Another successful week of training has just been completed at our San Quintin location in the California Baja. Aaron Rustenburg from Paul’s Auto Service in St. Catharines, Ontario and Rick Cogbill of Mercy Tech Mission have just returned with reports that the mechanics training program at the One Life One Chance mission base is really gaining traction.
A key development for this trip was the introduction of detailed vehicle inspection forms, which the students (Isaias and Ivan) completed on nine different mission and staff vehicles.
The inspections resulted in a number of technical problems that the team was able to address – such as broken suspension parts, cooling system problems, and even some driveability issues that required the use of scan tools to diagnose and repair.
The combination of collecting data and then carrying out the necessary repairs resulted in the students gaining greater confidence in their skills. To keep the training going, they will begin inviting local pastors to bring in their personal vehicles for free inspections.
These pastors depend on their cars for ministry work among the needy in their own community, but because they often serve on a volunteer basis in their church, money is tight. As a result, the vehicles are driven until they break down. The hope is that by providing them with a snapshot of their vehicle’s condition, they can plan ahead for the most critical items, and when possible, buy the parts and then bring their car to the mission base for free installation.
A big thank you to Aaron for coming all the way from Ontario to share his automotive skills and experience. The goal of Mercy Tech is to connect skilled tradespeople here in North America with willing students in developing communities around the world and teach them employable skills. It’s exciting work and even though the numbers (of students at each site) are small by some standards, the impact on the local community is huge over time.
There are trips being planned in the months ahead for welding and mechanics training in both our Baja and Swaziland locations, so please contact us if you’d like to become involved in some way. You can support the work financially with tax deductible donations for travel and tool costs, or by volunteering as an instructor of a trade. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.