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.