Garrigans In Flight – 2020 Summer Update

Dear Partners in Ministry,

We continue to thank God for you! Your prayers and financial partnership are such a reminder to us of God’s provision and faithfulness.
We have a number of events to share and celebrate with you. Right as our children finished their distance learning for the school year, North Carolina moved into phase 1 of its reopening plan and we were able to resume operations at the airport. We had still been quite busy with ministry from home before this, but we were very excited for in airplane flight instruction to resume. Along with input from our MAG board, Sean put together sanitization and health check protocol in this era when COVID-19 protocols are required. Sean’s business cards now say “Flight Department Manger” along with the previous “Lead Flight Instructor.” He never runs out of details to manage!

Jason getting his flight instructor certificate

Back in the hangar and air, Sean worked hard with our apprentice Jason Maust to finish up his apprenticeship hours and CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) training before the family needed to move out of their Burlington area home and towards their field with Artic Barnabas in Alaska. Most of our apprentices will not work on their CFI rating with us, but in Jason’s case, Arctic Barnabas specifically requested that training for him and we had the capacity to make it happen. Jason is our first apprentice to go from no flight ratings to full-fledged missionary pilot under our curriculum. We are joyfully saying Jason went from “zero to hero.” So far, our other apprentices had started with at least most of a private pilot rating before they started at MMS. But this is a blessing to train specifically for mission aviation from the beginning and to not need to “unlearn” previous habits. We celebrated Jason’s completion ceremony on June 10 and he passed his CFI check-ride on June 18! We are excited to see how God uses the Maust family in Alaska, but we will miss them here. Especially Nathan as he became quite good friends with their sons near his age.

The beginning of July saw even more mountain collaboration! As JAARS was doing their mountain week with their pilots Sean joined them the day they were doing their mountain airstrip set up. They were in the remote mountains of NC setting up these challenging airstrips for flying into later in the week. It was a great opportunity for Sean learn how JAARS does their airstrip setup and glean some best practices MAG can use.

Testing the firmness of the grass
Measuring and placing cones
Setting up for a sloped runway

At the beginning of June, Josiah, who is a pilot with Jungle Breezes in Guatemala arrived for some additional training. His name will likely sound familiar as he was here 18 months ago for 3 weeks. Josiah is a young pilot and is the only aviation staff in his organization, so we are glad to be a way for him to gain additional skills so he can operate as safely as possible in Guatemala.

Training with Josiah
Mountain flying & landing on grass at Shiflet

In mid-June MAG lent our 206 Cessna Airplane to SMAT (School of Mission Aviation Technology) for their mountain exposure week. Sean went along for half of the week to experience the airstrips and routes they use for introducing their students to mountain flying. SMAT is located in Michigan so they have to come south to find mountains! They flew in at least 3 states- WV, NC and TN. This was a great collaborative effort for both parties. Enjoy these pics and video footage.

Instructor and students from SMAT
SMAT student gaining exposure flying in terrain
Takeoff and landings in West Virginia
MAG 206 at Heavens Landing in WV
Dealing with weather during training

Nurse Maria in Rus Rus

We are still making preparations for our MAG Honduras bound team to arrive late summer and train in the fall. Honduras is still mostly shut down due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. Geraldina, our long term nurse at our hospital has been quite ill and we have hired a new nurse whose name is Maria. We are excited that she joins our healthcare team as a way to minister to the surrounding community.

In Carmen’s time with the MAG ladies they are studying together the book Cross-Cultural Servanthood by Duane Elmer. It is a timely book for those who are preparing to serve cross-culturally and also as a valuable tool as we seek be good learners and listeners in the racial conflict that faces our country.

We pray that the Lord would enrich you in every way as you trust in Him! Thank you for helping to make this ministry of mobilizing missionary pilots into the Great Commission possible. You are a blessing!

In Christ’s Love,

Sean and Carmen Garrigan