Every Step is Important

By Rachel Greco

Since high school, Daniel Rounds had wanted to be a pilot serving overseas. He attended Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, Washington, with this goal in mind.

Two years after he began classes, however, a speaker at a missions conference said, “You can find pilots. We need maintenance specialists; they’re like gold.” Though he had always envisioned being the one flying into the villages, Daniel saw how God had gifted him in maintenance, and he decided to become a maintenance specialist.

While at Moody, Daniel and his wife, Karys, served in Indonesia for seven weeks with YAJASI, a JAARS aviation partner. Daniel helped with routine maintenance of PC-6 aircraft, built a tool for measuring propeller angles, and took on a big project: creating a hoist to remove the wings of a Pilatus PC-12.

The YAJASI staff gave Daniel an image of what the hoist should look like and told him to scale it up and make it, which he did. The aviation maintenance team still uses the hoist to pull engines and wings off their airplanes.

While Daniel worked alongside local mechanics at the hangar, Karys saw how she could use her degree in youth ministry when she taught English to Indonesians at a local school and tutored a group of high school students. She also learned how to cook from scratch and buy groceries in a foreign country.

Daniel worked as a maintenance specialist at an airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for four years, and God is now leading the couple back to Indonesia—this time with three little boys in tow!

During pre-field orientation, one of Daniel’s projects was to help with an inspection on the PC-6, the same aircraft he’ll be working on in Papua.

The Roundses are excited to return to Indonesia and are grateful for their previous time there. “I think it will help with the transition since we know a good 80% of the team members there,” Daniel said.

Before they fly to Indonesia, though, Daniel must complete his three-month Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) training here at JAARS. He appreciates how applicable the instructors are making the course for both him and the other orientees. “I’ve seen lots of times where they’re making the orientation curriculum directly applicable to where I’m going.”

For example, because Daniel will be working on turbine engines, he has taken a turbine class. YAJASI has both Porter PC-6 and PC-12 aircraft, and Daniel has been able to work on the PC-6 aircraft here at JAARS. “I’d never worked on a Porter [aircraft], and they have one here, so this has been perfect.”

Daniel can see how God has prepared him for this work with YAJASI. “The work I did at [the airport] in Grand Rapids was directly applicable to what I’ll be doing with the PC-12.” One of the airport’s specialties was inspecting and repairing Pilatus aircraft, so he frequently maintained PC-12 airplanes. He became comfortable and efficient handling them—a skill that will serve him well in Indonesia.

He also gained experience in management and doing paperwork at the Grand Rapids airport. “That’s going to add to my tool belt of abilities and skills.”

Although Daniel and Karys thought they would live and work in Grand Rapids for only two or three years and were eager to serve overseas, they see now that God made use of the full four years. “If I wouldn’t have stayed that extra time, I wouldn’t have [received] as much training and wouldn’t be as well prepared as [I am] now.”

Daniel and Karys Rounds and their three boys.

God’s timing was also apparent in that he coordinated the timing of the couple having kids with training and COVID-19 so that it all came together. Their twin boys are at the age—8 months—to enable them to go to the MK Station a few mornings a week, giving Karys a much-needed break.

“We’ve been seeing over and over how God has prepared us,” Daniel explained. “Now we’re about to go into missions, but every step of the way was important.”

Join us in praying that God continues to prepare the Roundses and the other Pre-Field orientees to serve Bible translation around the world.