God is in the Little Details

Maintenance specialists with MAF have an extraordinarily large task—making sure that small aircraft in remote places can safely get the pilots and passengers where they need to go.

The amount of knowledge, expertise, and time it takes to maintain an MAF aircraft can be mind-boggling. So MAF maintenance specialists undergo an incredible amount of training. They must have an airframe and power certificate as well as experience in general aviation maintenance, and regularly keep up their certifications.

Yet even with certifications and years of experience, the specialists recognize that keeping these airplanes running smoothly is ultimately in the Lord’s hands—and He is an amazing provider.

“We’ve had times when there was some minor little glitch, so we open the cowling of the plane looking for something minor and find something quite imminent,” said Tim Maynard, Chief of Maintenance in Tarakan, Kalimantan, Indonesia. “You think, ‘Wow, Lord. Thanks for showing me that.’ I’m convinced that He has us look for a small thing but then directs us to a real problem.”

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Tim Maynard works on a turbine engine.

Jesus gives reaffirming words in Luke 12 that God cares even about the little things: “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

God is in the details. This is seen through providential maintenance inspections on the field. It is also seen in His provision through generous supporters that make it possible for maintenance specialists to perform costly inspections.

Head of Maintenance and mechanic Tim Maynard.

Chief of Maintenance Tim Maynard.

Inspections like the hot section inspection, which involves taking out the hottest-running part of a turbine engine and shipping it to headquarters for repairs. One of the pieces is a wheel with 58 tiny blades. The wheel spins at 38,000 RPM during flight. The heat and pressure can cause these blades to crack, which is why the FAA is requiring MAF to switch out these blades on its Caravans. And we need to do five of these hot section inspections this year in order to comply in 2017. While this is a daunting task, both labor and expense-wise, the Lord has proven faithful in working out all the details.

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The wheel showing the compressor turbine blades.

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