Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27: NTMA Typhoon Haiyan Relief Flights

Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda is long gone, but the effects will last a long time.

We are very thankful that our NTMA pilots have been able to fly in tons of supplies to some of the more isolated islands that haven't yet received other aid.  The picture below shows the path of the typhoon. In the blue oval you can see where most of the aid is going. But the typhoon didn't stop there. In the area of the red circle, the typhoon also devastated the region, but it is much more difficult to get aid to these isolated areas. And, most aid work has been centered in the most densely populated areas.

So, our pilots have been supplying these isolated areas where fewer people live, but the need is still huge.
This map shows the areas where our pilots are helping.

In the words of one of our pilots:

"I got to fly into several different places that have been overlooked as far as aid. It's really interesting to watch people's faces, at first they can't figure what a helicopter is doing landing on their beach and then they see me taking bags off and they start to smile. You also can see that some people are completely shocked that someone actually cares they just stand there with a look of wonder. 
Kids in one of the stricken areas, excited to see the helicopter!
The most satisfying experience of this whole time so far is a guy that came up to me shook my hand but would not let go and stood there looking at me while his eyes filled with tears and he just said thank you over and over. That one moment was easily worth all the work of the past week. As I flew home I realized how unfair it is that I get to experience that just because I am the last link in a incredibly long chain of people that have made this happen. I wanted to share it in hopes that it is really encouraging to all the people that are working so hard but don't get the privilege to see the end result. I'm grateful that God is allowing us the privilege of serving this way."
NTMA Helicopter flying in much-needed supplies.
November 27 NTMA UPDATE: "We are all still plugging along! With 2 planes & 1 helicopter pretty much flying all the time, we've flown 160+ hours & hauled almost 44,000 lbs of cargo around! Our relief efforts are still focused on small islands surrounding Palawan & helping them get food & shelter until they can get back on their feet. Thank you for are your prayers & encouragement. God has been so faithful in providing all we need."

Today we are thankful for our NTMA co-workers as they continue to bring much-needed help to the devastated ares.

Pictures borrowed from various fellow missionaries.  :)

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