I finished off January with getting seaplane training at Southern Seaplane Inc. in Louisiana, which was a big answer to prayer for me! On the same trip, I was allowed to speak at a church district with four churches around the Fort Walton Beach, Florida area. It's always a blessing to be able to share what God has been doing, and this was one of those opportunities.
Around the time I was finishing my seaplane training, a good friend of mine reached out and asked if I would come to help him with some maintenance projects. Brendon Peterson works at Texarkana Flight Training and was my roommate at SMAT, and we were good friends for several years before then, so when he asked if I would come, I was excited. He flew to New Orleans and we returned to Texarkana later that evening.
Within a few days of arriving, Brendon felt impressed to take me to see a new type of structure being developed which turned out to be interesting.
This new design has been researched for several years and a prototype was being built in Texarkana. Instead of using wood and metal, this building uses foam board cut into lumber size dimensions and then coated in fiberglass and resin.
We met with the owner who had been doing the research for it and he started explaining the process and steps for assembling this type of building and what it would need. He described that the foam core gives this four-wall structure its shape, and the strength comes from the fiberglass and resin. I started asking questions and then realized that this could be very useful to MiracleAir in Nicaragua because this type of building is stronger than a comparable wood-frame structure and wouldn't rot or mold in the hot and humid climate.
There are many applications I thought that this could work for. I knew MiracleAir was going to be needing a hangar for our upcoming airbase, so I explored the possibility of a structure in the dimensions we needed, and he affirmed it could easily be made bigger to fit our airplane.
The construction process is really simple, and most of the materials can be found locally. After our discussion, it became clear why Brendon felt impressed to show the building to me. It was another answer to prayer.
When we had finished working in the evening, flying was a great way to conclude our day. I did some flights during my time at Texarkana Flight Training. One afternoon we took the Decathlon for a flight to celebrate finishing 500 hours in my logbook! It was a very exciting milestone!
In early January, Strong Tower Radio reached out and wanted to share my story of how I became connected with the Hansens and how MiracleAir started. Strong Tower Radio organized a phone-recorded interview with the Hansens and me in which we each shared how we became involved in missions and found out about the incredible need for an air ambulance service in Nicaragua. I also shared a story about a recent engine failure that I survived with God's protection. The radio program aired several times to stations all across Michigan, and is defiantly worth listening to!
This year is an election year in Nicaragua, and Norman and Nancy Hansen have been in Nicaragua for several weeks working with the Nicaraguan government for permission to start operations with our airplane. Currently, the contact we have been working with is out of the country for health challenges, so we will move forward as soon as we can. Even though we don't have permission to fly, our generous donors who support MiracleAir have been able to sponsor 32 students to attend school in Nicaragua. Your support has already been making a difference in the lives of the people of Nicaragua.
As of February 28, I need an additional $2900 a month to cover my living expenses, insurance, travel costs to and from Nicaragua, and saving for more flight training (more information to come). We're already at 18% of my monthly goal!
One-time donations are still a blessing to MiracleAir and will be used to make a difference for the people of Nicaragua. Rest assured nothing will be wasted.