Time Flies (pun intended!)
Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Jul 7th, 2014

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 4 months since our last update! One of the struggles of missionary life is that there are periods when our lives feel “normal” and mundane – everything functions according to plan, ministry is progressing, but there’s nothing earth-shattering to report. These are the times that we actually have time to write updates and communicate with our partners, but often during these times we feel like we don’t have a lot to say. Not that ministry is not happening or that we’re not busy, but who wants to hear that we flew 15 flights, carrying 5,500 pounds of cargo and 66 passengers last month, along with hauling and pumping over 500 gallons of avgas, and doing a 100hr inspection? These are the day-to-day realities of our lives, and it doesn’t seem necessary to share these kinds of reports every month.
On the other hand, there are times when months or years of ministry culminate in exciting, tangible times of harvest that remind us why we put in long hours, day after day, doing things like aircraft maintenance that sometimes feel far removed from bringing the gospel to people on remote places. When these events occur, we find ourselves working from the wee hours of the morning until far into the night, keeping up with flight needs that can easily be double or triple what we normally experience. These are the times that we long to share with you what God is doing so that you can rejoice and worship with us, but we find ourselves unable to keep up with the demands of ministry, much less take time out to sift through pictures and write out the stories that we hope will grip your heart and challenge and encourage you. One of these events occurred over the last week, and now that we’ve had a day or two to process, we’ve been able to write about it here.
In his hands – for the very first time!

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Jul 7th, 2014

One evening, in the years before World War II came to the Philippines, an old Palawano named Erot, whose name meant “Guide”, gathered a group of young people around him and told them “I have something important to tell you. One day an American will come to you bringing a book with him. When he comes, listen closely to his teaching, because the book that he brings tells of the true eternal God, and how to have eternal life”. Nearly 50 years later, one of those young people, Inting, now an old woman herself, heard of an American who had brought a book with him, and was teaching nearby. Excitedly, she sent her husband, Putek, to listen to this teacher. As Putek heard the Story of Creation, how sin entered the world through the sin of Adam and Eve, and of God’s promise of a Redeemer who would take away their sin, his own excitement began to build. After showing them how God had revealed himself and reminded people of his promise of a Redeemer throughout the Old Testament, the missionary told them of the life of Christ, and how he fulfilled all of the prophecies, and was sacrificed in their place and then rose again to bring eternal life. As the missionary told them story after story from the book he carried, realization dawned on Putek: this is what Erot had told them to wait for! This was the true story of the True God, and at long last He had sent someone to bring them the truth! He hurried home to tell Inting what he had heard, and she also believed.

The missionaries had the book that Erot had told them of and they regularly taught the Palawano believers from it, translating small portions for the lessons that they taught. As years went by though, the church was still dependent on the missionaries for every bit of truth that they needed. Last week all of that changed!

As the year 2014 dawned, excitement began to build among our team, and among the Palawano believers. The Palawano New Testament translation was complete! We waited only for the printing and proof-reading process to be completed. In April, we began making plans for a celebration and dedication service. By early June, NTMA received a list of the passengers, food, cases of bibles, and other cargo that would need to be flown in. We quickly realized that because of the onset of rainy season and the short periods of good flying weather that we experience this time of year, there was simply no way that a single Cessna 185 would be capable of handling all of the flights on schedule. Our NTMA team began praying that the Lord would provide the funds needed to bring our second aircraft from a neighboring island, and within 12 hours the Lord had provided all of the funds we needed! We quickly sprang into action, pre-positioning fuel to give us more options to handle bad weather, organizing cargo and passenger flights to maximize the available weight and seats on each flight, and ensuring that the cargo for each flight was weighed and ready to load. The Lord granted us the windows of clear weather that we needed to fly the entire team in for the dedication services, and back out again in time for their international flight connections, and we had an amazing but exhausting 8 consecutive days of flying. Most amazing though, were the testimonies we heard from the Palawano church. As he held his brand new Palawano New Testament in his hand and wiped tears from his eyes, Abil, one of the church leaders, testified: “This book is a treasure to us worth more than gold or money. We are so thankful to our white uncle that God sent to us to bring us God’s Word in our own language so that now we can read it and understand it for ourselves. Now that we have God’s Word we are responsible to be faithful to study it and obey it.”
Thank you all for the role you have played in bringing this treasure to the Palawano church! Rejoice with us that the Word of God is alive and at work in his church, in yet another language!
THANK YOU!

