Mission at TCF: Mission Aviation Fellowship – An Interview with Nathanael & Joanna Smith

What is your connection to Tayside Christian Fellowship and what brought you to Perth?

Joanna and I moved up to Perth three years ago to start my engineering training for Mission Aviation Fellowship. We were based there for two years while I studied at Perth College and Scone Airport.

We quickly found a home at Tayside Christian Fellowship (TCF) and loved the community and Family we found there despite our relatively short stay.

Nathanael & Joanna Smith

Where do we find you now and what has happened since leaving TCF?

The next stage of my training took us to Bournemouth on the south coast of England. Here I have been working in a commercial aircraft maintenance hangar to improve my skills and experience as part of my training.

How has attending Church and your faith continued to sustain you?

Leaving Scotland was hard for us as we loved Perth and our church family at TCF. But we were blessed that when we arrived in Bournemouth we visited two very welcoming churches and the hardest choice was which one to make our home as they have both been so friendly.

If it weren’t for the grace of God through his church it would be very hard to have to move to a completely different part of the UK every two years, as we have had to do for my training. In each new place we live we have seen evidence of God going before us and paving the way. At Church in Perth as well as now in Bournemouth we have met keen advocates for Mission Aviation Fellowship who were ready to pray for us and encourage us.

What is your typical working day?

I work a typical day from 8.30 to 5pm. Every day is different in the hangar, and it depends on what aircraft we have in and what state they are in. I might spend the whole day stripping out interior seats and carpets, inspecting wing structure or helping to change an engine. Other days I might do ten small jobs on several different aircraft. Sometimes there are quieter days as well if we are waiting for spare parts to arrive. 

As I am working towards an aircraft maintenance license, I also have to log all the work experience I get and all the tasks I am involved with.

Nathanael Smith at work

A little bit of the future?

Once my two years of practical training is completed Joanna and I will move over seas with Mission Aviation Fellowship. My role will be to inspect, maintain and repair their aircraft and make sure that the aeroplanes are always safe to fly and well looked after.

What are 3 prayer points?

  • Pray that I get all the experience and training I need in these next two years. 
  • Pray we can continue to deepen relationships with church friends here in Bournemouth. 
  • Pray we continue to trust God as we trust him with future plans.

Header photo by Adam Nir on Unsplash

Article published August 2023