And so begins a recent email from a young mechanic in Africa.
It reminds me that even though we literally live on different sides of the world, the young men pictured above (Prosper Fernando and Joao Wilson) are connected to Mercy Tech Mission in two very important ways. One is the training they received – both took part in our mechanics training sessions in Mozambique – and the other is the personal relationships formed between people of different cultures and backgrounds. The students our Mercy Tech volunteers connect with are more than just names on an attendance sheet; they are real people living out real lives in real, everyday situations.
The New Year has barely begun and already we have MTM volunteer Craig Skinner down for his second trip to our Baja location, the One Life One Chance mission base in San Quintin. Craig will continue teaching welding and fabricating as he introduces our students to the new Mig welder that was recently purchased through donated funds. A big thank you to those who helped with that.
In March we will return to the Baja again, this time with a team of three instructors who will focus in on auto mechanics training. The team leader for the trip will be Todd Green, an automotive instructor from SAIT and a two-time MTM volunteer with experience both in Mexico (2015) and in Africa (2011).
Overseas, we will officially start our newest project in Swaziland, a small country in southern Africa. There I will head up a team for the month of May at Project Canaan, a farm and orphanage project operated by Heart for Africa.
The Africa team has room for one or two more volunteers, and in particular we are looking for someone skilled in the area of mechanics, and the other position has yet to be determined. The Swaziland location has multiple opportunities for volunteers, from mechanics and welding to institutional cooking and baking. You can contact us through our website for information on costs and travel details.
For the week of July 3rd-10th we will also need another mechanics instructor for the Baja, as the training program there continues to gain momentum. If enough volunteers come forward (mechanics, welding), we will organize additional Baja trips in the fall or late summer.
So how are things on your side of the world? If you would like to share your life skills and make a real difference to real people in their very real lives, then please contact us through our volunteer page at mercytechmission.com. We’ll be happy to give you more information on how you can be involved.
And thanks again to all those who supported us financially throughout this past year. To make a donation for 2016, please follow this link to our donations page. Only through supporters like you can MTM volunteers continue changing lives, one skill at a time. Giving is something practical that we can all do, here on our side of the world.