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Feb 11th, 2014

Just a brief video to say “thank you” for your incredible support and partnership during the six weeks that we were directly involved in flying for disaster relief after Typhoon Haiyan.
Five Loaves and Two Fish

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Feb 3rd, 2014

A Story of God’s provision
$5,000-$10,000. That’s all we asked for on that Sunday morning after Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, leaving a swath of utter chaos and destruction from the east coast all the way to the islands on the western edge of Philippine territory. Enough to do a few survey flights and fly NTMA’s helicopter down from it’s home base to assist with flying a few loads of relief goods to some small islands whose needs had been overshadowed by the overwhelming numbers in Tacloban and the surrounding areas.
Two weeks later we were operating an air bridge from a major hub where goods could be purchased, to a group of islands where 5,000 people had lost everything. We had flown our three aircraft nearly 200 hours, purchased, packaged and hauled over 50,000 pounds of emergency food packs, shelter materials and other relief goods, and carried over 100 passengers, providing life sustaining relief to those in need.
 
By this time, we had seen God provide over 10 times the funds we originally asked for, but the needs were still greater. Seeing needs greater than our our Philippines fleet was capable of meeting, we brought a Kodiak and Jet Ranger from a neighboring country to assist as well. Why we ever questioned the Lord’s provision I don’t know, but it was definitely a step of faith to bring these much larger, more expensive aircraft into the operation, and continue to expand it in that way. Over the next three weeks our team flew an additional 200 hours for a total of nearly 400 hours flown, and close to 120,000 meals purchased, packaged and delivered by aircraft and helicopter directly to those in need. We had flown 287 passengers in addition to over 160,000 pounds of relief goods, 3000 gallons of fuel for the helicopters, and other logistics and support equipment.
Thanks to your incredible generosity, as normal transportation infrastructure began to come back online and we concluded the aviation portion of our relief efforts, we found that the Lord had provided far more that we needed for the aviation relief efforts alone, and we began to consider whether he would have us be involved in helping these people rebuild their homes, their livelihoods, and other aspects of their lives that had been destroyed or forever altered. We are now assisting with a number of projects carefully designed to help restore the economy and people’s livelihoods, as well as assisting them to rebuild their homes.
While the physical impact of the assistance we have been able to provide has been huge, more important by far is the spiritual impact. Islands that were once opposed to evangelical missionaries and wanted to have nothing to do with them are now asking for teaching and counseling to help them understand why God would let this happen to them. Where once there were fearful, unwelcoming stares, now there are tears and hugs of gratitude. Only our Awesome God can open doors and change hearts like this!
As a family and as a team, we have been utterly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, both in prayer and financially, that we have received through this process. We truly are humbled to have the privilege of serving with you on the front lines, and to have such an incredible team behind us, both in the U.S. and around the world. All we can say is THANK YOU – First to our amazing God, and second to you, the ones who enable us to serve.

Not Helpless- A Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Update

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Nov 13th, 2013
As pictures and reports started pouring in from the internet & from co-workers, we sat stunned & felt completely overwhelmed. In a few short hours, “just another typhoon” had gone to a very close-to-home, massive tragedy.
We had been preparing for this typhoon just like we had others, getting the word out, making sure people had what they needed to weather through. We’d all made it through many storms. This was just another one. Little did we know. As the storm began to move across the central Philippines, we began losing contact with our fellow missionaries as communications & electricity went down. After the storm passed, we were swamped trying to coordinate help for our own missionaries.  Praise the Lord, they were all safe and accounted for, so we have turned our attention to what we can do to help those who were most affected by the typhoon.
On Sunday morning this week we were approached by a team with the Philippine Red Cross about the possibility of flying them for aerial surveys and damage assessments so that they could more effectively deploy relief workers into areas damaged by the typhoon. Relief flying isn’t something we’ve ever done before, mostly because we have such a small team (4 families in the Philippines right now) and many of us are already maxed out just trying to keep up with our normal flying schedule. We also haven’t been in the country for a disaster as overwhelming as this one so we haven’t felt this kind of desperation before.
Because of the devastation caused by this super typhoon and the desperate situation so many are in, we decided to ask a few of our friends and churches back home if they would be willing to help out as we did not have the funds to do all of the flying and relief work. Within a few hours, we had received financial pledges that were adequate to do the Red Cross flights as well as a large donation of fuel for our second relief project at “ground zero,” Tacloban City.
It has been crazy for us since then as our phones and email have seen unbelievable traffic! We have been forwarded emails of missionaries trapped on islands, people needing to get from one place to another, asking for us to help as soon as we can. We have felt the desperation that so many people are feeling right now and we wish we could help all of them.
We are working closely with some missionaries on some smaller islands close to ours that are coordinating with mayors & leaders on other islands that are severely damaged by the typhoon. Our family was able to go and buy 2500 lbs of rice & other relief goods to be flown in & distributed to these islands because of the Lord’s answer for financial aid from our support network back home. Josh has begun to fly these supplies in & has several more flights coming in the next few days with tons of new opportunities coming in all the time.
Our other pilot friends have been waiting for days to get clearance to land in Tacloban, but have been unable to until they have established peace and order in the area. They are currently on a bigger island close to that area where they will stay and fly relief from. Very few foreign aid agencies have been able to get into the disaster areas to help & we are hoping to be able to help secure the area so the bigger agencies can move into position to do their work.
Please pray for all of us as another storm has moved in & has grounded our flights. We are hoping to resume tomorrow. So many doors are opening & requests being made for our services- we need the Lord’s wisdom to know which doors to walk through. Pray for stamina & encouragement for all of us as the task looks daunting. Pray for the Filipino people who are trying to rebuild their lives with nothing. Pray most of all for Christ’s love to shine through us to those we are serving.
Click here if you would like to give toward relief efforts.
“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives & God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working. He comes in & takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.” -Eric Liddell
Thank you all so much for your prayers, support, & encouragement. God is not helpless among the ruins. And we all are so blessed to be able to be a part of His rebuilding.


