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NTM Aviation personnel prepare NTM's Kodiak for a flight to the Philippines to help with typhoon relief.

More help on way to Philippines

New Tribes Mission has two more aircraft on their way to help with disaster relief in the Philippines – and not a moment too soon.

The helicopter that NTM has based in the Philippines has been supporting families on islands in the western Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In more than 170 flight legs, the helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 pounds of relief supplies, mainly food. This is in addition to flights by the mission's two Cessna 185s, which have moved the supplies closer to the islands to cut the length of helicopter flights and allow more to be delivered.

This past weekend, the helicopter moved to another area, to assist local churches and Christians ministering in the area to provide help to their neighbors.

In addition to the aid provided by generous giving in the USA, NTM's Philippines affiliate has put together more than six tons of relief supplies, more than half of which was delivered over the weekend.

In the new area, “we concentrated ... on several islands that were most-hard hit, and hardest to get to by other means,” wrote Dave Forney of MAF. The MAF disaster response team is providing invaluable assistance to NTM's flight crews in the area. “We flew mostly food/family packs, but also a load of badly needed pots and pans for cooking, where they were mostly all washed away and the people had no means to prepare the food.”

NTM’s helicopter pilot, Zack Keller, noted that in some places the damage in that area was worse than in the area they had been serving.

Having a number of personnel on the ground already is a huge help. They “had good knowledge of what the needs were in each location,” Dave wrote, and “the process of distributing the goods on the islands was well-handled.”

“Some of the most-requested items that are needed are also clothes, cooking supplies, and basic building supplies like nails, etc.," Zach wrote. "In some cases the people were only left with the clothes on their backs and whatever they had in their hands, as the tidal surge and winds washed everything else out to sea.  So it's difficult for them to repair boats, fix or re-build houses, cook food, or maintain sanitation and hygiene without these basic supplies.”

The church leaders and others ministering in those areas have asked for additional help delivering such supplies, and it is expected that the Bell Jet Ranger on the way to the Philippines will be used in that effort. It is expected to arrive in a couple of days. The helicopter is owned by Helimission and operated by NTM Aviation.

“One thing is certain,” Dave wrote. “The local pastors feel that this is a huge opportunity for the local church to demonstrate Christ's love to people who have very real needs, and ... I feel that it's ... a great use of our resources to assist them in this endeavor.”

The Kodiak is also expected to arrive in a day or two, and increases the ability of NTM and its partners to move relief supplies closer to the devastated areas in order to cut down on flight time for the helicopters. The plane can land in about the same space as the Cessna 185s NTM Aviation is using in the area, but can carry twice the payload.

Tags: Asia-Pacific, Aviation, Mission News, Prayer, Philippines,
POSTED ON Dec 03, 2013 by Ian Fallis