Smith, Nathanael

Smith, Nathanael

Nathanael is the first person to be enrolled on MAF UK’s Engineer Trainee programme. He will spend four years training in the UK before joining an MAF programme. He will be part of a team helping to maintain our planes so we can enable our partners to reach isolated communities.

Background

Nathanael grew up a child of missionary parents serving in Cameroon. His interest in aviation started as a result of flying on missionary aircraft between boarding school and home. He spent a gap year in 2013-2014 working as a volunteer at the missionary hangar in Cameroon and gained experience working on the aircraft he had flown in. It was during this time that he first felt called to mission aviation. On leaving school he returned to the UK and studied aerospace engineering with the view of going into mission aviation in the future. Since graduating in 2018 he has briefly worked as a caretaker for his home church and then for a company making and maintaining microlight aircraft.

Joanna is from a Christian family and also has some mission experience having spent a gap year in 2014 serving with Tearfund in Peru. She and Nathanael first met while studying in Cambridge in 2015 and then again at church in Norwich where they were leading Bible studies together. We got engaged in 2020 and we will marry after Joanna finishes her PhD in plant science in October 2021.

Our MAF journey  

When we heard that MAF was offering an engineering training programme Nathanael applied straight away. He will start two years of study in Perth, Scotland, in March 2021 in preparation for becoming a licenced aircraft engineer and will gain that licence after a further two years of practical experience here in the UK before going overseas to serve with MAF, Lord willing, in 2025.

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