NTM Aviation personnel prepare NTM’s Kodiak for a flight to the Philippines to help with typhoon relief.

New Tribes Mission has two more aircraft on their way to help with disaster relief in the Philippines – and not a moment too soon.

The helicopter that NTM has based in the Philippines has been supporting families on islands in the western Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. In 174 flight legs, the helicopter has delivered more than 35,000 pounds of relief supplies, mainly food. This is in addition to flights by the mission’s two Cessna 185s, which have moved the supplies closer to the islands to cut the length of helicopter flights and allow more to be delivered.

This past weekend, the helicopter moved to another area, to assist local churches and Christians ministering in the area to provide help to their neighbours.

In addition to the aid provided by generous giving in the USA and Canada, NTM’s Philippines affiliate has put together more than six tons of relief supplies, more than half of which was delivered over the weekend.

“We concentrated our two-day initial effort on several islands that were most-hard hit, and hardest to get to by other means,” wrote Dave Forney of MAF. The MAF disaster response team is providing invaluable assistance to NTM’s flight crews in the area. “We flew mostly food/family packs, but also a load of badly needed pots and pans for cooking, where they were mostly all washed away and the people had no means to prepare the food.”

NTM’s helicopter pilot, Zack Keller, noted that in some places the damage in that area was worse than in the area they had been serving.

Having a number of personnel on the ground already is a huge help. They “had good knowledge of what the needs were in each location,” Dave wrote, and “the process of distributing the goods on the islands was well-handled.”

“Some of the most-requested items that are needed are also clothes, cooking supplies, and basic building supplies like nails, etc. In some cases the people were only left with the clothes on their backs and whatever they had in their hands, as the tidal surge and winds washed everything else out to sea.