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Reform Magazine | August 21, 2017

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A letter from… the Philippines

A letter from… the Philippines

‘The tragedy of Typhoon Pablo has left me with a strong feeling of helplessness and utter hopelessness’

All around there were miles and miles of houses destroyed. It looked like a bomb just exploded and wiped out whole villages. Banana plants on the ground, coconut trees uprooted, power lines all twisted and people staring blankly into space.

Standing on top of huge boulders of rocks where once families lived and loved, laughed and played, my heart was at the verge of being torn apart by sadness. My head started to ache and my shoulders felt too heavy.

Typhoon Pablo, known internationally as Bopha, struck Philippines without warning before dawn on 4 December. It was 160mph and five miles wide, the worst storm here ever. 216,000 homes were damaged or destroyed; 1,067 people are known to have been killed. Villages were destroyed by floods and landslides. The tragedy of Typhoon Pablo has left me with a strong feeling of helplessness and utter hopelessness.

I have been a missionary nurse for almost 30 years. Hardships, suffering, heartbreak, calamities, sickness and death – I have seen them all. I have taken care of and buried a patient named Moses, whose mother didn’t even have the money to get him a decent casket. I have visited Naomi in a dark, dirty and smelly prison, and she was not even a criminal, just mentally ill. …

Ruth Copsey works in nursing, community development, relief and church planting in the Philippines. You can support her work by contributing to Emmanuel International http://eiuk.org.uk/cms2/ways-to-give/.

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This is an extract from the July/August 2013 edition of  Reform.

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