Divine Purposes

November 18, 2013 • Philippines

In the midst of despair and desperation, the Samaritan's Purse team in Tacloban sees glimmers of hope knowing God will be at work as we help storm victims

By Aaron Ashoff, leader of the Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team working in Tacloban

I am lying here awake and exhausted at the beginning of our second day in Tacloban City.

It is 4 a.m. and I have been tossing around for an hour in my tent at the edge of the airfield, listening to the deafening arrival and departure of military planes throughout the night evacuating thousands. They stand in long lines silhouetted against the moonlight with nothing but their lives.

Tacloban was annihilated by the typhoon—a city of a quarter million people razed to the ground. There are still bodies in the streets. It’s overwhelming.

But we are not without hope.

Our team has remained encouraged knowing that God will accomplish His purpose here—a wise and sovereign and merciful purpose—and we are part of that.

In the next few days we will begin emergency medical support of the hospital here, distribute thousands of plastic shelters to survivors, and set up water filtration systems.

We have been fortunate to find so many compassionate Filipinos here helping their neighbors. We can’t wait to join them.