Indianapolis couple help in Philippines typhoon relief efforts
When a super typhoon struck the Philippines November 8th, lives were lost and cities were flattened. But, one Hoosier family raced toward the destruction. Indianapolis native Dori Hobbs, her husband and two children are missionaries in the Philippines.
They are on the island of Cebu helping survivors of the typhoon.
"The devastation is everywhere. Even in the locations that we're severely hit, there's still a lot of homes down, a lot of buildings. Just completely devastated," said Dori Hobbs.
The heart of a missionary is to help. That is what the Hobbs family is doing. Using money from friends and family, this young family is working with organizations on the ground to get basic needs to survivors who desperately need it.
"Something that's been incredible to see are the smiles on the people's faces when we've gone to give relief goods. The hope in their eyes. It's an incredibly humbling thing to see their perseverance in the midst of such devastation and tragedy," said Dori Hobbs. "So many of them went days without food and water, without basic needs. They didn't have that opportunity to get those things. It stirs up emotions. I'm hurting for them."
"None of us are trained in any kind of relief work, not at all prepared for any thing like this. We knew with a thousand dollars, we could gather enough rice, sardines and noodles to pack food for about 350 families. On 3 different occasions this week, that's what we'll be doing," said Ikaika Hobbs, a native of Maui, Hawaii.
"Even in these areas north of Cebu, where it's not as bad as Tacloban, because the relief goods are so slow to get to these places, it's been slow. When the relief goods do come, the people flock to the cars. It can be really chaotic. The organizations we work with, is connect with churches and in the churches, they'll hand out tickets to the community of who really needs food and who doesn't. We can organize a little bit better system to hand out the food," said Ikaika Hobbs.
The Hobbs say the Filipinos they've met are resilient but face difficult daily choices. Many of the homes do not have roofs. Relief workers say tarps are needed to shield victims from the sun and rain.
"I think you would never really now that they've just gone through one of the worst storms in recorded history. Fathers are to the point where they have to do something to provide for their family. a lot of them are fishermen. They have to decide. Do I fish today or do I try and rebuild my home. And, they really have to choose, one or the other," said Ikaika Hobbs.
It has not been easy for this young family. But they say even their two young boys, Koa (4) and Noah (2) Are learning when there is a need, you help.
"We've been in missions the last eight years. This is the call in our lives as a family. We've seen God's faithfulness. It's incredible to see that even a 4 year old and a 2 year old can help bring food to a family that needs it," said Dori Hobbs. "God can use all people, even kids. We literally have been all over. That's our heart to bring God's truth and God's love to the Philippines."
"It's hard for us at home to understand the gravity of the situation. We see images and it's easy to move on. This country is pretty much been devastated twice in a month. Our heart as the months go on, there's going to need to be a lot of rebuilding. As the news and hype of it goes away that people still remember the people here and will want to partner in whatever ways possible," said Ikaika Hobbs.