When Jon Leedahl was 17, he had the chance to go up in the air for the very first time, and he has loved flying ever since.

In fact, he has made a career out of flying, with the ability to fly a variety of aircraft. His most recent job was as a member of the North Air Care crew in Redwood Falls where he flew helicopters.

Yet, for Leedahl, outside of the passion he has for flight, there has always been one deep seated reason he learned to fly.

“From the very beginning my goal has been to use my skills to further the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Leedahl, “and to help bring that message to those who have never heard it.”

 

When Jon Leedahl was 17, he had the chance to go up in the air for the very first time, and he has loved flying ever since. In fact, he has made a career out of flying, with the ability to fly a variety of aircraft. His most recent job was as a member of the North Air Care crew in Redwood Falls where he flew helicopters. Over the years, he has flown for a variety of reasons, whether doing glacial tours in Alaska or flying for a hospital in Texas. Yet, for Leedahl, outside of the passion he has for flight, there has always been one deep seated reason he learned to fly. “From the very beginning my goal has been to use my skills to further the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Leedahl, “and to help bring that message to those who have never heard it.” Leedahl has found that opportunity as part of an organization known as New Tribes Mission, and starting in January he and his family are going to begin a one-year training program that is going to lead them to the mission field. The field the Leedahls are heading toward would allow Jon to fly to remote areas of the world in an effort to provide supplies for other missionaries. After spending several months in Missouri receiving training as missionaries, the Lee-dahls then are going to spend time in Arizona specifically gaining advanced training to do the flying in remote areas. Jon said the family is going to spend a year in preparation, and it is then when they would find out where they are going to be assigned. Several years ago, Jon spent time during a short-term missions trip working in Papua New Guinea, and he thinks in the end a place like that is where he may end up serving. “I?think that experience only spurred me on and made me more excited to serve as a missionary,”?he said. While the Leedahls are not specifically going as missionaries living with a new people group, the work Leedahl is going to do as a pilot is providing a lifeline to other missionaries in places where no one can get to them except through the air. “We become their supply line,”?said Lee-dahl. “We are their grocery store and their ambulance.” Leedahl, his wife Adie and their three boys have left their Olivia home and are currently preparing for their new role which officially starts in mid January. The Leedahls, like many missionaries are going to be self-supporting, which means they are relying on churches and individuals to provide the funds they need to continue their work. New Tribes Mission is a missions organization which has committed to working with the people groups of the world who have not yet heard the gospel. More than 2,500 of these groups still exist in the most remote parts of the world. The organization began in 1942, and it currently has more than 2,500 missionaries serving worldwide. One can find out more about the organization at ntm.org. The Leedahls continue to offer updates on a blog they have established. Those who are interested can find out more about what they are doing at www.wingstothegospelntm.blogspot.com. Information about supporting the Lee-dahls can also be found at their blog site. Adie and the children are going to be part of the mission work as well, as they work from the base where the pilots fly from, with Adie also home schooling their children. She said she is confident there are always going to be things that need to be done, whether it is serving as a radio dispatcher for those pilots out on assignment or working at the mission school where they live. Jon admitted this is a big step of faith for he and his family, but he believes he is doing what God wants him to do to spread the message of Jesus to those who have not heard.