A Story of God’s provision
$5,000-$10,000. That’s all we asked for on that Sunday morning after Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, leaving a swath of utter chaos and destruction from the east coast all the way to the islands on the western edge of Philippine territory. Enough to do a few survey flights and fly NTMA’s helicopter down from it’s home base to assist with flying a few loads of relief goods to some small islands whose needs had been overshadowed by the overwhelming numbers in Tacloban and the surrounding areas.
Two weeks later we were operating an air bridge from a major hub where goods could be purchased, to a group of islands where 5,000 people had lost everything. We had flown our three aircraft nearly 200 hours, purchased, packaged and hauled over 50,000 pounds of emergency food packs, shelter materials and other relief goods, and carried over 100 passengers, providing life sustaining relief to those in need.
By this time, we had seen God provide over 10 times the funds we originally asked for, but the needs were still greater. Seeing needs greater than our our Philippines fleet was capable of meeting, we brought a Kodiak and Jet Ranger from a neighboring country to assist as well. Why we ever questioned the Lord’s provision I don’t know, but it was definitely a step of faith to bring these much larger, more expensive aircraft into the operation, and continue to expand it in that way. Over the next three weeks our team flew an additional 200 hours for a total of nearly 400 hours flown, and close to 120,000 meals purchased, packaged and delivered by aircraft and helicopter directly to those in need. We had flown 287 passengers in addition to over 160,000 pounds of relief goods, 3000 gallons of fuel for the helicopters, and other logistics and support equipment.
Thanks to your incredible generosity, as normal transportation infrastructure began to come back online and we concluded the aviation portion of our relief efforts, we found that the Lord had provided far more that we needed for the aviation relief efforts alone, and we began to consider whether he would have us be involved in helping these people rebuild their homes, their livelihoods, and other aspects of their lives that had been destroyed or forever altered. We are now assisting with a number of projects carefully designed to help restore the economy and people’s livelihoods, as well as assisting them to rebuild their homes.
While the physical impact of the assistance we have been able to provide has been huge, more important by far is the spiritual impact. Islands that were once opposed to evangelical missionaries and wanted to have nothing to do with them are now asking for teaching and counseling to help them understand why God would let this happen to them. Where once there were fearful, unwelcoming stares, now there are tears and hugs of gratitude. Only our Awesome God can open doors and change hearts like this!
As a family and as a team, we have been utterly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, both in prayer and financially, that we have received through this process. We truly are humbled to have the privilege of serving with you on the front lines, and to have such an incredible team behind us, both in the U.S. and around the world. All we can say is THANK YOU – First to our amazing God, and second to you, the ones who enable us to serve.