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A Sad Flight

helicopter landed in rural location

In a Tala-andig outreach village, tragedy struck. Mantunhayan, the main missionary, had been hit in the head by a falling tree and lay unconscious. Someone travelled through the night to find a phone signal and called the missionaries, Jason and Shirley Birkin — on furlough — in New Zealand.

Pilot Brian Schaadt got the call from New Zealand early in the morning. Could he help?

Brian dropped his plans for the day, started up the R66 helicopter, and brought the unconscious man to a hospital. But no CT scan was available there, nor an ambulance to transport him elsewhere. So Brian and the two believers accompanying Mantunhayan took him to another hospital.

On the way, though, Mantunhayan passed away. After waiting for the required paperwork, Brian grimly flew the helicopter-turned-hearse back to the village in the jungle.

What a loss for the thriving Tala-andig outreach! Mantunhayan “had major roles in the Lord's work. He was responsible for Bible teaching and overseeing an outreach. He was a carpenter, currently in the middle of building a house for another family. He was newly married and an expectant father,” says Jason Birkin.

Jason asks that you pray for the believers at the outreach to stand firm in their faith and not be controlled by their old belief system. Pray for God's power and protection from the evil one, especially for Mantunhayan’s widow. And pray for God’s glory in the midst of tragedy.

This article originally appeared on the Ethnos360 Aviation website and was localized for use in Canada.

Posted in Aviation, News, Philippines, Tala Andig People