A well known story
Most people have heard the story of John Leedahl, the NTM missionary pilot who lost his leg in a life altering crash seven months after arriving on the field of Papua New Guinea. We have followed their story via social media and the Leedahl’s blog. We have prayed this family through surgeries, an amputation and recovery. And we cheered together as John got back into an airplane to begin flying again.
Event in Beamsville
This past week Jon and Adie were in Beamsville, Ontario visiting Vineland Free Reformed Church where Adie’s twin sister, Victoria and her husband, Michael, are members. The Leedahls had visited this community back in 2013 while preparing to go to Papua New Guinea for the first time and spoke to a small crowd. So when they planned this trip, they assumed the crowd would again be small. Facebook invitations were sent out and when fifty RSVPs were received, it was clear that the crowd would be larger than anticipated.
The meeting was moved to the main auditorium and preparations were made to host a much larger group. On August 26th, one-hundred and fifty people arrived, joined by another one-hundred and fifty (individuals or families) via a simulcast.
Adie’s brother-in-law, Michael opened the event and Martin Lamb (the Director of Public Relations for NTM Canada) shared about New Tribes Mission’s vision for reaching unreached people groups as he introduced Jon.
Jon started by sharing about some of the many miracles that he and Adie had witnessed as they trained and prepared to go to the mission field. There has never any doubt in their minds that Papua New Guinea was exactly where God wanted them to be. Seven months after arriving, Jon, while riding a motorbike home from the hangar, was in a crash that resulted in his leg being amputated.
Not the end of the story
Wallowing in self pity was not an option, God had brought him to Papua New Guinea and Jon knew that He would do more miracles to keep them there. The work is not finished and neither Jon nor Adie doubted that God still has great plans for them. Jon has spent the last ten months healing, learning to walk with a prosthetic leg, and then learning to fly again. He has re-trained his body to react in new ways in order to use the foot peddles in the plane with his new leg; and he is now working through tests with the Federal Aviation Administration and NTM Aviation before officially being clear to fly again.
Jon, Adie and their children plan to return to Papua New Guinea in the spring of 2016, a short seven months from now. Their passion is still to serve through aviation other missionaries who are spreading the gospel to those who have never heard.
A story captivates
There wasn’t a sound in the audience as Jon spoke, even young children were completely captive by his testimony despite the late hour (the evening began at 8pm). Refreshments were served at 10pm with the opportunity to speak one on one or in small groups with Jon and Adie.
If you would like to help, here are a few things that you can do:
- Continue to pray for Jon as he works through recertification as a pilot.
- Subscribe and pray for the the Leedahl family as they prepare to go back to Papua New Guinea after a year away.
- Help Jon and Adie with financial needs.
- Help outfit the remaining two Kodiak airplanes for use in Papua New Guinea.
- If Jon’s story has inspired you to help reach the unreached in Papua New Guinea or elsewhere, we would love to speak with you. The need is great and so many have still never heard the name of Jesus.
Want to hear more?
Jon and Adie were interviewed the following day, August 27th, by 100 Huntley Street for their television program. The interview will air on Tuesday November 17th on Global TV at 9:30am and on YESTV at 11:00am and 9:00pm.