 
Triumph and Tragedy

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Sep 28th, 2013

How do you weep with those who weep and laugh with those who laugh, all at the same time? A couple of weeks ago, we sat in our living room rejoicing as some of our friends shared how the gospel has been received in their village – at times nearly 100 people attending on this tiny island, brand new believers writing worship songs in their own language, new believers already desperate to share what Christ has done in their lives, and lead others to him. Every time we hear these stories it reminds us why we are here, and we were still rejoicing a few days later when we received a message from some other friends: “Please pray. There’s been trouble”. There is a handful of new believers in their area, and many more are hungry to hear the message. Faithfully several times a week this missionary has hiked to a small house where people would gather, hungry to hear the lessons and learn more about the Deliverer. The small group of believers is having their new faith tested in difficult ways as a family member has been killed, and centuries old customs tell them that there must be revenge. Meanwhile the group that has been listening to the lessons is torn apart, dealing with fear, anger and bitterness as one of their members is dead. Rejoice with us over the new believers, and pray with us that the Lord will show himself strong in the midst of tragedy. Pray that the new believers will stand strong and not give in to pressure from their friends and from a culture that demands revenge. Pray that the love of Christ will overcome the fear in the hearts of those who have not yet heard the gospel but are hungry and have been listening. Above all, Paul tells us to give thanks in all things, so we ask that you thank the Lord with us, even for the hard things, and anticipate with us how He will use all of this for His glory and to bring people to Himself!
Jehovah Jireh

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Sep 21st, 2013

Wow! Our God never ceases to amaze and humble us with His love and care. Less than a month after our last update, God has provided completely for our visas and the unexpected expense that we incurred traveling to all of our flight centers and assisting with major repairs and other projects. This post is just a simple thank you. First to our Father for his amazing love and provision and second to you, the people of God who have been used of Him to make this ministry possible. Without your sacrificial love and giving, we could not be here enabling our church planters to focus fully on the immense task before them.
Game changing phone calls

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Aug 20th, 2013

The heart of man plans his way, 
but the Lord establishes his steps – Proverbs 16:9
 

Assembling the helicopter engine after the repairs

When my phone rings, I never know what to expect. One aspect of being a missionary pilot that I never considered before becoming one, is that we are on call 24/7. For most of our missionaries we are truly their lifeline to the outside world, and that includes emergency services. While I have become used to these phone calls, texts, and radio messages for help after three years, I had no idea the chain of events that the phone call I received on May 13 would trigger. Once again I flew out the very sick daughter of one of our missionaries, but this time she did not bounce back the way she had in the past. After weeks of harsh antibiotics and batteries of tests, the doctors determined that the frequent infections cause by a birth defect were beginning to damage her kidneys, and that she needed surgery as soon as possible. This family immediately began making plans to return to the U.S. for three months to address their daughter’s health needs, while we found ourselves dealing with a totally unexpected scenario: because a number of other families were already out of their locations dealing with family or medical challenges, there were not enough church planters left to provide the minimum number of flights that are required for safe operations!


Installing the engine in the Helicopter

Candy and I were discouraged at best, and really struggled, asking God why he had brought us back to Palawan, and “pulled our ministry out from under our feet” after only 3 months. Granted we were only looking at three months with no flights, until missionaries began returning to their locations, but it was still difficult to face. Then less than two days after this difficult decision was made, I received yet another phone call. Honestly I felt a little ashamed of my attitude toward the Lord as I hung up the phone. Our helicopter pilot on Luzon had just told me that he had discovered excessive internal engine wear that would require pulling the engine out of the helicopter and completely disassembling it in order to replace the worn parts. What I realized is that in his wisdom, the Lord had just freed us up to assist with the helicopter repairs, as well as address a mountain of projects for all of our flight programs that have been neglected just because we’ve been too short-handed to assign any personnel to them.
As I write this, I am on my 6th airline flight in 6 weeks, and my family on their 4th, this time going to spend a week with our chief pilot in yet another region of the Philippines working on some of these projects together. We are tired and a little overwhelmed, but thankful that once again the Lord has proven his faithfulness, and that His ways are far better than my feeble plans.
Please pray with us, and consider if the Lord would have you play a part in this unexpected three-month ministry. We are thrilled at the opportunity the Lord has given us to serve, not just on Palawan, but across the Philippines, but it comes at quite a cost financially. By the time we finish this period of “traveling ministry”, our travel expenses will total close to $3000, and we also are facing a $2000 two-year visa renewal cost next month. The Lord has always proven faithful to provide, and we have no doubt that he will meet these needs as well. If you believe the Lord would have you partner with us in these specific needs, this link will take you to more information.
Thank you for being a part of seeing lives changed. Our Savior is truly at work saving and transforming people for his glory!
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A Whirlwind Re-entry

