Greetings and blessings to our partners in God’s work,
What is missionary aviation?:
Missionary aviation is a ministry to people being reached by Christian missions as well to the missionaries themselves. They operate in remote areas of the world where transportation infrastructure is poor or non-existent. By providing air transportation in these areas, journeys that would take days or weeks by land are reduced to a few hours or even a few minutes. Missionary aviation pilots play a variety of roles depending on where they are serving, but some of their roles include: transporting people who need medical attention, helping with disaster relief, transporting doctors, medical personnel and supplies, and supporting field missionaries with supplies and transportation. Most missionary pilots also perform their own maintenance on the airplanes they fly. Missionary pilots are essential in getting supplies and people to places in a timely manner.
Imagine you want to share the Gospel with someone who lives 100 miles away. Would you get in your car and drive that distance? What if there was no road and you had to walk the entire distance? Could you still go?
What is Trinity Aviation Academy’s purpose?:
Unfortunately, due to the high costs of flight training, the average length of time it takes missionary pilots to get to the field is 12 years and that number is only increasing. This is largely due to the high cost of flight training. In the United States the two most common paths to become a professional pilot is college training or military training. Pilots who opt to receive their training in college most often come out with outstanding loans up to or perhaps exceeding $120,000 which needs to be paid back before they can serve with a mission agency and then they have to raise their support once those loans are repaid. Those who opt to receive training in the military will escape the cost of the training, but will be obligated with a 9 year commitment to active duty and will still need to raise support before they can serve. The result is that missionary pilots are now leaving the field faster than they are arriving. Trinity Aviation Academy’s mission is to reduce the time it takes missionary pilot/mechanics to get to the field by providing pilot and mechanic training in 30 months for $40,000.
Imagine you are a missionary in a remote village, and many of the people need medical attention. The nearest doctor is a four day walk. An airplane could bring the doctor to the village in one hour. What if there was no airplane? What if there was no pilot?
How does Trinity Aviation Academy provide flight training at so little cost?:
The primary means by which Trinity Aviation Academy has cut the cost of flight training is by having an all volunteer staff of instructors. Colleges and flight schools charge an average of $45 per flight hour for a flight instructor, on top of aircraft rental fees, and we have eliminated that cost. Also, there is no tuition cost. Our students only pay for books and materials for their classes. Another big cost of flight instruction is the maintenance required for the aircraft. Since our aircraft are being maintained by staff and students with no cost for labor, the cost of maintaining the aircraft fleet is reduced. The biggest cost of flight training is the fuel that is used in the aircraft. We aim to reduce this cost by operating our aircraft, when legally allowed, on automotive fuel, which is about two thirds the cost of aviation fuel. Also, housing is currently provided at no cost to single students.
Think about a ministry that you are or were involved in. What if you could safely and competently perform that ministry only after a few years of extremely expensive training? Could you still have gotten involved in that ministry?
How can others help realize Trinity Aviation Academy’s mission?:
The most important thing you can do for Trinity Aviation Academy is pray. We need believers who will support us consistently in prayer, asking God to keep us focused on our ultimate goal, which is to make Christ known throughout the world. We need prayer for wisdom and guidance as we continue to make important and lasting decisions about our training program. We need prayer for the financial needs of our volunteers who are currently unsupported or under-supported.
Another important need at Trinity Aviation Academy is workers. Parts of our campus are still under construction and the work is being done by, you guessed it, volunteers. We have had several work parties in the past couple of years, and more will be scheduled in the near future. If you are willing and able to help with our construction projects, please let us know.
Lastly, you can support the school with donations, whether financial or material. Our school has volunteers, like ourselves, who are seeking long-term support partners who will allow them to continue in this important ministry. Trinity Aviation Academy is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax-deductible.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:38
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Mark 16:15
Update on the Swinefords:
We are thankful for all that God is doing to help provide what we need. I needed a mouse a few weeks ago for my computer, but when I looked at them they seemed pricey for something so small. I trusted that if God wanted me to have one he would provide and he did the next day at work. God is faithful with things both big and little. Please continue to pray for God’s perfect provision.
We are in a missionary position at the school, meaning that we are not paid by the school, but by donors which share our vision and are called to support us in our efforts. We greatly appreciate the support we have received so far. We still need more people to partner with us if I am to continue in this ministry full-time. Pray for others to catch the vision. Some of you asked about the donation process and how Original Design Ministries (which Trinity Aviation Academy is under) handles the funds which are donated. O.D.M. pays us 100% of the money they receive which is designated to us. It goes through O.D.M. so that donors can receive their tax deductions. We are responsible for any income taxes we might owe on money we receive through the ministry.
Ruthy has been suffering from a pregnancy-related migraine for the past five months. For the past 2 weeks it has been much better and she is grateful for the relief. This is partly due to the fact that she popped a calf muscle last week which has forced her to stay off her feet. Her leg is healing well and everything is well with her pregnancy. We are excited that our new baby is due around the end of this month!
We are trying to relocate closer to the school so I can have more time available for both family and work and to hopefully eliminate our mortgage. We will be listing our house to sell soon but we still have several small projects to complete.
If you are excited about our ministry and interested in being a prayer partner or support partner, please let us know! We greatly appreciate any and all encouragement, and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have. More information is available on my internet blog at http://andyruthy.blogspot.com/. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 253-951-4118.
Thanks again for your loving partnership and support!
May God’s peace and love surround you all!
Andy, Ruthy, and Esther