblit prepared for his instrument check ride. He passed and did great!
Then from mid-September to now we’ve had 2 hurricanes and some unanticipated maintenance needs for the main training plane as our maintenance crew has been trouble shooting dangerously high oil temps. Even though there was more build up and anticipation regarding Hurricane Florence in our area, we’ve actually had more set-backs due to Hurricane Michael with power being out at the airport for 4 days and internet has not yet resumed. But the Lord provided an on loan airplane from a ministry partner so flight training could continue.
This week is an exciting one for many reasons. On Monday our pilots all received specialized training in spin and unusual attitude recovery. Sean and the apprentices received training on the ground in the morning and then each had a turn in the afternoon putting the material into action. They all had several “firsts”. For most it was their first flight in a tail dragger, first time spinning an airplane, plus trying their hand at loops, rolls and recovering from inverted unusual attitudes. This is training that could help save their lives, should they ever find themselves in a bad situation due to severe turbulence, getting caught in the wake of a large jet, etc. They all thought it was great fun and grown men were giggling with excitement. Carmen was glad when the day was done and everyone was safely on the ground!
This week we also welcome apprentice Keith Woockman to the flight line. This is the apprentice that moved to NC early as they welcomed their 4th child late this summer. He had been around helping with maintenance, now he is thrilled to officially begin the flight part of his apprenticeship.
To top off the excitement this week Sean and apprentice Aaron Hammitt will be headed to Mexico to connect with a partner ministry UIM Aviation. Aaron will be doing his field flight experience with this organization. They do work similar to MAG, in using small aircraft to deliver medical care and gospel ministry to remote peoples. They have also been interested in incorporating an apprentice component to their operations so we anticipate this to be a good exchange of information and experience. Sean will be staying just under a week and Aaron will be there for 3 weeks as he gains more experience in field operations. Here is the website for UIM if you’d like to see more about what they do: https://uimaviation.com/
This fall, one of Carmen’s new projects has been to start a monthly group for the apprentice wives with goals of fellowship, encouragement, and equipping for cross cultural ministry. In September, we had a baby sprinkle to celebrate the arrival of baby Henry Woockman. In October, Trisha Gudeman shared about her and Andy’s trip to Alaska to explore future service with Kingdom Air Corps. Their trip was very fruitful and they will continue to “go steady” with this organization as they discern the way forward. From their trip we have learned so much about how God is at work in Eastern Russia. It never occurred to us just how close Alaska and Russia are and how God used His people and planes in Alaska to bring hope and healing into Russia following the fall of the iron curtain. Trisha read some from the book “Open the Sky” which was authored by Mark Winheld. This book recounts the ministry of Dwayne King, the founder of Kingdom Air Corps. It is full of testimonies just like the Book of Acts. We can’t wait to read it too.
Another highlight for Carmen this month was attending a seminar at JAARS entitled “Mobilizing the Next Generation.” It was filled with information about how generational dynamics play out in a missions organizations. There was also much vital discussion surrounding how to engage emerging generations in missions. For many reasons, it is more challenging to mobilize Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z into fulltime missionary service, especially mission aviation. This seminar was insightful and underscored to us how timely our apprentice program with MAG is in helping provide a solution to the challenge. The presenter was Jolene Erlacher. From her pen we have two more bookshelf recommendations: “Millenials in Ministry” and
We are so grateful for your prayers and financial partnership that makes our work at MAG possible!
Sean & Carmen Garrigan