Not An Accident
My husband, Daniel, and I had been at JAARS for a few weeks, along with our family, for Pre-Field Orientation (PFO) training when Daniel and two other maintenance specialist trainees were sent out on an unexpected assignment—a simulated airplane crash.
They took a helicopter flight to the site where a retired airplane used for maintenance training had “crashed” into the woods. There, they camped out and spent the week investigating, documenting the damage, and repairing the plane enough to get it back to base. Daniel and his fellow trainees had completed many important tasks: interviewing the pilot and witnesses “involved” in the accident, making a hoist out of trees to remove the engine, replacing a flat tire, repairing a hole in the side of the airplane with materials they had brought, and even butchering a “local” goat for dinner.
While Daniel was experiencing this simulation “in the bush,” I (Karys) experienced what a situation like this can be like for the wives of missionary mechanics. The wives suddenly have the kids by themselves as their husbands go off to help. The other wives demonstrated the amazing community we had at JAARS as they provided food, store runs, and support for me and the boys while Daniel was away at the accident site.
After we graduated from our Pre-Field Orientation on June 24, I thought about the sign hanging on the aircraft during this aircraft crash simulation. It said, “This is not an accident.” We were reminded that none of our preparations and calling that lead up to this moment have been an accident. At JAARS, we had training in motorcycles, four-wheel-drive vehicle operation and recovery, water safety, intercultural communication, aviation, and training for the missionary wives provided by the JAARS team. All of this will make us more effective for YAJASI, a JAARS partner organization we will be working with in Indonesia. We’re grateful we had so much hands-on training at JAARS, and we’re excited to be in the final stages of preparation for Indonesia.