By Patrick Cochrane / EMI Canada + East Africa / Uganda
The Survey mentor
Thirty five years ago I decided to enter Civil Engineering Technology in college. Making this world a better place or serving my fellow humankind were perhaps hopes, but not really my future. Thoughts like these just didn’t figure much in that decision. But as my professional abilities started to strengthen and as my family grew, my perspective on the world was maturing. A desire to step deeper into faith as a follower of Jesus Christ began to take hold, giving me a new sense of purpose and direction. I went on a trip to Belize to help a friend survey his land. This trip revealed the amazing beauty of that part of our world, but it also gave me a glimpse of the poverty and despair which much of our world endures. Returning home, I felt God challenging me to somehow use my training, abilities, & resources to help in this hurting world. I absolutely loved my work with Canada’s Department of Fisheries & Oceans. I served for 30 years as an engineering technologist and was involved in all aspects of fish habitat restoration. I traveled to some of the wildest natural beauty in British Columbia. Probably my favorite part of the job was surveying. While attending a pre-retirement workshop, I was advised to be very proactive in planning for retirement. Not just in taking care of the financial aspects but also I felt God preparing for activities you may want to be engaged in. challenging me to This, rather than suddenly retiring and not knowing how to fulfil your heart and time.
somehow use my training, abilities, & resources to help in this hurting world.
As I discovered Engineering Ministries International and served on my first mission, I knew it would be a worthy organization to invest myself into. This was right at the time when Steve Ulrich left EMI-USA and moved back up to Calgary in order to start EMI Canada. Steve, Greg Young, and I were all on the first EMI Canada team; I was the team surveyor. We visited the Dominican Republic in September, 2002. I thought EMI offered a great opportunity to engage my heart as a Christian and leverage my skills as an engineering technician toward projects that make a Godly impact. As I was fortunate enough to enter into retirement at the young age of 55, I found it wasn’t difficult to fill my time. Along with continuing on various EMI trips, I discovered I enjoyed mentoring others with my technical skills. For four years running, I served as lab instructor for a two week Field Survey class at Thompson Rivers University. I also carried out short survey workshops for EMI interns serving in different offices. Looking to gain more experience as a trainer and be engaged in a local mission, I developed and delivered an introductory AutoCAD course for high school students at Kamloops Christian School.
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