When we signed up with MAF, we knew that one requirement for us as a family, would be to complete the MMS programme. This meant approximately three more years of training. Having just had two years at All Nations, it seemed like another long stint of preparation time rather than being out 'doing mission'.
Before Mark could qualify as an aircraft maintenance engineer, he would have to complete 4,800 hours in the hangar and then take 3 written tests, one oral and one practical. We still felt this was the right route for us as a family, even with three years in the States. In fact, the majority of the planes Mark has been training on have been mission aircraft, now being used all over the world ... so in reality, he (along with the other guys in the hangar) have had a much farther reaching impact in the world of mission aircraft here at MMS, than he will once we're based in one place with MAF!
Well, guess what? Today, those 4,800 hours are complete ... what a big milestone in our family! In some respects they have flown by in the blink of an eye but so much has happened in the meantime. Including two trips back to the UK, Marks rapid response to PNG and ours as a family to Florida ... as well as gaining an additional member of the family last Easter when Naomi was born here in the States, to name just a few.
|4pm today ... 4,800 hours done!|
Having met at All Nations, we have always felt that our mission journey has been a joint venture, rather than me following Mark fulfil his calling. I know that when we moved here, Mark felt very responsible to make it work because we had moved for 'his' training but while he's been learning in the hangar, the girls at home have been learning lots too.
This next month or two will include Mark's exams and may feel a little more stressful than normal. I know that the weight of responsibility will weigh heavily on him once again as he takes each part of his examinations but I'm so proud of him and all he has achieved in his 4,800 hours in the hangar. I know that a lot of what he didn't know at the beginning will just be second nature to him now and it will be a lot more straight forward than he is expecting!
Our next phase of transition officially starts now!