Earlier today, a medical helicopter carrying five people, one of whom is Southern Adventist University alumna Janelle Alder, went missing over a western Philippine province, according to an Associated Press article.
According to Isaac James, director of Marketing and University Relations, all contact was lost with the pilot and the helicopter. A search and rescue was launched soon after, but the group had not been found as of this afternoon, James said. The Associated Press reported that the search includes coastguard vessels and a small plane.
“It was the latest in a series of aviation incidents involving small aircraft in the country in recent weeks,” stated the article.
Alder graduated from Southern in 2021 with an associate’s degree in nursing. While at Southern, she served as a student missionary, according to James. Steven Manoukian, Student Missions director, said Alder was working as a nurse for Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services (PAMAS).
The Office of Ministry and Missions held a small gathering today at noon. to pray for Alder, her family and everyone else involved in the situation.
“We’re just trying to stay positive about this,” Manoukian said.
“She obviously had a heart for service,” James said, “and we’re praying that they find her.”