On Wednesday of last week we received our official SMAT work shirts. We all look super snazzy as we wear our dark blue shirts and learn about fixing airplanes. We had a full week at school as we learned how to wash airplanes, troubleshoot electrical systems, remove rivets from wings, practice using torque wrenches so that all the bolts share the load evenly, and learn how to tie safety wire around the heads of bolts so they don’t come off in flight. I enjoyed working with safety wire because it is useful and looks pretty, but be careful because it hurts when you prick your finger!
We invited a family from Spain over for dinner last week. Marcelino, Eliana, Francisco, and Martin (pronounced Mar-teen) moved to the U.S. just before school started. They are from Argentina but they moved to Spain in order to find work. Upon arriving in Spain, Marcelino learned that his Argentinian pilot’s licenses were not valid in Spain. He has not been able to fly for the last 10 years but he has felt that God wants him to be a missionary pilot. After getting in contact with a JAARS (Jungle Aviation and Radio Service) missionary, he learned that he would be able to fly with JAARS if he got his mechanic’s license. The only problem is that they will not accept initial applicants who are over 40 years of age. Marcelino will turn 40 next August but he will make the cut-off if he can graduate from SMAT and apply with JAARS.
He explained his story at our dinner table and then he began to tear up when he described all of the hardships they have met since moving to the U.S. Marcelino speaks English well enough to get by in conversation but he is still learning the language on top of learning advanced electrical and aviation terms. They do not have a car and they live on the airport next to the school. Their two boys are going to public school and barely speak English. Eliana, Marcelino’s wife, is learning English but she is very lonely during the day. When Eliana explained that she had to walk to get groceries, Jessica promptly said, “Not anymore you don’t!”
It was a moving time with this beautiful family. We had a great meal and time of fellowship. We are finding ways that we can help them out, both Marcelino with his studies and Eliana with shopping and learning English. We also hope we can get their boys in a soccer league!
God has been so faithful and good. He is showing us ways that we can minister in simple ways, and bringing people into our lives who simply need to be loved! We have been given so much and our desire is that we will be good stewards and generous with all that we have been given.