When the Unthinkable Happens

Life Was Good

It was October 15, 2014. Missionary pilot Jon Leedahl had just passed a check ride on the Kodiak. His extensive training with SIL (JAARS) on the new Kodiak airplane was drawing to a close and within months he would be ready to fly NTM’s new Kodiaks. God’s provision of those Kodiak aircrafts was nothing short of a miracle. Life was good.

And then the unthinkable happened.

Life Spins out of Control

“I was driving my motorcycle home from the airstrip,” Jon wrote. “While coming around a blind curve there was a Land Cruiser coming straight at me on my side of the road. I don’t remember the accident. … But best we can tell, I slammed on the brakes and laid the bike on its side.”

He hit the Land Cruiser head on, crushing his right leg between the bike and bumper. Though in critical condition, the mountainous terrain ruled out a night flight. A tourniquet on his leg, along with blood transfusions, kept him alive until a morning medevac to Cairns, Australia, was possible.

“They tried to save my leg, but the damage from the tourniquet (that saved my life) was too great and they had to amputate my right leg above the knee. My left leg also needed major knee and foot surgery. … I should have died.”

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"THE ‘WHY’ I CAN’T ANSWER. ... BUT THIS I KNOW: WE ARE TO GLORIFY AND BRING PRAISE TO GOD IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE."

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Life’s Unexplainables

“Why did God allow this accident to happen?” Jon wrote. “I was following His will. … [And] New Tribes Mission Aviation needed me to fly these new airplanes and train the other pilots.”

It didn’t make sense.

“The ‘why’ I can’t answer,” Jon wrote. “The true reason may not be revealed for some time. But this I know: We are to glorify and bring praise to God in any circumstance.

“He spared my life. ... So He is not finished with me yet. He still has plans for me. Maybe being an amputee will give me some opportunity to minister. God knows. And I can rest in that knowledge.”

Pray for Jon Leedahl and family as their journey is far from over.

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