Philippines (MNN) — Living in a mountainous region of the Philippines presents a lot of traveling inconveniences. But in times of medical crisis, the remoteness can mean physical devastation.
New Tribes Mission has an aviation outreach to carry missionaries and those with whom they're sharing Christ quickly when needed. The expenses to immediate flight response are significant, though.
NTM paints it this way: Picture yourself as a missionary in the Philippines helping a woman in labor. The nearest medical facility is eight hours away by foot or by boat. The woman is having complications in her labor, and there's nothing else you can do.
You have access to a friend with a helicopter, but it costs $220 to have the helicopter pick the woman up and take her to the hospital. It's worth it to save the woman and her baby, but this is the third time in a month you have called for a helicopter. The villagers can't afford it, and neither can you.
Without time to think, you call the helicopter to save the mother and child, and pray that the money will come in to cover the costs.
This situation is common for missionaries in remote areas. Just this week, a missionary couple called an NTM pilot to medically evacuate a mother in labor due to complications. The situation was tense for financial reasons but also because when the pilot got to the spot where it would meet an ambulance, the ambulance wasn't there. The missionary, Katherine, had to drive the woman to the hospital.
The doctors couldn't hear the baby's heartbeat upon arrival, but after a C-section, the infant miraculously lived. Katherine spent all day with the mother and child.
The situation was taxing, but after all of that, the mother thanked Katherine and her husband over and over for what they had done. Katherine was able to share the great love God has for this mother and baby, praying all the while that they both will come to know the One True God.
NTM says calling the flight is not always the right decision, but in this case, it saved two lives on earth–and maybe for eternity. Pray that this would be the beginning of a journey with Christ for this mother and child.
You can help reduce the costs of flights for missionaries. Find out how here.