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Jul 12th, 2013

When we stepped off of the plane in Manila on March 27th, we knew we would be making a fast re-entry into Philippine language and culture, as well as our ministry. I don’t think we realized quite how intense that transition would be, though! We were settled back into our house and flying again almost before the jet-lag wore off. It has been so good to be back and to catch up with all of our friends and co-workers, and to see first hand again what God is doing in villages across Palawan. Every time I visit the Palawano village where the Gospel was preached for the first time last year, I am still amazed at the joy and confidence that radiates from the faces of the new believers there. It is so humbling to think that each of us has been privileged to play a part in their salvation – whether by flying, praying, giving, encouraging, or any of the many other roles that we each play. It has been a busy but blessed first 3 months back, and we look forward to the months and years ahead!
Not Just Friends, They’re Family now!

Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton in Ministry on Apr 7th, 2013

I’m excited to fly in tomorrow and hopefully see some of the new believers mentioned in the previous post. Now they understand why so many of us have given years of our lives and so many other resources to share this message with them! No longer just acquaintances, tomorrow I get to greet them as new brothers and sisters in Christ!



The heart of man plans his way, 
but the Lord establishes his steps - Proverbs 16:9
 
When my phone rings, I never know what to expect. One aspect of being a missionary pilot that I never considered before becoming one, is that we are on call 24/7. For most of our missionaries we are truly their lifeline to the outside world, and that includes emergency services. While I have become used to these phone calls, texts, and radio messages for help after three years, I had no idea the chain of events that the phone call I received on May 13 would trigger. Once again I flew out the very sick daughter of one of our missionaries, but this time she did not bounce back the way she had in the past. After weeks of harsh antibiotics and batteries of tests, the doctors determined that the frequent infections cause by a birth defect were beginning to damage her kidneys, and that she needed surgery as soon as possible. This family immediately began making plans to return to the U.S. for three months to address their daughter’s health needs, while we found ourselves dealing with a totally unexpected scenario: because a number of other families were already out of their locations dealing with family or medical challenges, there were not enough church planters left to provide the minimum number of flights that are required for safe operations!
 
Game changing phone calls
Posted by Josh and Candy Dalton on Aug 20th, 2013 in Ministry
The heart of man plans his way, 
but the Lord establishes his steps – Proverbs 16:9
 



Installing the engine in the Helicopter
Candy and I were discouraged at best, and really struggled, asking God why he had brought us back to Palawan, and “pulled our ministry out from under our feet” after only 3 months. Granted we were only looking at three months with no flights, until missionaries began returning to their locations, but it was still difficult to face. Then less than two days after this difficult decision was made, I received yet another phone call. Honestly I felt a little ashamed of my attitude toward the Lord as I hung up the phone. Our helicopter pilot on Luzon had just told me that he had discovered excessive internal engine wear that would require pulling the engine out of the helicopter and completely disassembling it in order to replace the worn parts. What I realized is that in his wisdom, the Lord had just freed us up to assist with the helicopter repairs, as well as address a mountain of projects for all of our flight programs that have been neglected just because we’ve been too short-handed to assign any personnel to them.
As I write this, I am on my 6th airline flight in 6 weeks, and my family on their 4th, this time going to spend a week with our chief pilot in yet another region of the Philippines working on some of these projects together. We are tired and a little overwhelmed, but thankful that once again the Lord has proven his faithfulness, and that His ways are far better than my feeble plans.
Please pray with us, and consider if the Lord would have you play a part in this unexpected three-month ministry. We are thrilled at the opportunity the Lord has given us to serve, not just on Palawan, but across the Philippines, but it comes at quite a cost financially. By the time we finish this period of “traveling ministry”, our travel expenses will total close to $3000, and we also are facing a $2000 two-year visa renewal cost next month. The Lord has always proven faithful to provide, and we have no doubt that he will meet these needs as well. If you believe the Lord would have you partner with us in these specific needs, this link will take you to more information.

Thank you for being a part of seeing lives changed. Our Savior is truly at work saving and transforming people for his glory!