After the Storm and a Way to Help

Storm Aftermath

Storm Aftermath

We received an update from NTMA pilot Joel Davis. He and Zach have moved the helicopter to a group of islands off the northeast tip of Palawan. From this location they can more easily distribute supplies to the typhoon victims on the remote surrounding islands. 

With the help of NTMA pilots Josh Dalton and Brian Pruett they will use our three aircraft to better meet the needs in this neglected area. 

Joel writes -The last few days have been really busy with logistics and organizing how we will be most effective in this relief effort. The task is huge and we are starting to see how we can be of service. The last few days have been filled with survey flights to take pictures and report back concerning the hardest hit areas. It was really sobering to see what looked like the aftermath of a huge bomb hitting the coast of Samar and Leyte. Despite the chaos, loss of life, and desperation, as we flew over we could see people jumping up and down waving and in true Filipino fashion making the best of a horrible situation. We also have used the helicopter to help move relief workers around on those islands and take key people in the relief effort to determine new staging areas. God is building a great team of people to help and we are so grateful for the inter agency cooperation that we are experiencing. Please continue to pray for wisdom for our team, strength, and that we can be a blessing to those affected by this typhoon.

Written earlier:

Many of you are keeping up with the news and asking about ways to help. NTMA pilots are going all out delivering immediate help organized by the local churches in each area. You can be assured this money will get help TO THE PEOPLE.

Please read these reports and if the Lord is leading you to help physically we wholeheartedly know your help will actually reach those in need.

A link to help: www.ntm.org

From Bryan and Bailey Pruett:

We have not done a very good job at sending out updates on our situation here in the Philippines and for that we apologize. Ever since typhoon Haiyan reduced the middle of the Philippines to rubble we’ve been swamped trying to coordinate help for our own missionaries. Once they were all safe and accounted for we turned our attention to what we can do to help those who were most affected by the typhoon.
On Sunday morning this week we were approached by a team with the Philippine Red Cross about the possibility of flying them for aerial surveys and damage assessments so that they could more effectively deploy relief workers into areas damaged by the typhoon. Relief flying isn’t something we’ve ever done before, mostly because we have such a small team (four families in the Philippines right now) and are already maxed out just trying to keep up with our normal flying schedule. We also haven’t been in the country for a disaster as overwhelming as this one so we haven’t felt this kind of desperation before.
Considering the devastation caused by this Super Typhoon and the desperate situation so many are in, we decided to ask a few of our friends if they knew were we could get plugged into relief efforts after the Red Cross flying was finished and just trust the Lord to lead us. We were also trusting the Lord for the finances so that we could commit to helping even though we did not know where the money would come from. We told the Red Cross we would love to help them and three hours later we were deep into planning a second relief effort with the lead Philippine government agency for disaster relief. We also received a financial pledge that was adequate to do the Red Cross flights free of charge as well as a large donation of fuel for our second relief project at “ground zero,” Tacolban City airport.
It has been a whirlwind for us since then and our phones and email have seen unbelievable traffic! We have been forwaded emails from missionaries trapped on islands, pleading to be evacuated as siib as we can get to them. Not a minute goes by that we don’t feel the desperation that so many thousands of people are feeling right now and our hearts want to help all of them.
We have waited two days to get clearance into Tacloban City but have been unable to land there and have been advised that we cannot land in the nearby areas either due to peace and order issues. It really is an unbelievable strtegy for Samaritan’s Purse to bring aid, but because of yet another big storm, we were grounded again.
We have now changed plans and this morning (Wednesday Nov 13), Brian and Joel, out other pilot here on Mindanao, flew to a bigger airport outside of the disaster area where they will stay and fly relief from. Our helicopter and it’s pilot is also coming from the Northern Luzon today to meet them. Initially we think we will fly government officials and the heads of various aid organizations for aerial surveys and to drop them off in strategic locations where they can help coordinate a way to secure supply lines. At this point very few foreign aid agencies are able to get in to the disaster area to help. It is our hope that we can help secure the area by providing air support so that the bigger aid agencies can freely move into position and do their work.
Please pray for Brian as he, Joel, Zach and Josh will all be assessing the situation and trying to make decisions about the longer term needs in the area. Pray for wisdom and safety for them. Pray for the wives, Bailey, Missy, Jane and Candy as they hold down the fort and communicate with their husbands as they fly. Pray mostly, though, for the Filipino nationals here who, no doubt, have the hardest task of all – rebuildning their homes and lives and facing the reality of lost loved ones. Our hearts break for them and those that are still without food and water.
It is a very big task and we are very small but we know Who is bigger than all of this and wre thankful for His faithfulness and His strength. Thank you for your prayers – we appreciate them now, more than ever.

From Joel and Missy Davis:

Super Typhoon Haiyan

This weekend one of the most devastating storms in history pounded the Philippines. Where we live, we were safe and out of the path of the storm… we had a bit of rain and a little breeze and that was it…but as we watched the storm progress on the radar, we knew in other areas it was a different story. We were watching updates on Facebook of our coworkers who are living and serving out in remote locations on islands that were being pummeled by Haiyan.

Photo taken by Josh Dalton, NTMA pilot

One family reported having about 130 people from their village taking shelter in their house. Praise the Lord that those people had somewhere to go.

Another team told of parts of their roof flying and them holding it down as best they could, with rain pouring in the closed windows. After that post, they lost their internet and cell signals, and our concern was growing when didn’t hear from them for about a day and a half.  We were mobilizing the airplane to go fly over their island to see if we could see anything – or if we could help – when we got a text saying they were ok. They also reported zero casualties, only property damage- praise the Lord. This team just located there a few months ago and are in continuing language study.  Please pray with us that this will be an incredible opportunity to show God’s love to the people there.  Our pilot on that island has already started flying there with relief goods.

From photoblog.nbcnews.com

As news of the devastation is coming out, our hearts are so heavy. A possible 10,000 plus have lost their lives, and there are islands that are 80% destroyed.

Today, just now, Joel and the other pilot landed a location where we can be used to help. Our other pilots from our 2 other locations are on their way too. Together they will be basing out of a bigger city that is near the damage, poised and ready to start taking supplies and personnel where they need to go.

Please pray with us for safety for our aviation team that will be working hard to help with this disaster. Pray for their families at home holding down the fort. Pray that our team would be a light to those whose lives were turned upside down this weekend. Pray that the love of Jesus would be so clear to them through the care and help of God’s people.

If you want to give toward the relief efforts here, you can do so here:  www.ntm.org

I had the opportunity to talk about what is happening here on Moody Radio this week. To listen to the interview, click here.

Thank you so much for your prayers.
Under His Wings,
Joel & Missy

About Chris and Lynne Strange

We serve the Lord in the beautiful state of West Virginia. We were missionaries with New Tribes Mission and served ten years on the island of Mindanao, Philippines. View all posts by Chris and Lynne Strange

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