A Riveting Good Time!

One volunteer vs. thousands of rivets


Mission Aviation Fellowship MAF volunteer hangar project rivets airplanes

JB Bermudez-Koch holds one of the drawers that house the rivets he rescued. Thank you, JB! Photo by Paul O’Brien.


Back in 2006, when he was 12 years old, JB Bermudez-Koch and his mother, Genevieve Kelly, paid a visit to Mission Aviation Fellowship’s (MAF) headquarters in Nampa, Idaho. JB’s family were supporters of MAF and were excited the ministry had relocated to Idaho—practically in their backyard.

JB was looking for some way that he could help out, so he and Genevieve stopped by the MAF hangar and spoke with John Miller, who manages the machine shop volunteers.

JB didn’t really have any metal working or mechanical skills that would transfer over to the machine shop, but John had an idea. During MAF’s move from California to Idaho, thousands of tiny rivets (short aluminum pins that hold together two plates of metal) got mixed together when their containers became inverted. No one had dared to take on the painstaking project of separating 96 different kinds of rivets and John was worried that they might have to throw them all out!

But JB was up for the task and took the boxes home..

Over the next two summers, JB carefully sorted all of those rivets. His parents, grandparents, and other family members often joined him at the kitchen table to help.

Fast forward to last year, when JB was filling out his application for dental school and it asked for examples of his manual dexterity. Guess what he put on the list? Sorting rivets for MAF! JB was accepted to Roseman University in Salt Lake City, where he is now training to become a dentist.

You never know where your volunteer experiences will lead, or how God will use them to shape you. JB is just one example of the many who give their time to MAF.

Find out where your skills and passions fit within MAF by visiting maf.org/serve/volunteer.


To hear about John Miller’s fascinating journey with MAF, check out Flight Follow, a new podcast featuring stories from MAF.
Available on iTunes or SoundCloud, or here.


Story appeared in the spring 2018 issue of FlightWatch.

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