Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March Madness

What can you do in four days? Apparently, quite a bit - if you have the right people and a commitment to go above and beyond.
A request from the gardener - "My scooter won't start!"

The pre-construction meeting
We have just returned from San Quintin, Mexico and in four days our automotive students Isaias, Poli, and Ivan immersed themselves in numerous vehicles repairs - from simple oil changes to replacing the heater core in a Ford Expedition (can you say "Remove the entire dashboard please"?).
Ivan getting deep into the dash

A huge thank you to John Cornett-Ching for doing an amazing teaching job with our students. John, you are a gifted teacher and technician!
Intense study of a spark plug
Wearing the colors - thanks for the hats, Bill Smythe!
Fixing the air conditioning on the big bus - broken for almost 2 years.
A loose wire caused all that? You've got to be kidding! 
 The mechanics training took place right beside the building site of our new garage. My hat goes off to Justin, Brad, Dave, Michael, Trevor, Bob, Caroline, Nick, Craig (and don't forget Vic!), and anyone else I've missed for putting up an awesome building. These guys worked hard through the hot mid-day sun and even into the night to get the shop done. Also thanks to Tim Rivers of One Life One Chance for getting all the materials on site.
The Baja automotive training program is off to a great start, and next trip down we'll be able to use the new shop. What a privilege it is to share our knowledge with people who love to learn. It's a blessing to them, and to ourselves as well.

Rick, Isaias, Poli, John, Ivan
Celebration dinner at Denny's in San Diego

Fixing the gardener's scooter

Crew boss Justin
Th-th-that's all, folks!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Breaking in the new tools

The first trip of 2015 is almost upon us, and it's time to hit travel mode and get dirty.
On Sunday, March 22nd, the six-member Mercy Tech Mission team (along with the 23 volunteers from Summerland Baptist Church) will descend upon San Quintin in the California Baja.
Driving past the commercial farms in the northern Baja
Mercy Tech will formally kick-start the mechanics training program at the One Life One Chance mission base, while the SBC team will be doing a house-build in the community for a single mom with five children.
Administration building, One Life One Chance
Supplying much needed housing for struggling families
We've begun building our tool inventory (see previous posts from August and November 2014), and we can't wait to "break 'em in" with some real hands-on training sessions.
Mechanic's tool cabinet with assorted hand tools

Innova OBDII Diagnostic Scan tool (Thanks, Todd!)
Our two students (Ivan and Poli) will be learning from master technician and Alberta shop owner, John Cornett-Ching, and we have some fairly challenging repair jobs already lined up and waiting for us.
While the automotive training is going on, the rest of the crew will be helping to put up a 30x30 garage that will house our tools and be our training space for future trips.
In addition, Mercy Tech will be researching the possibilities of providing skills training not just for young men, but for the women of the Baja as well.
As has been said before, we can't change the world, but we can change someone's world. Please partner with us as we continue to change lives, one skill at a time.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sharing What Was Given To Us

Sharing with others the things that were given to us - that's the theme of our new MTM promotional video, and it will be the ongoing theme of all that we do at Mercy Tech Mission in 2015. 

As you watch this video, please take a moment to ask yourself a simple question: "What can I share with somebody else in 2015?"

Whether you support the work of MTM through donations or volunteering, or whether you find some other equally valuable way to help somebody in need, our hope and prayer is that 2015 will be a year like no other year in your life...a year that you'll never forget.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

There and Back Again

It's great to be back home, even if it does mean getting used to some colder weather. But we're Canadians, eh? We can handle it, thank you very much. Or is that "Pardon me?" - I'm not sure.

But we're glad to report that in spite of battling a few stomach bugs, we were able to accomplish our goals for the trip. In the last post, I showed some photos of the work area that was built to facilitate our automotive training in the months ahead. It turned out very well, and the next step will be to put up a few walls and a roof to keep the sun off.
Rich watering down the fresh concrete so that it dries properly.
Even though the concrete was too green to work on, that didn't stop us from doing a little automotive training. Here are some photos of the work that was done and the students we'll be working with.
Isaias, the maintenance manger, changing spark plugs on the minivan.
Explaining how electricity flows through a signal light circuit.
Poli (left) and Ivan (far right) are our first two guys to take advantage of this automotive teaching opportunity. 
Annel is a local high school student who helps with the translation work.
Ivan is checking the tire pressures...
...while Poli changes a fuel filter.
Only a couple of days training this time, but a good start for our upcoming return trip in March, 2015.
Both these young men have good reasons for attending our training sessions. After 8 years, Poli is tired of picking strawberries in the fields for minimum wage; he wants a better future.

Ivan is hoping to get into a mechanical training course in Tijuana next year, and believes that the training we give him will help with that transition.
The Mercy Tech foundations are now laid in the Baja; from here on the only direction is forward. A big thanks to the family and friends who helped to make this trip possible.

Also a shout out to the folks at One Life One Chance, who are letting us partner with them on their mission base at San Quintin so that young people like Poli and Ivan can have a chance at a better future.
Baja 2015? Maybe we'll see you here!