Pilot Training


Flying through Mexico’s rugged, windy, and treacherous mountain terrain takes much skill, understanding, and courage, as the risks are significant. In one instance, SOM Mexico Director overcame a close call in which his plane went into an uncontrolled tailspin. He gives God glory for avoiding a certain death and walking away unharmed.


First, SOM leadership dreamed about gathering pilots together to improve skills, safety, and building maturity in Christ. The SOM Mexico Director took the lead with visionary leadership.  He hosted this, their first pilot’s training symposium, during the fall in Mexico. 


Around 25 leaders, including Russell Stendal from Colombia, joined for three days of building relationships, mutual encouragement, and teaching from the Word of God using aviation as context for serving and growing in Christ. 

Why Aviation Ministry Makes an Impact

Pilot TrainingSOM-Mexico serves remote and difficult-to-reach villages with little to no witness of Christ and his Word. 70% of the villages they serve have no drivable roads. Aviation is opening doors to villages that would have taken two days of travel down to a few hours. 

Pilots and workers from Mexico, Colombia, and the USA joined to meet together to serve the needs of the tribal people in the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains.


Russell Stendal, a skilled bush pilot from Colombia, and David Witt from the USA join together in Mexico to encourage pilot’s skills with focus on the spiritual side of aviation ministry, bringing the power of Christ and life transformation to forgotten sectors that need Jesus the most.


Enthusiastically, Russell inspired the young pilots to watch the plane’s attitude with the attitude of their hearts. “I never imagined that there were so many spiritual applications when talking about aviation,” expressed a SOM-Mexican staff member after the pilot’s symposium.

Making Disciples in the Mountains


SOM Mexico Director shared the incredible opportunity and responsibility God has given to pilots to use aviation for God’s glory instead of fleshly gain. He inspired the group with what God can do to make disciples in the problematic and unreached Mexican mountain regions.


Teams traveling by air often land with a little runway and challenging winds. They bring food and necessary supplies, along with a bold message from the Word about the power of Jesus Christ.


David Witt shared his challenging flying experiences and related them to risk management. “The difference between a good pilot and a great pilot is the leading of the Holy Spirit with a clean heart.”


While coming together, the leaders cultivated a warm environment to build long-lasting friendships. They fostered the vision to grow in developing more pilots who can make a difference in the Kingdom of God.